Here are 10 food swaps for a healthier life

Here are 10 food swaps for a healthier life

Nutritionist Sakshi Lalwani took to Instagram to share 10 food swaps that can make us go from “lazy goers to fitness lovers in no time”.

In the journey towards better health, the choices we make in the kitchen can have a significant impact on our overall well-being. By making simple yet effective food swaps, we can transform our diets and set ourselves on a path to a healthier, more vibrant life. Don’t know where to start? Nutritionist Sakshi Lalwani took to Instagram to share 10 food swaps that can make us go from “lazy goers to fitness lovers in no time”. “Changes can be seen within the very first week of making these,” she wrote in the caption.

1. Full cream milk to A2 milk

Sangeeta Tiwari, a clinical nutritionist at Artemis Lite in Delhi, told that full cream milk has a higher fat content, resulting in a richer taste and good texture. Furthermore, it also contains A1 and A2 proteins. A2 milk, on the other hand, only has the A2 type of beta-casein protein and doesn’t have the A1 protein found in traditional cow’s milk.

“A2 milk is easier to digest for people who are sensitive to A1 protein, potentially lessening issues like bloating and digestive problems. Those who are lactose intolerant or dairy sensitive can also choose A2 milk,” she explained.

2. Butter to avocado mash

According to Tiwari, butter has saturated fats and cholesterol, which is why its excess consumption should be avoided. Meanwhile, avocado mash is a nutritious choice made from mashed ripe avocados. “Avocados are rich in healthy fats, especially monounsaturated fats that are beneficial for heart health. Additionally, avocado mash has a creamy texture which is quite similar to butter. It is also a great choice for those following a plant-based or vegan diet,” she said.

3. Potato chips to kale chips

Tiwari noted that while potato chips are popular for their taste and crispy texture, they are rich in unhealthy fats, high in calories, and sodium. “These can be consumed occasionally but their frequent consumption can result in weight gain, heart problems, and high blood pressure,” she said.

Meanwhile, kale chips are made from kale leaves that are nutrient-rich, made by drying or baking them. “Kale has a high content of vitamins A, C, and K, and minerals like calcium and manganese. They have lower calories and fats, which makes them a healthier alternative,” Tiwari added.

4. Vegetable oil to avocado oil

Vegetable oil is a term that includes various oils derived from plants like corn, sunflower, soybean, or canola. These oils are typically used in cooking for their neutral flavour and high smoke point. However, Tiwari explained that they often undergo refining processes that strip them of their nutrients and antioxidants. “Certain vegetable oils like corn and soybean are also rich in omega-6 fatty acids that are likely to result in inflammation if they are not balanced with omega-3 fatty acids in the diet,” she said.

Avocado oil, on the other hand, is extracted from the pulp of avocados and has great health benefits. “It has monounsaturated fats that are good for heart health and help in reducing inflammation. It also has vitamin E that helps in protecting cells against damage. The mild buttery flavor of avocado makes it a good choice for cooking,” Tiwari said.

5. Mayonnaise to Greek yogurt

While mayonnaise is made from oil, egg yolks, vinegar, and seasoning, Greek yogurt is a strained yogurt that has a thicker consistency and a higher protein content in comparison to regular yogurt. “Mayo is high in calories, saturated fats, and cholesterol, making it an unhealthy choice. Greek yogurt, however, is lower in calories and fats, and also provides probiotics that support gut health,” Tiwari explained.

6. Processed meat to lean meat

Processed meats may be convenient and tasty, but choosing lean meats is a healthier choice because it has fewer additives and lower risks of negative health effects.

Tiwari said that processed meats are flavourful but have a high content of sodium, saturated fats, and additives like nitrates, which lead to an increased risk of heart disease, cancer, weight gain, and other health problems. Meanwhile, lean meats have minimal fat content and offer vital nutrients like protein, iron, zinc, and B vitamins without the excess saturated fat and sodium that are found in processed meats. “Lean meats are versatile and can be made in various ways, like grilling, baking, broiling, or sautéing. This makes them suitable for a wide range of dishes and cuisines,” she added.

7. Soda or aerated drinks to water infused with fruits

According to Tiwari, water infused with fruits is a better choice as it is hydrating, nutritious, and has various other health benefits. “Soda or aerated drinks are high in sugar, preservatives, artificial flavors all of which have negative health effects like tooth decay, weight gain, and increased risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart problems. Water infused with fruits, on the other hand, is refreshing, hydrating, and provides various health benefits without any side effects. They are low in calories, support digestion, metabolism and help in curbing sugar cravings,” she said.

8. Granola bar to nuts

Both granola bars and nuts can be convenient snacks, but nuts offer superior nutritional value with fewer added sugars and processed ingredients. “Granola bars can provide a quick energy boost and are indeed very convenient for quick snacking, but they can also be high in added sugars and processed ingredients. Nuts are loaded with healthy fats, protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. They offer various health benefits, like supporting heart health, improving brain function, and helping in weight management. They are a satisfying snack that can help in curbing hunger and provide energy throughout the day,” Tiwari said.

9. Table salt to black rock salt

Also known as refined salt, table salt is most commonly used in households. It typically contains added iodine which is a nutrient important for thyroid function. Black rock salt, also known as Kala Namak or Himalayan black salt, on the other hand, is a type of volcanic rock salt that has a distinctive colour and flavour. It is less refined in comparison to table salt and has more minerals.

“In terms of health, both table and rock salt must be consumed in moderation. However, black rock salt contains slightly less sodium than table salt, making it a better option for those watching out their sodium intake,” Tiwari advised.

10. White bread to sourdough bread

White bread is made from highly refined wheat flour, and therefore has a soft texture and mild flavour. But the refining process strips away most of the fibre, vitamins, and minerals present in the wheat kernel, leaving it with fewer nutrients and a higher glycemic index. This results in high sugar levels.

Sourdough bread, on the other hand, is made through a fermentation process using wild yeast and lactobacilli bacteria which not only gives it a tangy flavour but also breaks down some of the gluten and phytic acid present in the flour, making it easier to digest. The fermentation process further increases the content of certain nutrients like zinc, iron, and magnesium that support gut health.

“White bread has a better taste in comparison to sourdough bread but those who want a healthier alternative prefer sourdough bread because of nutrition value and digestive benefits,” Tiwari recommended.

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