Simple Food Swaps for Healthier Meals

Simple Food Swaps For Healthier Meals

This month is all about putting your best fork forward. Making small swaps can help you lower calories and manage your weight and diabetes. This doesn't mean you have to change your diet completely or give up your favorite treats. Sometimes a simple swap is all you need to make a meal healthier when cooking at home.

Where do I start?

A simple swap like adding more nonstarchy vegetables to a meal or recipe and reducing starch is a great place to start. Try using The Diabetes Plate Method which shows half of your plate as nonstarchy vegetables and is an easy tool to get you started. Another swap could be changing whole milk to 2% or 1%. Even one small change can make a difference.

Try these simple swaps.

Cut back on Carbs

Pasta – Add nonstarchy vegetables like mushrooms, spinach, broccoli and onions to create bulk and cut back on the pasta or buy a vegetable spiralizer and replace pasta with zucchini noodles.
Mashed potatoesAdd half potatoes and half cauliflower or replace with all cauliflower
Baked potato – Try a sweet potato and if it's a large potato scoop out some of the middle and fill with broccoli and a sprinkle of slivered almonds.
Bread crumbs – Sprinkle on top instead of coating the entire piece of chicken or veggie
Pizza crust – Try making a crust with cauliflower, chickpeas or zucchiniBread – Try a whole wheat tortilla, vegetable, or lettuce

Choose Grains with More Fiber

White flour – Whole wheat flour, almond meal
Plain bread crumbs – Whole wheat bread crumbs, flaxseed
White pasta – Whole wheat pasta
White rice – Brown rice, quinoa, barley, bulgur, farro
White crackers – Whole grain crackers
White bread – Whole grain bread

Reduce Fat and Calories

Whole milk – Low-fat milk, skim milk, nonfat milk, soymilk, almond milk
Heavy cream – 2% milk, 1% milk or skim
Butter – Vegetable oil, canola oil, olive oil, vegetable oil spreads
Regular cheese – Use less or choose reduced-fat cheese, 2%, 1%, part skim
Sour cream – Reduced-fat sour cream or plain or Greek yogurt
Cream cheese – Reduced-fat or light cream cheese
Mayonnaise – Reduced-fat mayo or plain nonfat yogurt
Yogurt (full fat) – Low-fat or nonfat yogurt
Ground beef – Lean ground beef (90%) or lean ground turkey

Reduce Sodium

SaltFresh or dried herbs, salt-free seasonings
Canned vegetables – Fresh or frozen vegetables or "no added salt" canned vegetables

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