By Blake Dykes
Diets are typically not the easiest thing to follow, or the most fun things in the world. However, there are still ways to sneak in the healthy food and cut out some of the junk without going on a strict diet of salad and fruit. There is a method: substitutions. Consider substituting different ingredients and snacks with some healthier food choices.
One dairy product that seems to be smothered and snuck into every food is butter.There is actually another item that can be used instead and have some benefits for your health: extra virgin olive oil. This can be used to spread on bread, potatoes, rice, and even used in baked goods. Olive oil helps lower cholesterol, protection against heart disease, and has higher levels of higher antioxidant compounds.
An ingredient that is behind the disease diabetes is sugar. Of course, sugar is well loved and consumed by the majority of America, although it is not the healthiest. A possible substitute for sugar is honey. Not only is honey just as sweet, but it also boosts endurance and the immune system. It can also prevent tumors and helps with digestion.
Everyone loves some chips and queso every now and then; however, queso has no health benefits and is extremely high in fat. On the other hand, salsa is a lot lower in calories and helps prevent heart disease and prostate cancer. In addition to these pros of salsa, you are also getting a serving of fruit and vegetables. Next time you’re sitting in a Mexican restaurant you love, pass on the queso and just stick with the free salsa instead.
When it comes to cooking, sour cream is pretty common in recipes. Sour cream does not have any nutritional value whatsoever. On the other hand, Greek yogurt can be substituted for sour cream in any recipe. Greek yogurt has an abundant amount of calcium and helps build strong teeth and bones. Not to mention that is it significantly lower in fat, and brings a great texture to the food.
Most people love their late night or after school snacks: chips. Who wouldn’t love that crunchy salty goodness? Unfortunately, chips have a great amount of saturated fats. I’m just stating the obvious, right? Well, there is another food that you can indulge in without feeling guilty after: popcorn. Now, of course if it is smothered in that butter we talked about it becomes unhealthy, but just a little bit of salt or olive oil can be sprinkled over it to result in a great taste. Popcorn is a better alternative than chips because it is not fried; therefore, it is lower in fat, it is also high in fiber and antioxidants.
This doesn’t have to be some “diet” where the first time you see cake break into a cold sweat and cave into its deliciousness. Really, this doesn’t have to be considered a diet at all. All this is are some healthy methods to cut back on the amount of calories you consume and create a more nutritional variety of foods.