Did you know that 55% of the population have a preventable chronic illness related to their eating patterns? Based on this statistic, it’s no surprise that heart disease is still the leading cause of death in America.
If you want to start making healthier choices to prevent illnesses, focus on your food consumption.
You don’t have to go on a diet to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Read on to learn five simple food swaps you can make instead.
1. Refined Grains for Whole Grains
Everyone needs daily grains, but at least half of those grains should come from whole grains. Eating whole grains can help your healthy eating as it lowers your risk of heart disease and can make you leaner.
Brown rice, quinoa, and oats are some of the best whole grains because they hold more vitamins, fiber, magnesium, and other nutrients.
Look for products that list whole grains at the top of the ingredients list. Items labeled as multi-grain, stone-ground, or 100% wheat might be made from refined white flour.
You can swap your regular pasta for whole grain or opt for something more unique like spaghetti squash marinara.
2. Salt for Herbs and Spices
Another one of the healthy food swaps you can make is salt for herbs and spices. Watching your sodium intake is important if you want to make healthy choices.
Lower salt cooking isn’t easy for everyone, but fresh and dried herbs can help ease the transition and make food flavorful. You can find different seasoning blends labeled salt-free at your local grocery store.
3. Farmed Atlantic Salmon for Wild-Caught Alaskan Salmon
Salmon and other fatty fishes are important parts of a diet plan. However, farmed salmon is fed a high-fat and highly processed diet. Although some farms provide healthier diets, it’s still better to choose wild-caught.
A wild-caught Alaskan salmon provides more omega-3s to the body and has fewer calories. There are fresh and frozen food swaps like this available.
4. Processed Meats for Lean Meats
Losing weight does not mean eliminating protein from your diet. Protein is still necessary, but there is a better way to get it than by eating processed meats.
If you don’t want to cut out sausage, hot dogs, corned beef, bacon, and bologna completely, at least cut back on it. You can find leaner meats to help reduce the risk of heart disease.
5. Milk Chocolate for Dark Chocolate
If your guilty pleasure is a little bit of milk chocolate at the end of each day, consider switching to dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has health benefits such as reducing inflammation, improving heart health, and lowering blood pressure.
Of course, all chocolate is still high in sugar and calories so go easy on it if you want to experience the health benefits.
Food Swaps You Can Try Right Now
You don’t have to go on a full-blown diet to start making healthier choices. Healthy living is all about being particular about what we put in our bodies.
These five simple food swaps will allow you to eat healthy while maintaining your usual diet. Start making these easy choices now and continue learning about other food swaps you can make.
For more articles on foods and culinary, check out the other posts on our blog.