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At RNL we love healthy food swaps, or as we call it upgrading. This is where you simply upgrade your favorite foods to the healthiest versions so you can always enjoy without the guilt. Here are several of our favorite small food swaps to make you healthier instantly.
Swap Cows Milk for Nut Milk:
Cows milk can be a real problem for so many of our clients. It’s linked to allergies, weight gain, digestive issues, bloating, and acne to name a few. Nut milk is high in beneficial fats and plant-based calcium. Just look for carrageenan-free (read this) and skip the soy milk.
Swap Coffee for Green Tea:
Loaded with antioxidants called catechins, specifically EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate) green tea boosts metabolism to help burn fat, all while avoiding the potential harmful effects of coffee. This one is linked to weight loss!
Swap Chocolate for Raw Cacao:
Raw cacao is nothing short of unadulterated superfood goodness. It is the number one food source for magnesium. Magnesium is essential in balancing brain chemistry, building strong bones, and regulating blood pressure, and heartbeat. It is also full of iron, calcium, manganese, zinc, copper, and potassium.
Swap Sports Drinks for Coconut Water:
Coconut water is a perfect re-hydrant full of electrolytes and potassium. When you can, crack a fresh organic coconut and eat the meat in place of ice cream. This is a good brand when you can’t crack a fresh one.
Swap Soda for Kombucha
Kombucha is full of energizing B vitamins, enzymes, and probiotics which improve energy, digestion, weight loss, detoxification, and immune support all without the chemicals and refined sugar in soda.
Swap Canola Oil for Avocado Oil
Canola oil creates inflammation in the body and is often genetically modified. Avocado oil is safe at high heat, lowers cholesterol, and is a great source of vitamin A,E, D as well as magnesium and antioxidants.
Swap Mayo for Avocado
Avocados are natures perfect food! Eating one avocado per day, post-pregnancy will balance hormones perfectly. They contain twice the potassium of bananas, fiber, B & E vitamins, and are one of the safest fruits to buy conventionally. Or at least swap traditional mayo for avocado mayo.
Swap Soy Sauce for Coconut Aminos
Coconut aminos are a delicious soy alternative. They are vegan, gluten free, soy free, dairy free, MSG free, and certified organic. The aminos are made of coconut sap, and include 17 naturally occurring amino acids (far more than soy sauce!). Rich in Glutamic acid, these aminos support brain function, digestion, and prostate health. The Threonine supports healthy liver, heart, and immune function. Valine aids tissue repair. Aspartic acid helps generate energy. The Alanine keeps blood sugar level. Convinced? 😉 More here.
Swap Oatmeal for Buckwheat
Buckwheat is a not a true grain, but a seed falling much lower on the glycemic index than oats. It’s known for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, but my favorite buckwheat fact is that amino acid profile making it a complete protein, and helping to stabilize blood sugar. This is everything for energy and weight loss. Also, buckwheat makes yummy pancakes 🙂 and is great for baking.
Swap Wheat Bread for Sprouted Bread
Sprouting bread releases all of the vital nutrients in whole grains. Sprouted bread contains protein, is easier to digest, and contains less gluten. While not gluten free, it can be easier for slightly gluten-sensitive individuals to eat. However, sprouted bread is not recommended for Celiac patients or those with true gluten allergies.
Swap Flour Tortillas for Brown Rice tortillas
Brown rice tortillas are going to be far less refined than typical flour tortillas, contain more fiber, and protein. They’re gluten-free and will cause less marked fluctuations in blood sugar, helping maintain a healthy weight.
Swap Potato Chips for Kale Chips
Kale chips contain about 1/5 the calories and are not typically salted with refined salt, like potato chips. They provide the crunch while giving you a nice hit of vitamins A, K, C, antioxidants, and fiber.
Swap Pasta for Zucchini Noodles
Low in calories, and loaded with heart-healthy potassium, zucchini noodles are a great pasta substitute and ideal in the evening to help keep blood sugar level, rather than the spike we get with typical pasta. Zucchini noodles also lower blood pressure and contain vitamin C. You will need a mandolin or spiral slicer to make the noodles.
Swap Peanut Butter for Almond Butter
I adore peanut butter, but for my clients who want to lose weight, and have their best energy, peanut butter falls into the “on occasion” category. It contains mold and is hard on the thyroid. Switch to sprouted almond butter to keep the creamy flavor, without the negative PB effects. Almond butter also contains more heart-healthy fats, fiber, essential minerals, and vitamin E. Check out these 11 awesome flavors!
Swap Refried Beans for Black Beans
When eating out, refried beans are often prepared in low-quality oils, and loaded with refined salt. Black beans are usually a safer option. They are strong antioxidants, a great source of iron, are related to the kidneys in Chinese Medicine, and will help with jawline acne. Black beans help recharge your energy and enhance libido. We like to re-fry black beans at home in coconut oil to make them even more digestible.
Swap Wheat Germ for Chia Seed
Chia seeds are nutrient dense seeds that help improve digestion, boost energy, improve skin, heart health, build strong teeth, and promote weight loss. Chia seeds are also gluten-free, unlike wheat germ.
Swap Protein Powder for Collagen
See this post for a more detailed explanation. Protein powder is processed, and sub-par when compared to collagen, which will help heal digestion, achy joints, build strong hair, nails, keep skin beautiful, and boost metabolism.
Swap Butter for Ghee
Ghee is butter with no milk solids, so it works well for folks who are sensitive to dairy and is stable at high heat. It’s wonderful for the immune system, and heals the lining of the gut. Gee is more alkaline than butter, and has a long shelf life.
Swap Wheat Wrap for Nori Sheets
Nori sheets are a fun way to add variety to any lunch (try this recipe). They are packed with iodine, iron, protein, fiber, and reduce inflammation. Nori is a skin superstar containing twice the omega-3’s of 2 avocados. They also make a great snack.
Swap Corn Syrup for Brown Rice Syrup
Corn syrup adds very little nutrition to food, but contains many calories, and can also spike blood sugar levels. This can lead to obesity, diabetes, and other related health concerns. Many people are allergic to corn and need to avoid all derivatives from it, including corn syrup. Brown rice syrup is a more gentle sweetener on the system and contains more nutrients than corn syrup. Brown rice syrup is typically less genetically modified than corn syrup, so you can feel much better about baking with it. Like all sweeteners, it’s best used in moderation.
Swap Yogurt for Kefir
The healthy bacteria found in yogurt are transient, meaning they move through the gut. The bacteria in kefir actually colonize the intestine and have a higher bacteria count. Kefir also contains beneficial yeast colonies (no, not candida), unlike yogurt.
Swap Tofu for Tempeh
Tempeh is similar to tofu, but it is made by a fermentation process that is more nutritive. The bean part of the soy that we eat in its unfermented form is toxic, which is why it is well known in Asia to soak or ferment the seed/bean to remove the toxins. Tempeh is more versatile and less processed than tofu. Fermented soy contains higher amounts of B vitamins, probiotics, and is an enzyme that helps to open up arteries.
Swap Kidney Beans for Adzuki Beans
Kidney beans always show up as a problem on food sensitivity panels. Choose adzuki beans, and enjoy better digestion with less bloating.
Swap Gas-X for Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes help break down food, absorb nutrients, and prevent gas. Gas X uses simethicone, a mixture of polydimethylsiloxane, and hydrated silica gel. It is an anti-foaming agent also used in detergents. Yeah, no way that’s going in my body!
Which of these swaps can you start this week or have you already tried?? Please comment below!
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Melissa Schollaert is a Holistic Health & Nutrition Counselor and founder of Real Nutritious Living. Helping others achieve their health goals to attain their healthiest, happiest life is her greatest ambition.PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. However, I only recommend products or services I have personally used myself and trust. MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: This content is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease, or as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult with your advising physician before starting any treatment for a medical condition. Real Nutritious Living, LLC shall not be held liable or responsible for any misunderstanding or misuse of the information contained on this site or for any loss, damage, or injury caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by any treatment, action, or application of any food or food source discussed in this site.