Food Swaps for Healthy Living

Have you gone the road making huge changes to your eating habits only to find yourself failing again and again? Well, the truth is making huge changes in a short period of time may appear promising but is not manageable and practical. As always I wanted to tell you’ll about some small manageable and sustainable changes that you can make in your diet that will not only help you stay fit but will also have a great impact in improving your health in the long run!

Let’s start with Breakfast-

1) Granola, cornflakes with steel cut oats or muesli
Granola or cornflakes may sound like a healthy option but they are heavy on calories and sugar. So, I suggest swap it with steel-cut oat, provided you are not gluten intolerant. You can also swap it with chia seeds pudding or muesli. Chia seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, rich in antioxidants, and they provide fiber, iron, and calcium. And muesli is high in fiber and whole grains, which regulate the digestive system, and help with weight control and super easy to make. Muesli is also a potent source of antioxidants. Just add some fruits and Viola your nutritious breakfast is ready.

2) Instead of white bread grab multi-fiber brown bread
White bread may do more harm than good by providing excess calories and few nutrients. On the other hand, multi fiber brown bread contains whole grains and provides fiber, vitamin B, and minerals.

3) Coffee with milk to Americano or green tea
Love coffee? But too much caffeine combined with milk is hazardous to your digestion and causes acidity. So swap the milk based coffee with Americano or go for a mug of green tea or black tea without milk and sugar. Green tea and black coffee both are filled with antioxidants and have scores of health benefits! However, if you still want to add milk, add almond milk (plant based milk) or soya milk! Almond milk is high in vitamin D and low on sugar, and soya milk contains vitamin B6, vitamin B 12, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K.

4) Salad dressings with lime and pepper
Most dressings available in the market are loaded with saturated fat, sugar and oil. So if you are thinking why you’re not losing weight despite eating salad, let me tell you it’s may be because of the dressing you use! So instead of any dressing, use freshly squeezed lime and dash of mustard, salt and pepper. Lime and pepper both have amazing benefits for weight loss and so instead of increasing calories they will aid the weight loss process!

5) Instead of Cruotons in salads use some walnuts
Croutons are bread based and ultimately contain more carbs. Swap it with walnuts which contain a number of neuroprotective compounds, including vitamin E, folate, melatonin, omega-3 fats, and antioxidants. Research shows walnut consumption may support brain health, including increasing inferential reasoning in young adults.

6) Creamy soups with broths
We all think soups are healthy but don’t be misled. Creamy soups or canned soups are high on calories and fats because they are loaded with sodium, sugar and chemicals that we can’t even pronounce. Swap them with home cooked broths and clear soups. These will be healthier and will be rich in nutrient value. Moreover, they also taste great! Add herbs and spices to make them flavorful and also packed with nutrients.

7) Swap dairy milk with almond milk
Many dairy farmers put hormones in the diets of their milk-producing cows. These hormones are meant to increase milk production so that farmers are able to supply a larger quantity of milk to consumers. There is some concern that these hormones increase your risk of developing prostate, breast and colorectal cancer. Almond milk is low in fat but high in energy, lipids, proteins and fiber. It is rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, zinc, potassium, iron etc. you can also make almond milk at home. Watch my video for homemade almond milk

8) Drinks with sparkling water with lemon or orange.
Drinks or canned juices, sugary or frizzy drinks in general have a lot of calories and add up to your sugar intake. So simply replace it with sparkling water with lemon or orange. Lemon and orange both have vitamin C which is great for eliminating toxins. You can also infuse it with coconut water, cucumber , mint leaves and berries, tastier and healthier options for overall health and well-being.

9) Vegetable cooking oil with coconut oil
Since vegetable oils are chemically produced, artificial antioxidants that help prevent food from oxidizing or spoiling too quickly. These chemicals may cause liver/kidney damage, immune problems, infertility or sterility, high cholesterol, and behavioral problems in children. Coconut oil is high in natural saturated fats. Saturated fats not only increase the healthy cholesterol (known as HDL cholesterol) in your body, but also help convert the LDL bad cholesterol into good cholesterols. Heat, along with light and oxygen, can destroy the beneficial fats in some oils. Polyunsaturated fats are the most fragile and are not recommended for cooking. Coconut oil, being mainly a saturated fat, is able to withstand higher temperatures than other oils, making it one of the best oils for cooking.

10) Instead of white rice, cauliflower rice or brown rice, use wild rice
Forget white rice, cauliflower rice or brown rice and start eating wild rice! Wild rice keeps your digestion smooth and helps lower cholesterol and is a good source of essential minerals such as phosphorus, zinc and folate, which give you energy and nurture your bones. Just put it in food processer, its extremely easy to make.

11) Instead of protein bars grab some almonds
Protein bars are highly processed and often contain large amounts of sugar. Almonds contain lots of healthy fats, fiber, protein, magnesium and vitamin E. The health benefits of almonds include lower blood sugar levels, reduced blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels.

12) Sugar with stevia
One teaspoon of sugar contains 15 calories, which can add hundreds of extra calories to your daily caloric intake. Stevia is a natural sugar that regulates blood sugar and blood pressure.

13)Dairy ice creams with banana freeze ice cream
Dairy iced creams contain a lot of calories and fats. Swap it with banana freeze up and blend it and you can get an awesome ice cream. Banana is high in potassium. Potassium is an essential mineral which maintains proper heart function and regulates your blood pressure. Banana also aids in digestion.

14)Red meat with fish
Red meats are high in saturated fat, which raises blood cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease. Fish is loaded with important nutrients, such as protein and vitamin D. Fish is also the world’s best source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are incredibly important for your body and brain.

15) High fat desserts with berries
High fat desserts will leave you fatigued. So rather take some berries and add some coconut milk to it and you have a creamy yummy dessert ready to satiate that sweet tooth!

16) Regular chocolate to dark chocolate
Milk chocolate is loaded with sugar and calories. So swap it with dark chocolate! Dark chocolate can improve health and lower the risk of heart disease. Dark chocolate is also a powerful source of antioxidants and nutrients.

17) Eating out to swap cooking at home
My favorite and most important swap, Eating junk food or generally eating outside causes bad bacteria to enter your system and since you are unaware of the nutrients it has, you tend to feel acidic and put on weight. We don’t know how the food is cooked and how much of , what ingredients are used. Mostly overcooked in lotsa butter. While cooking at home, you can be more mindful about your eating habits and feel better.

Learning to cook is the biggest skill one can have to live healthier.

All these little food swaps can result in some huge calorie savings and add more nutrition to your diet. So remember these food swaps next time you’re indulging in your favourite food, so that you can enjoy your meal while not feeling guilty!

Small changes can make a huge impact, make changes slowly, one by one and be consistent to see results. That’s the key to success. Print this list and save with you or save on your phone to keep reminding yourself.
Do you have any more ideas for healthy food swaps? Please share with me and my tribe.

Love and Health




I am Uma - entrepreneur, award winning television personality,philanthropist and an eternal optimist dedicated to helping you liveyour dreams by bringing daily insights, fitness inspiration, cleaneating and beauty and wellness resources.Join me in this space and lets start this beautiful journey together.

Uma Ghosh
Poor nutrition causes nearly half (45%) of deaths in children under five – 3.1 million children each year. It costs only US$ 0.50 to feed a child for a day.

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