Image by: Takver
By Jake Bradshaw
With all the food we have in our kitchen, it’s easy to settle into bad eating habits without thinking of the health hazards. So many foods are filled with chemicals and additives, most which are never meant to be consumed in the human body. But one thing is for sure: if it’s in your kitchen, you will eat it. So why not substitute the bad foods for the good ones?
#1) Bacon —> Turkey Bacon
Turkey is an all round better substitute for most meats. It’s lean (like chicken), high in protein (like chicken), and low in fat. Turkey bacon has half the calories and way less fat than pork. Not to mention, with the right foods, you can hardly taste the difference.
#2) Beer —> Dark Beer
One might not think that beer is at all healthy, well it’s sort of not. But what dark beer has, other beers lack, which is antioxidants and nutrients. Porters and stouts have way less calories than pale ales and are more likely to fill you up faster.
#3) Milk —> Soy or Almond Milk
Cow’s milk is made for cows, so it’s no surprise that it’s full of saturated fats and cholesterol. Almond and soy milks are a much better alternative having far more nutrients and vitamins with 80 – 90% less fat, calories, and everything else meant for a cow.
#4) Eggs —> Egg Whites
Eggs are a great source of protein regardless of whether there’s egg yolks inside or not, however, by ridding your eggs of the yolk, you are cutting ALL the fat and cholesterol from your meal – which is always nice. An egg yolk has 54 calories, 5 grams of fat, and 210 mg of cholesterol, compared to an egg white which has 15 calories, 0 grams of fat, and 0 mg of cholesterol.
#5) Ice Cream —> Sorbet, Sherbert, Fat-free Yogurt
Everyone loves to chow down on some ice cream, but even Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins of Baskin and Robbins had their limits. Baskin died of a heart attack and Robbins died of long suffering diabetes. Why not switch up the cholesterol, sugar, and calorie induced coma for some light sorbet and sherbert?
Sherbert has similar texture as ice cream and if you add favorite toppings to it – like nuts, gummies, or sugar free chocolate minis – you can pretend it’s the real thing.
#6) Cookies/Chips —> Rice Cakes, Air-Popped Popcorn, Fig Bars, Low-Sodium Saltines
Processed cookies are filled with sugars and high fructose corn syrup, which can really piss of your inner organs and digestive system. Often times, these foods never get processed and they get lodged in the body. This makes your belly soft, fat, and pudgy.
Just one Oreo is 70 calories. Substitute it for a less caloric and processed cookie. If the texture is similar enough, your brain might even convince itself that it’s eating the real thing.
#7) Tortillas —> Lettuce
Not everyone will be a fan of this idea, but if you look at the nutritional facts of the every day tortilla, you will find a paragraph at least 25 lines full of chemicals and preservatives. Who needs that? Instead, wrap it up with lettuce. It will help you digest the food better while giving you more nutrients and a lot less fat.
#8) Ground Beef —> Ground Turkey
Most people use ground beef in hamburgers, meat loaf and pasta, but ground turkey can do everything that beef does, except with a lot more health benefits. It’s not as rough in the digestive track and doesn’t have a track record of clogging up arteries, plus it’s higher in protein and is more lean than the average ground beef.
#9) Guacamole —> Cucumber Slices and Lettuce Leaves with Seasoning
Guacamole isn’t exactly the best for you, even though we try to use the excuse that avocado is nutritious – which it is, but it’s also very high in calories, fat, and saturated fat. The combination of cucumbers mixed with lettuce leaves can give you a pretty decent texture. Add it with the right seasoning, and can create a nice substitute. Most salsas are another healthier alternative.
#10) Fryer/Grill —> Oven
What people don’t realize is that you can get nearly the same results in an oven than you do with a fryer or grill. The only difference is in an oven, you preserve all the vitamin and mineral content within the foods, where in a fryer they completely disappear and soak in the contents of the oil like a sponge.
One tbsp. of the average frying oil contains 120 calories, which means nearly all of that is transferred even to the healthiest of foods. In baking, the outside of the food gets crunchy (which can give the illusion of it being grilled or fried), but it still keeps its healthy contents.
Here’s a tip: Instead of frying your chicken, put it in the oven. Prepare it just like you would if you’re going to fry it, but instead of throwing it in oil, place it on an oven rack. It’s delicious and eliminates all the pressure of the clean up.
#11) Meat —> Eggplant
Eggplant is an excellent substitute for meat. Most sophisticated restaurants know the nutritional benefits of it, plus the texture makes it a pretty decent substitute for chicken, beef, and pork. Though it is a little high in sodium, it’s low in saturated fat and cholesterol. It’s also high in Vitamin K, Thiamin, Vitamin B6, and Dietary Fiber.
#12) Snacks —> Make Your Own
Why over think your snacks when you can just make your own? Nuts, dried fruits, chocolate covered peanuts, pretzels, etc. can make an excellent trail mix. Believe it or not, a lot of the companies that provide similar snacks fill them with preservatives during production which prohibits its natural contents to distribute in the body. Skip that step, and make your own snacks.
#13) White Rice —> Brown Rice
Brown rice is one of nature’s most beneficial foods. Not only does it have more minerals, nutrients, and water in one grain than 5 grains of white rice, it has shown to create a longer life span in many cultures around the world.
Brown rice is white rice’s original state. Through the milling process, makers remove the bran and the germ as well as fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which enriches the white rice with extra content – still, the process makes for an imbalance of acidic content. Brown is mother nature’s true form and it is always going to be the better choice.