Whether you are trying to lose weight, control your blood pressure or lower your cholesterol, you may find your diet has become bland and uninteresting. There is some good news that will liven up your diet without risk to your weight, blood pressure, or cholesterol. Here is a list of food substitutions that will keep you healthy.
Common table salt is one of the top five things you should avoid if you want to lower your blood pressure. Different kinds of salt have different effects on your health. Balanced salt is the best salt substitute for high blood pressure because it gives you that delicious salty taste without affecting your blood pressure at all. Balanced salt is low in sodium and contains a combination of potassium, calcium, and magnesium that make it a nutritional asset, which is why it is so much healthier than other salts.
Bagels are highly caloric and practically devoid of nutrition. One bagel is about the same as four slices of white bread and is low in fiber and protein. Consider English Muffins as a substitute or any whole-grain muffin. They have the satisfying carbohydrates you love in the morning with only a fraction of the calories of a bagel. Whole-grain muffing also have about four grams of protein and three grams of fiber, both of which will keep you feeling full longer.
Brown rice has so much more flavor than white rice, it’s a wonder people who love rice don’t eat more of it. It’s high in fiber, so it is more filling and is good for reducing blood sugar levels.
Because brown rice is more nutrient-dense than white rice, it may help weight management because it is lower in calories than white rice and helps boost metabolism.
Unsweetened applesauce is a good substitution for sugar and oil for baked goods. A cup of sugar has more than 770 calories, but a cup of applesauce has only 100. This is not only good for weight management it is also good for diabetics. The bonus of unsweetened applesauce is it contains polyphenols just like fresh apples, which may help reduce high blood pressure. You can replace the sugar in a 1:1 ratio in any recipe, but you may need to reduce the amount of liquid you add. For oil substitution, try replacing half the required oil with unsweetened applesauce in cakes and brownies
Greek yogurt is a rich, creamy yogurt that is a good substitute for sour cream that is loaded with saturated fat. You may add sour cream on top of tacos, chili, soups, and salads which will make even a low-calorie meal a high-calorie meal. You can add cilantro or other seasonings to Greek yogurt according to your taste, and it will reduce calories and fat while adding protein to your meal.
For chocolate lovers, dark chocolate is a better choice than milk chocolate. Dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cocoa is full of plant-based nutrition including flavanols that may help lower blood pressure and improve the blood flow to the heart and brain. Another benefit is they help reduce cell damage. Just be careful not to overdo it because as with any chocolate, too much could lead to weight gain.
A simple way to cut calories and cholesterol is to remove the yokes from your eggs before using them in a recipe or as a breakfast staple. The ratio is two egg whites for one egg.
Some research claims that whole eggs are healthier than egg whites, but it doesn’t hurt to use egg whites in baking to reduce cholesterol.
Regular Salad Dressing
Salads are full of nutrients such as vitamins D, A, E, and K, but these vitamins can only be absorbed by your body if they are combined with healthy fats. Fat-free dressings may be attractive at first, but when you look at the ingredients you may see unacceptable amounts of sugar and sodium that are added to increase the flavor that is removed when the fat is removed. The above substitution tips provide an easy way to make your meals healthier. Whether it’s brownies or tacos, you can reduce the amount of sugar or cholesterol you eat without sacrificing taste
Written by: Hannah Boothe
About the writer: Hannah Boothe is a freelance writer native to Northern California who spends her free time developing herself. Hannah enjoys the outdoors, she goes hiking whenever the weather permits and enjoys practicing yoga. She carves out time to journal and read whenever she can. She loves adventure and connecting with those around her.
On behalf of Smart Strategies for Successful Living, our sincerest appreciation goes to Hannah Boothe for her contribution to our community website and commitment to better living.