When it comes to food swaps, the key is not to solely swap out unhealthy, high-calorie foods for tasteless, low-calorie foods. Instead, you should be replacing empty calories with nutrient-dense foods so that you’re getting the most out of what you put in your body. When the opportunity arises, try out the below for some simple swaps that will still hit your cravings.
Swap potato (77 calories per 100g) for pumpkin (26 calories per 100g) – Both of these starchy veggies contain carbs, but pumpkin is a lot more nutritionally dense and contains less than a quarter of the carbs.
Swap white chocolate (162 calories per 30g) for unsweetened dried cranberries (90 calories per 30g) – Got a sweet tooth moment coming on? You can save a crazy amount of sugar and calories by reaching for unsweetened dried cranberries instead of white chocolate. Cranberries also contain anthocyanins which are a particularly effective type of antioxidant found in dark red and blue berries.
Swap peanuts (170 calories per 30g) for edamame (37 calories per 30g) – In the mood for something salty? Snack smart and go for edamame instead of those greasy peanuts. You can save upwards of 140 calories in one sitting! Edamame also contain more calcium, iron, vitamin C and potassium than peanuts.
Swap potato chips (137 calories per cup) for popcorn (30 calories per cup) – This is one of the savviest swaps because you barely notice the difference! Popcorn still hits the salty, crunchy craving you get at the movies. But there’s a big difference calorie-wise. A cup of popcorn only contains about 30 calories, whereas a cup of greasy, deep fried chips or crisps can contain up to 140 calories. Yikes! Besides that, popcorn contains more dietary fibre, polyphenol antioxidants and a stack more vitamins.
Swap crackers (152 calories per 30g) for fresh apple slices (16 calories per 30g) – Bear with us, we know we’re starting to mess with some of your favourite foods now, but switching your cheese accompaniments can give you big wins on the scales and deliver improved nutrition too. Besides, you still get to have cheese, which is the most important thing, right? Choose fresh apple slices instead of cheesy crackers and you can bank more than 130 calories per 30 gram serve. Bonus? Apples contain quercetin which has been linked to decreased cancer risk.
Swap sourdough bread (92 calories per slice) for whole wheat bread (69 calories per slice) – There are some things you just have to find out for yourself. And the calorie counts of some breads is one of them. You wouldn’t think there’d be such a huge difference, but there is. Opting for whole wheat bread instead of fancy sourdough or vienna can save you upwards of 200 calories on that cafe breakfast. Which leaves more for coffee, right?
Swap sugary cereal (Frosted Mini Wheats – 200 calories per 30g) for oats (111 calories per 30g) – Sometimes it’s the old-fashioned things that are a better option! Oats are incredibly good for you, they contain both soluble and insoluble fibre and they’re packed full of nutrition. Plus, opting for oats instead of some of those fancy-pants sugary cereals can save you around 80-100 calories per serve.
Swap full milk latte (Starbucks latte with syrup – 380 calories per 1 cup) for black coffee (4 calories per 1 cup) – Ahh coffee, it always makes mornings better. But did you know there’s a huge difference in the calories when you compare your morning cup of joe and a fancy barista made latte? A basic black coffee made at home contains only about 4 calories per cup, whereas the drink de jour at that trendy coffee shop can contain up to 400, depending on which size you order (and upwards of 50 grams of sugar too.) Sip smart and opt for black coffee or coffee with just a small splash of milk and you’ll save on the calories big time.
Swap sweet biscuits (71 calories per 1) for a corn thin (23 calories per 1) – Think that sneaky plain sweet biscuit at 3pm isn’t going to make much difference? Think again. Just because it’s not a double stuffed Oreo or a double coat caramel Tim Tam doesn’t mean it’s a good choice. Even a plain old digestive biscuit packs a fair calorie wallop. Swap it for a plain corn thin and you can more than halve the calories.
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