Happy April Fools everyone! In honor of this tricky holiday I decide to list out my favorite food fools. These are simple food swaps you can make to add in nutrition and keep the flavor! I often use these swaps in meals served to picky friends and family. Unless I say something, they have no clue. Don’t believe me? Try out one of the swaps listed below and let us know what you think!
Ditch the sour cream and get on the Greek yogurt bandwagon
If you use 0% plain Greek yogurt you know it is thick and has a little tang to it, exactly like sour cream. Try it on tacos, nachos, chili, mashed cauliflower or any recipe that calls of sour cream. This swap will save you 2.5 grams of fat per tablespoon.
Make cream based soups with evaporated skim milk instead of heavy cream
While cream based soups may taste great they are not always the healthiest choice. One cup of heavy cream has 400 calories and 40 grams of fat. That’s about ⅔ of your daily needs of fat in just 1 cup! Make the swap to evaporated skim and save yourself 320 calories and all of the fat!
Say so long mayonnaise and hello avocado
We love using avocado in place of mayo so much we came up with it’s own name; avo-mayo. Try spreading mashed avocado on your next sandwich or using it in homemade chicken or tuna salad.
Grab romaine instead of iceberg
Calorie wise you can’t go wrong with either of these choices. Both have about 8 calories per cup. However, romaine has more nutrients including folate, vitamins A & K, lutein and zeaxanthin. Go darker and get more nutritional bang for your buck.
Cut the salt with herbs and spices
Most of us load up on too much salt every day and diets high in salt have been linked with high blood pressure and increased risk of stroke and certain cancers. It’s safe to say we can all cut back on our salt intake. But don’t sacrifice flavor. Opt for herbs, spices, lemon, or lime juice to season food. Swapping 1 teaspoon of salt for a salt free seasoning will save you an entire days worth of sodium!
Quinoa beats out Cous Cous Everytime
Quinos is the healthier, more satisfying version of cous cous. It boasts 5 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein per cup. It is a good source of iron, excellent source of magnesium, gluten free, and can be used at every meal.
Slash carbs with whole wheat English Muffins instead of a bagel
Did you know a bagel contains the carbohydrate equivalent of 4 to 6 slices of bread? That’s a lot of carbohydrate without much fiber. Even the whole grain ones are not the best choice. Swap to the English Muffin for the carbohydrate equivalent of 2 slices of bread and if you choose the whole wheat you get an excellent source of fiber.
Mash up cauliflower instead of potatoes
Steamed and mashed cauliflower has the same consistency and great flavor as everyone’s comfort food, mashed potatoes. Making this swap will save you around 150 calories and score you an extra gram of fiber. If you use the 0% plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream swap mentioned earlier you will save even more!
Move over pasta, we’ve got new options in town
There is nothing wrong with a little pasta every once in a while but why not try one of these fun alternatives that you could eat every night? Zuchinni noodles and spaghetti squash are two alternatives that will save you big on carbs and calories. Both are easy to cook and taste great with your favorite pasta sauce. Another option are shirataki noodles. They come in angel hair, spaghetti and fettuccine cuts with only 20 calories per serving!
Pick plain yogurt over flavored varieties
Flavored yogurts can be junk food disguised as a healthy option because they often times have excessive amounts of sugar. One fat free vanilla yogurt option packed 8.5 tsp of sugar in a serving. That’s more than the recommended intake of sugar for the entire day. Pick the plain then add in a serving of your favorite fruit or extract at your next snack break.
Full fat natural peanut butter is better than reduced fat options
Don’t jump on the reduced fat peanut butter bandwagon. Nuts are fatty foods by nature. Cutting the fat only saves you 10 or so calories per serving but gives you a laundry list of additives. Your best bet is to go for a natural peanut butter that has only peanuts listed in the ingredient list.
Switch up your salty and crunchy craving
So this swap might not be as undetectable as the others mentioned but we still think it is a good idea to look for a healthier alternative to potato chips. Enter fresh popped popcorn, kale chips or roasted chickpeas which are fully customizable. Season with your favorite flavors and munch away.
Grind up some flax seed and bake egg free
I love this option for those with an egg allergy. It also comes in handy if you happen to run out of eggs. For every egg, mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water and allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes before using it as an egg replacement. Adding a tablespoon of flax will add omega 3 fatty acids, lignans, and fiber to your recipe.
Make your own fro yo instead of ice cream
It’s nice to be able to enjoy a sweet treat you can feel good about. Try making your own frozen yogurt by blending plain low-fat Greek yogurt with strawberries and a touch of honey. Freeze and try it next time you get a sweet tooth.
Shake up a dressing of your own
Making your own salad dressing is easy and means no added trans fat, preservatives or artificial flavors that you find in the pre-bottled versions. You also control how much sugar and sodium goes into the final product. Use ⅔ cup oil with ⅓ cup of an acid (lemon juice, vinegar, citrus juice), add a pinch of sweetener and your favorite herbs and spice. Mix well and drizzle a few teaspoons on top of your greens for maximum flavor. Here is a DIGG favorite dressing recipe.
Cauliflower versus pizza crust will save you carbs
This gluten free swap is a great way to revamp one of our favorite foods. It’s a fun way to sneak in veggies, fiber, and cut the carbs. Here is a great cauliflower crust recipe to try out next time you make pizza.
Ground bison instead of beef
Most ground beef options are high in saturated fat, the type of fat associated with heart disease and negative health effects. Choosing lean ground bison can save you 16 grams of fat per 3.5 oz serving. That’s ¼ of the average American’s daily suggested intake of fat. Your heart will thank you for making this swap.
Let us know your favorite food fools for better health and we will share with our readers!