So you want to eat a little healthier but you aren’t quite sure where to start. Don’t worry! Eating healthy doesn’t mean giving up your favorite foods or abandoning your favorite restaurants. Here are a couple easy swaps you can make to make your meals healthier:
1. Turkey burger instead of a bacon cheeseburger
Bacon, fatty cheeses, and red meat (like beef) are all sources of unhealthy fats. By switching over to a turkey burger and skipping the bacon and cheese, you’ll get a healthier, protein-packed meal. Turkey is considered a “lean meat” and has a lot of protein.
2. Marinara (tomato) sauce instead of cream or Alfredo sauce
Going out for Italian? What you put on top of your pasta can make a big difference. Red, tomato-based sauces are lower in unhealthy calories, saturated fats, cholesterol, and sodium than cream based sauces like Alfredo sauce. Bonus points if you swap out your noodles for a whole grain pasta.
3. Sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes
Believe it or not, sweet potatoes are low in calories, and high in vitamin A, vitamin B5, B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin. In fact, one large sweet potato has more than 100 percent of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin A. According to the National Institutes of Health, Vitamin A is linked to anti-aging benefits, cancer prevention and the maintenance of good eyesight.
4. Brown rice instead of white
For a super easy sub-in, just use brown rice instead of white. White rice is created by removing the bran and germ portions of brown rice, which also strips it of some of its nutritional value. Brown rice is whole grain, and is high in fiber and antioxidants—all things that are important parts of a healthy diet. Brown rice is also higher in selenium, which reduces the risk for developing common illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and arthritis, as well as Manganese, which helps the body synthesize fats. Studies have also shown that brown rice and reduce your risk of developing diabetes, and can help keep your blood sugar from spiking up.
5. Dressing On the Side Instead of On Your Salad
Creamy ranch dressings can be delicious, but they pack a punch in terms of unhealthy fats and empty calories. Order dressing on the side and plan to use just a little bit. You can try dipping your fork in the dressing for some added flavor that doesn’t drown out the nutritional value of your salad.