Hey Y’all! Today, I’m sharing 21 Healthy Food Swaps to really step up your health and weight loss results.
Making small changes to your diet really does make a big difference with your energy levels, mental clarity, weight loss results, and overall health. And, to be honest, most of these healthy food swaps taste just as good as the original (or better!).
If you give any of these food swaps a try, be sure to comment below and let me know what you think. Or, if you have any healthy food swap ideas that I didn’t mention in this article, comment that below also!! Alright, lets get started!
#1 – Swap Roasted Nuts for Raw Nuts & Seeds
Did you know that most roasted nuts are actually fried, not roasted? Um, yeah!! I didn’t know either until I did my research on it. And, I actually did a video about how to find truly roasted nuts. So, be sure to check that out.
But, in short, the reason I try to stick to raw nuts and seeds as much as possible is because they haven’t been heated, which ensures that the fats (most likely) haven’t oxidized and nutrients are still intact.
#2 – Swap Processed Nut Butters for Natural Nut Butters
Most of the nut butters in stores today are full of added oils, sugars, and artificial ingredients. Why add nasty ingredients to something that’s already naturally tasty?? Instead, choose a nut butter that contains only 1 ingredient – the actual grounded nuts.
And, you can even take it a step further and get raw, sprouted nut butters for optimal absorption and digestion. But, I do admit that does get expensive. So, when I have time, I like to make my own sprouted almond butter. That way I can control what ingredients are used.
#3 – Swap Refined White Flours for Almond or Coconut Flour
Refined flours have been high processed and stripped of all nutrition. Plus, they usually contain gluten, which is hard on the digestive system. So, I suggest replacing refined flours with a much cleaner option like almond or coconut flour. These flours are much easier to digest, less inflammatory, and very versatile. (FYI: coconut flour doesn’t taste like coconuts).
#4 – Swap Regular Flour Tortillas for Grain Free Tortillas
While we’re on the topic of which flours to use, how about switching your regular flour tortillas for a grain free tortilla. Again, it’s less inflammatory, easier to digest, lower in carbs, and still just as delicious! You can make your own grain free wraps at home using almond or coconut flour. Or, personally, I’m obsessed with the Siete Foods Grain Free wraps.
Having healthy tortillas/wraps on hand ensures that I can easily whip up a healthy wrap on days when I’m extremely busy and haven’t had time to meal prep.
#5 – Swap Mashed Potatoes for Cauli-mash
From time to time, I do love to indulge in organic mashed potatoes. But, on days when I’m trying to watch my carbs (I adhere to a carb-cycling eating style), I like to use mashed cauliflower (aka Cauli-mash) instead. Not only is it lower in carbs, but it’s also a great way to sneak in more veggies and fiber!
By the way, the trick to getting the texture super smooth like real mashed potatoes is to use a handheld immersion blender (as shown in video at end of this post). It works like a charm and makes it taste very close to the real thing!
#6 – Swap Fruit Smoothies for High Fiber Smoothies
The biggest mistake I see people make when they start working with me is that they are adding too many fruits (sugars) to their smoothies. You’re essentially drinking liquid sugar. And, even though it’s healthier than refined sugars, it still spikes your insulin. Insulin is the fat-storing hormone, so we want to avoid spiking it too much, especially if you’re goal is to lose weight. Keeping insulin levels steady is one of the biggest keys to weight loss.
So, I suggest adding minimal fruits to your smoothies and start adding lots of healthy fats (i.e. avocado, hemp seeds, almond butter, MCT Oil, etc.) and fiber (i.e. greens, veggies, ground chia seeds, etc.) to your smoothies instead. This will not only ensure that you don’t spike insulin too much, but it’ll also keep you full for hours!
#7 – Swap White Vinegar for Apple Cider Vinegar
I love having distilled white vinegar on hand but for cleaning purposes to eating! Lol! When it comes to consuming vinegars, I love adding in apple cider vinegar when possible. In order to reap all of its health benefits, be sure to get raw, unpasteurized and look the label ‘with the mother.’ The ‘mother’ contains loads of health benefits, including antibacterial properties, antioxidants, and a small amount of nutrients.
#8 – Swap Farm-Raised Salmon for Wild-Caught Alaskan Salmon
Farm-raised fish, including salmon, have been shown to contain toxic contaminants and pesticides. And, there usually fed a diet of GMO corn and soy. Not only that, but they’ve also shown to be lower in nutritional value compared to wild-caught salmon.
So, I highly suggest only consuming wild-caught salmon, and currently the Alaskan waters seem to be the least toxic when it comes to the pollution of heavy metals, etc. Personally, I like to order from Vital Choice when I order any type of seafood. They are of the highest quality I’ve come across and use sustainable practices. **They’re sockeye salmon, salmon sausage, and salmon patties are on another level of delicious-ness!!
#9 – Swap Regular Pasta Noodles for Zucchini Noodles (aka Zoodles)
Refined pasta noodles are not only high in carbs (which spikes insulin), but they’re pretty much void of nutrition. Instead, I suggest using zucchini noodles when you’re craving pasta. Not only are they low in carbs, but they’re another great way to sneak in some veggies and fiber.
And, you don’t have to eat them raw either. I like to saute my zoodles in coconut oil and season with sea salt, pepper, and herbs. The softer they are, the more they resemble the texture of real pasta noodles. If you haven’t tried my Low Carb Creamy Shrimp & Bacon Skillet over Zoodles, you’re missing out! 🙂
#10 – Swap Processed Salad Dressings for Homemade or High Quality
I admit, back in my teens and early 20s, I use to drown my salads with either Ranch or Thousand Island. I must’ve added an extra 600 calories to my salad just from the dressing… Lol! Then, I began my health journey and realized that many of the store-bought salad dressings are full of pro-inflammatory vegetable oils, preservatives, artificial flavors, and contain a laundry list of other ingredients.
So, I suggest either making your own homemade salad dressings. Of, if you’re strapped for time, then choose a high quality store-bought dressing. When I don’t have time to meal prep, I like to use the Primal Kitchen line of salad dressings (the ranch is my fav!). **I was able to get you 10% off all their products with code KAYLA10
#11 – Swap Regular Coffee for Organic Coffee
Okay, to all my fellow coffee lovers out there, I need you to really pay attention to this one! Did you know that non-organic coffee beans are one of the highest sprayed crops in America? So, when you drink that cup of joe, you’re also ingesting toxic pesticides.
This is why I highly suggest either buying organic coffee beans or beans from a trusted small supplier where you can guarantee that there are no chemical residues. Personally, I use the Bulletproof Coffee Beans because they’re tested for toxins and molds. They’re the only coffee beans that don’t give me a headache!
#12 – Swap Vegetable Oils for Coconut Oil
Vegetable oils are highly processed and very unstable when heated, meaning they oxidize quickly and create free radicals, which are not good for your health at all! In addition to that, most vegetable oils are derived from GMO sources that are sprayed to death with toxic pesticides.
So, instead of using vegetable oils, try using unrefined coconut oil. It’s much cleaner option, and it has a smoke point of 350 degrees F. This means that it’s heat stable and doesn’t oxidize or cause free radicals when heated.
#13 – Swap Sodas & Diet Sodas for Flavored Sparkling Water
Pretty much all of us crave something fizzy and/or carbonated from time to time. But, I’m sure if you’re reading this post that you also know that sodas and diet sodas are full of nasty ingredients. Yes, even diet sodas should be avoid because they contain artificial sweeteners that can be harmful to your health.
So, anytime I’m craving something carbonated, I usually reach for a flavored sparkling water. Currently, I’m liking the Waterloo brand, which I found at Costco. They’re zero carbs, sugars, and calories. And, there’s no artificial anything!
#14 – Swap Regular Yogurt for Coconut or Almond Yogurt
Many of the yogurts out there, including non-dairy options, are full of added sugars. So, we all know to get the unsweetened varieties. But, if you’re sensitive to dairy or trying to avoid it, then making the switch to a coconut or almond yogurt can make a huge difference in your digestion, bloating, and overall energy levels. Even if you’re not sensitive to dairy, it’s still a healthier choice, IMO.
By getting the unsweetened varieties, it allows you to have more control over how much sugar is added. Personally, I like to add some fresh berries, coconut flakes, and cacao nibs to my yogurt. Not only am I able to control the added ingredients, but by adding my own toppings, I’m able to sneak in more fiber and nutrition.
#15 – Swap Rice for Cauliflower Rice
I love to indulge in organic rice, especially on my higher carb days. But, if I’m trying to watch my carbs or want to sneak in some extra veggies and fiber, then cauliflower rice is the way to go!
It’s so versatile too. You can use it in a healthy stir fry, homemade sushi, etc. If you haven’t tried my Coconut Shrimp with Pineapple Fried ‘Rice’ recipe yet, you must! It’s super good!
By the way, the easier way to make cauliflower rice is by using the grating tool on your food processor. Also, Costco sells cauliflower rice!
#16 – Swap Refined Sugar for Raw Honey or Low Carb Sugar
I think this one goes without saying. We all know refined white sugar is horrible for our health. It’s void of any nutrition, it’s addictive, and it’s spikes insulin dramatically.
So, I suggest opting for a more naturally derived sugar, such as raw honey. Be careful though… because you can overdo it with natural sugars as well. But, with raw honey, at least you’re getting the added benefit of the antibacterial properties, active enzymes, and a small amount of nutrition.
For a lower carb option, I like to use liquid Stevia drops, Monk Fruit, or Birch Xylitol.
#17 – Swap Milk Chocolate for Organic Dark Chocolate
I’m not a huge chocolate fan until it’s that time of the month… then, I’m a fanatic (sorry, TMI, lol)! But, I’m sure some of you women can relate to the major chocolate cravings that we tend to get sometimes. Well, there’s actually a scientific reason behind them! You’re body is most likely craving magnesium, and organic dark chocolate is very high in this mineral.
Plus, most of the candy bars you see in the checkout line contain non-organic dairy, lots of sugar, and artificial ingredients. So, I suggest opting for an organic dark chocolate bar not only to avoid the nasty ingredients, but also to get a hefty dose of magnesium.
And, to be honest, many of the dark chocolate bars these days are just as good and super rich in flavor, which means you don’t need as much to curb your chocolate cravings!
#18 – Swap Store-Bought Puddings for Chia Pudding
Okay, this might be my favorite healthy food swap because I’m completely in love with chia pudding! And, most people don’t understand my obsession until I make it for them… then, they’re hooked too!!
If you’ve never tried chia pudding, here’s a good place to start – My 4 Favorite Chia Pudding Recipes
Chia pudding is full of healthy fats, fiber, and it keeps you full for hours. Plus, it’s so versatile! You can get creative with different flavors and toppings, so you’ll never get bored!
#19 – Swap Regular Milk for Unsweetened Almond or Coconut Milk
I know, I know! You’ve heard this one a million times. But, making this healthy food swap really does make a big difference, especially if you’re sensitive to dairy. It’s less inflammatory and much easier to digest.
If you’re going to continue consuming regular milk, then I highly suggest getting organic to avoid the added growth hormones in non-organic milk. These hormones can really affect your own hormonal system and create an imbalance.
#20 – Swap Breadcrumbs for Ground Flax Seeds
Did you know that most breadcrumbs are made with enriched wheat flour (creates inflammation), partially hydrogenated oils (creates inflammation), and all sorts of other nasty ingredients?
So, in recipes that call for breadcrumbs, such as meatloaf, I like to substitute with ground flax seeds. Not only do they have a similar texture to breadcrumbs, but they’re a great source of healthy fats and fiber. So, they make for the perfect healthy substitute.
Here’s how I use ground flax seeds in my Grain Free Meatloaf Recipe.
#21 – Swap Chocolate Ice Cream for Chocolate Banana Ice Cream
Again, this healthy food swap is especially great for those of you trying to avoid dairy. But, it’s also a great way to reduce your consumption of sugars and artificial ingredients.
To make chocolate banana ice cream, all you need to do is add frozen bananas and raw cacao powder to a food processor and blend until smooth (you may need to add a bit of almond milk). Then, you can add whatever healthy toppings you want, and you have yourself a delicious ice cream with only 2 ingredients!
Alright y’all! That’s it for today’s post. I hope some of these healthy food swap ideas were new to you, and I hope you give them a try! If you do, be sure to comment below to let me know how you like them. See ya soon!