When I was 18, I began to think about the foods I ate. It was triggered by the word “junk food,” which I read in some magazine. I also felt very sorry for animals, like cows, sheep, and pigs. I decided to give up on meat and generally began to carefully monitor what I ate. I read scientific articles and tried to understand how to replace normal (but not always healthy) foods. Not everyone around me understood my position, but now, 15 years later, I don’t regret my decision at all.
I would like to tell Bright Side readers about a dozen foods that I managed to find healthy alternatives to. I’m sure that the life hacks described in this article will be really useful to those who don’t want to change their eating habits radically. But if you are ready to make major changes, consult a doctor first.
1. Potatoes vs cauliflower
Mashed cauliflower is lower in calories than mashed potatoes, and these 2 dishes taste almost the same. For picky eaters, I mix potatoes and cauliflower in a 1:1 ratio and add some fresh herbs instead of salt. This way, you get a classic, but more dietary dish.
For me, I just make mashed cauliflower. It perfectly satisfies hunger and doesn’t cause a feeling of heaviness in the stomach.
2. Wheat flour vs black beans
By replacing wheat flour with black beans in your pastries, you’ll get gluten-free dishes with an extra dose of protein. In addition, the beans are very tasty, even though many people think otherwise. When I cook something with dough, I use the hack of replacing 1 cup of flour with 1 cup of mashed black beans.
Believe me, the quality of your pastry won’t become lower. On the contrary, the finished dish will acquire a very interesting and incomparable taste.
3. Lettuce vs spinach
Why would anyone change one type of green for another? The fact is spinach contains 2 times more potassium, protein, calcium, iron, niacin, and vitamins A, B, and C than any other leaf vegetable.
Additionally, it’s high in fiber and minerals, including magnesium and phosphorus. It’s almost impossible to tell the difference in taste, but spinach has more nutritional value than lettuce.
4. Coffee vs chicory and matcha
Everyone drinks coffee, but very few people know that 1 cup of the drink contains about 95 mg of caffeine. Excessive consumption of caffeine can cause nausea, anxiety, heart palpitations, and insomnia.
Chicory invigorates you too, but it doesn’t contain caffeine. Also, there is matcha, a green tea powder with effects that are way milder than that of coffee. In addition, matcha contains L-theanine, an amino acid that helps reduce stress. Unfortunately, not many people know about this healthy drink.
5. Potato chips vs fried chickpeas
It’s nice to crunch on some chips, but it’s not really good for your health. So what can you crunch on? You’d be surprised to learn that chickpeas fried with your favorite spices taste almost the same, and they’re just as crunchy. This alternative is also rich in fiber and magnesium, a mineral that is important for controlling blood sugar levels and the functioning of the nervous system.
6. Meat vs tofu
By the way, tofu is so “neutral,” you can simply marinate it in your favorite sauce and get the taste you want. The food itself is practically tasteless.
7. Ice cream vs frozen bananas
It’s hard to imagine summer without ice cream. But it’s not very good to eat a lot of ice cream because it’s too high in calories and contains a lot of sugar. Frozen bananas, ground in a blender, are a light, natural dessert without extra sugar or dairy products. This ice cream is delicious and light enough to enjoy as much as you want.
8. Mayonnaise vs avocado
Mayonnaise, which many people use in their dishes, is usually made from eggs, oil, and acid, such as vinegar. But daily consumption of mayonnaise can be bad for one’s health, as mayonnaise is often high in saturated fat.
Avocado also contains just as much fat, but it’s a completely different kind. This fruit is rich in healthy fats and nutrients and contains about 20 vitamins and minerals.
9. Flatbread vs lettuce
It’s not a perfect substitute, but giving up on carbs in favor of fresh lettuce every once in a while is a good decision anyway. Any sandwich becomes healthier if you replace the bread with a lettuce leaf. This way, you can increase the number of nutrients in your favorite snack. In my house, there is no bread at all, and I have long been accustomed to making sandwiches with lettuce and realized that it’s really tasty.
10. Oatmeal vs quinoa
Both quinoa and oatmeal are healthy and belong in a balanced and healthy diet. But they have a few differences: a cup of quinoa contains 8 grams of protein, while the same amount of oatmeal contains only 6 grams.
Quinoa also outperforms oatmeal in protein quality and contains more fiber. Therefore, to make your diet more varied, you can replace oatmeal porridge with quinoa porridge.
11. Sugar vs applesauce
Applesauce can provide the sweetness you need without extra calories. While one cup of unsweetened applesauce contains only about 100 calories, a cup of sugar can contain over 770 calories. The difference is obvious.
12. Fish vs flax seeds
I haven’t eaten fish, meat, flour, fast food, and other foods, which many people can’t imagine their life without, for 15 years now. There were times when people around me couldn’t understand and condemned my diet because they thought that we couldn’t live without eating meat. But I’m 33 now and I feel great.
I don’t feel like I limit myself because I just take care of my health, both physically and mentally. I don’t starve, I simply build my diet in a way so that my body receives all the necessary substances. Taking into account the fact that all my tests are normal, my plan is working. I also feel great that I live and eat the way I want and don’t betray my moral principles. But if you want to radically change your eating habits, I advise you to consult a doctor first.
Can you call your diet balanced? Do you have your own life hacks for how to replace common foods with healthy ones? Share them in the comments below.
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