5 Small Food Swaps To Make You Instantly Healthier

5 Small Food Swaps To Make You Instantly Healthier

You don’t need to change your diet entirely to eat healthier. Sometimes all it takes is a few simple adjustments, some basic nutritional knowledge, and a willingness to change. These five simple tips (recipes included!) Are a good place to start.

Reaching your goal of “getting healthy” just got a lot easier. No gadgets, no big expense of money or time. Just a few simple, everyday changes you can make to your eating habits right now, along with tasty and nutritious recipes. Try the following tips, starting with dinner tonight.

1. Swap Out: Refined Grains

Swap In: Whole Grains

At least half of our total daily grains should come from whole grains, according to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It makes sense: People who eat a lot of whole grains tend to be leaner and have a lower risk of heart disease than those who don’t. Plus, whole grains, such as brown rice, oats, quinoa, and bulgur, have their bran intact, so they contain more fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, and other important nutrients.

Buying whole grains can be tricky, so make no mistake about it. Bread or crackers labeled “multigrain,” “stone-ground,” or “100% wheat” may appear healthy, but they can be made primarily from refined white flour. To make sure you’re consuming whole grains, look for products that have whole grains at the top of the ingredient list.

2. Swap Out: Salt

Swap In: Herbs and Spices

Even if you don’t have high blood pressure, it’s wise to monitor your sodium levels, and most of us get much more than the recommended 2300 mg (about 1 teaspoon of salt) per day. . While it’s not always a perfect substitute for salt, distracting your palate with chopped fresh or dried herbs and spices can help ease the transition to cooking with less salt by awakening other flavors. Get creative with the seasoning blends found in any condiment aisle, just make sure they’re labeled “unsalted.” Not ready to skip the salt completely? Try this: don’t add salt if you can’t taste it. A little salt lasts longer if you add it right before serving, so skip it while cooking.

3. Swap Out: Farmed Atlantic Salmon

Swap In: Wild-Caught Alaskan Salmon

Imagine a salmon in the wild, happily wading through Alaskan waters, eating insects and plankton. Now imagine a salmon raised on a farm, where it is fed a highly processed, high fat diet designed to produce bigger fish. Which fish do you prefer to eat? It’s not a difficult choice – while there are a growing number of farms offering healthier, more sustainable options, most farmed salmon are still on the Seafood Watch’s “to avoid” list. ‘Monterey Bay Aquarium. Wild Alaskan Salmon offers more heart-healthy omega-3s per serving and is lower in calories than farmed salmon. It also contains less pollutants and pollutants and is more durable. Can’t find it fresh or frozen? Try it canned.

4. Swap Out: Processed Meats

Swap In: Lean Meats and Plant-Based Protein

Do you remember those mysterious meat lunches served in the school cafeteria? You probably knew at the time that they weren’t that good for you, and research backs it up. In 2015, the World Health Organization issued a serious warning: eating processed meats such as hot dogs, sausages, corned beef, bologna and bacon may increase the risk of colon cancer and may also be linked to prostate and pancreatic cancer. . We’re not saying you should cut it entirely, but if your lunch is a BLT or a Reuben, it’s time to cut it. Instead, try canned tuna or salmon, or skinless turkey or chicken breast. Eat more plant proteins like hummus, peanut butter, and black beans; They are high in fiber, low in calories, and provide many health benefits. A 2017 study shows that swapping one or two servings of meat a day for plant-based protein can help lower your risk of heart disease. Bonus: it’s also cheaper.

5. Swap Out: Milk Chocolate

Swap In: Dark Chocolate

Here’s an easy way to satisfy your sweet tooth and improve your health: Bite into dark chocolate every day. It’s rich in flavonoids, chemicals that researchers say can improve heart health by lowering blood pressure and reducing inflammation. Other studies suggest that dark chocolate may help prevent diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity. It is also rich in important minerals such as magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, and phosphorus. Choose varieties with at least 70 percent cocoa; the higher the percentage, the higher the antioxidants and other nutrients. Take it easy: Chocolate is high in sugar, fat, and calories, so a little goes a long way.

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