Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean endless lunches of limp salads with fat-free dressings. Simple substitutions in meals you make can cut down on fat, calories, sugar or salt without sacrificing flavor. In many cases, taking an all-natural approach adds more flavor than the traditional or prepackaged recipes you may know with no added time or expense. Here are 5 easy ways to put a healthy spin on the foods you’re already loving:
1. Swap in Greek yogurt
Many fruit-on-the-bottom style yogurt cups are full of sugar, and some use gelatin to make it thick. Non-fat Greek yogurt, however, is sugar-free, and it’s thick because it’s strained, which is why it’s packed with protein (that means it keeps you feeling full and energized). Try going Greek for breakfast or a snack -- you can add fresh fruit if you’re still craving a bit of sweetness. Or, embrace its natural sourness and use it instead of sour cream to top your quesadillas or tacos.
2. Cut down on salt
Eating healthier isn’t just about cutting fat and calories. Too much sodium in your diet can raise your blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease. But reducing your salt use doesn’t have to mean cutting flavor. Substitute different seasonings and spices, like garlic powder, fresh herbs, or smoked paprika, and try cooking with different peppers like poblanos, habaneros, or cachuchas for a little added kick.
3. Trade your ordinary eggs for Eggland’s Best
Eggland’s Best eggs come from hormone-free hens that are fed an all natural, vegetarian diet. In fact, Eggland’s Best eggs have 25% less saturated fat, twice the Omega-3, and more Vitamin E, D, and B12 compared with ordinary eggs. So whether you’re making an omelet or baking a cake, take advantage of the added nutrients.
4. Ditch the mayo
It’s tangy and tasty, but mayo is also loaded with fat and saturated fat. Instead of smearing it (even it’s low-fat cousin isn’t so good for you) on your sandwich, try different relishes, mustards, or hot sauces like ají criollo. A jalapeño relish or mustards of different spice levels also make a zingy tuna salad, and using mustard to make your egg salad gives it a deviled egg effect without having to evenly slice and scoop out the eggs.
5. Spritz it up with some Seltzer
Plain seltzer water has no calories or sugar, so using it to cut your favorite fruit juice makes a great alternative to sodas or even to drinking straight-up fruit juice (and it spares you the aspartame of diet soda, too). You can also use your fizzy fruit juice or a store-bought flavored seltzer with the alcohol of your choice as an alternative to sugary cocktails mixes.