Healthy Food Substitutions

Butter, flour, and other common ingredients can increase the calories and reduce the nutrition of a meal. Here are some alternatives that can still be satisfying.

Today, more than ever, there are ways to avoid the most harmful of foods with nutritious and tasty substitutions that can be found in the kitchen or easily bought at any grocery store.

Butter

Butter is used in many ways: from a sauté base to a condiment, it makes its way into many aspects of a meal, bringing extra fat and calories with it. Here are some ways to minimize its effects without losing out on taste.

  • Does it really need butter? Many soups and sauces call for butter, but when it is left out there is no noticeable difference. By reducing or eliminating butter in these recipes, it becomes much healthier.
  • Butter alternatives. There are many alternatives available now that do not contain the unhealthy trans fats of margarine. Some are specially made for spreading, while others can be used for cooking.
  • Butter Blends. The newest innovation in butter is the mixing of butter and olive oil. These blends retain the richness and texture of butter, but have less saturated fats and up to 50% less cholesterol than normal butter.

White Flour

It can be difficult to avoid white flour, as it is present in a significant portion of items both in restaurants and at home.

  • Substitute whole grains. Whole wheat flour can be used as an alternative to white flour in many recipes, particularly savory. It may take time to adjust to the taste, but since the body craves what it eats, it shouldn’t take long to become habit. As a stepping stone to going full wheat flour, mixtures of wheat and white can be used at first. Another alternative is using soy flour.
  • Eat at home. By preparing meals at home, a person can control portions and ingredients. Try making a large batch of homemade whole wheat flatbreads in advance and freezing them. They thaw quickly, are delicious, and are a great substitute for fluffier breads that are full of carbohydrates and sugars.

Eggs

Eggs are not quite as taboo as they once were, but it is still important to not overdo them.

  • Egg Substitutes. There are a wide range of egg substitutes that consist of mostly egg whites. These can be used as a binding agent, added to soups such as Egg Drop, or used as scrambled eggs.
  • Using fewer yolks. By using two egg white for each yolk, the overall amount of cholesterol can be reduced without losing the flavor or texture the yolks provide.

Fruit Juices

Although fruit juice can be full of nutrients, many commercial varieties are loaded with sugars.

  • Go raw. By eating the fruit instead of drinking the juice, more nutrients and fiber are consumed.
  • Make a smoothie. Making fruit juice at home can be messy and time consuming. Consider using a cup of plain nonfat yogurt and a cup of frozen fruit and blending it to make a homemade smoothie. It takes minutes and tastes delicious. Adding a sugar substitute or a bit of honey can help if it seems too tart. Up to three or four servings of fresh or frozen fruits can be added to one cup of yogurt, helping to reach the daily intake. Small portions of vegetables such as spinach and carrots can be added as well without affecting taste.

Although it takes lifestyle changes on many levels to become a completely healthy individual, these tips are a good stepping stone to get started in the right direction.

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