Our favorite foods tend to be full of unhealthy sugars, fats, and carbs, but it doesn't have to be that way. There are tons of healthier alternatives to our favorite foods that taste as good and are full of the nutrients we need. To help you lead a healthier lifestyle, we are sharing our favorite alternatives to otherwise unhealthy foods that you can implement into your every day routine!
Most pastas are made of starchy grains with low nutrition value, and it takes more than the recommended portion size to fill you up. So, to make sure you are eating more vitamins and minerals, we love using zoodles (zucchini noodles), spiraled beets, or spaghetti squash instead of pasta. Zucchini is full of vitamins A and C, is low in calories, and has many essential minerals. Beets are full of folate and vitamin C, and is known for its anti-inflammatory and detoxification properties. Spaghetti squash is high in Vitamins A and B-6 and is very low in carbs and calories. Click the images below for our favorite zoodle, beet spiral, and spaghetti squash recipes!
Red & Fatty Meat Alternatives
Red meats are high in iron, B-12, and protein; however, too much red meat can lead to heart disease because of it's fat high content. To help reduce the amount of red meat you consume, we have come up with three delicious alternatives! Tofu is a staple in the vegetarian world. Tofu is made of soybeans and contains all the essential amino acids you need! It soaks up the flavors of sauces extremely well and can be used in many different ways. Jackfruit is used heavily in vegan recipes and is native to India. It's texture is similar to cooked chicken, and is readily available in canned form. Fish is our favorite alternative to red meat for those of you who are not vegetarian. Fish is full of healthy fats, is tasty, and there are so many different kinds and ways to prepare it!
Sugar & Sweetener Alternatives
Refined sugars, such as sugar from cane or sugar beets, are high in calories and can become extremely addictive. Limiting the amounts of refined sugars we eat can help boost metabolism, burn more fat, and lower risk of sugar related diseases like diabetes. Our favorite alternatives to refined sugars are natural sugars such as coconut sugar, stevia, maple syrup, honey, or dates! Next time you reach for a sugar packet to put in your coffee, try adding coconut sugar or honey instead. Dates are perfect for sweetening soups and sauces, just puree a few and add to your recipe while cooking!
Like pasta, rice is healthy when eaten in correct portion sizes, but in excess is high in calories and carbohydrates. To add more nutrition to your rice-based dishes, we want to introduce you to the growingly popular alternatives: cauliflower rice and quinoa. Cauliflower rice can be tedious to make at home, so for on the go or quick meals pick up a bag of frozen cauliflower rice at your local grocery store. Cauliflower rice is great at absorbing liquids such as curry and adds lots of nutrients to your dish like vitamin C and K, folate, and omega-3. Quinoa is an excellent source of protein and fiber. It comes in a few varieties and colors and is super easy to make. You can even make a large batch and store in the refrigerator!
Those Pesky Sweet Cravings Alternatives
Sweet cravings are wrench in anyone's healthy lifestyle. We all get them and we all cave. To help you make healthier decisions when it comes to your sweet cravings, we have a few alternatives that will kick cravings in the butt! Pickles, believe it or not, are a great craving quencher. Pickles, an other fermented foods, increase the immune system which helps regulate appetite and reduce sugar cravings. And at 5 calories per pickle, you can manage to indulge a little. Try to buy pickles with little added sugars (look near the deli refrigerators instead of down the condiment aisle). Fruit is an obvious alternative, because it is naturally sweet (think natural sugars over processed sugars), and is full of antioxidants and vitamins. If you want chocolate, try eating a few pieces of dark chocolate. Most dark chocolate bars have yummy and healthier flavor options such as orange or ginger! Got soda cravings? Try zero calorie seltzers. Seltzers satisfy your carbonation craving and come in a variety of sweet, but no sugar added, flavors.