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8 Simple Good-for-You Food Substitutions

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8 Simple Good-for-You Food Substitutions

Forging full-steam ahead with major lifestyle changes or unrealistic goals is a prime reason New Year’s resolutions don’t often stick. Instead, try a new approach to wellness by incorporating some simple substitutions for a healthier life — one that lasts well beyond January. By starting with small substitutions for your everyday foods and regular activities you can create lasting change. Here are 10 simple substitutions to get you started:

1. Out with the white:

Start by swapping out ‘white’ foods like rice, bread, pasta, and sugar for the darker, whole food, more nutrient dense versions like whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, and brown rice instead of white.

2. Swap in some water:

Try replacing at least one of your daily sweetened beverages with a glass of water. You can also start slowly with a 50/50 approach by at least cutting your drink with carbonated water.

3. Get greener:

If iceberg lettuce is your staple for salad, slowly add in some darker greenery. Add variety with romaine, spinach, or even some blanched kale or Swiss chard to your salads for more varied nutrition.

4. Focus on fats:

Replace butter or other saturated fats in your diet with good fats like extra virgin olive oil, or flaxseed oil for salad dressings.

5. Bring your own:

In the habit of going out to lunch every day? Try bringing your own lunch to work at least a few days a week which can save both calories and money.

6. Try a milk alternative:

Wherever you use milk or cream — say for coffee, tea, or smoothies—try a new type of non-dairy milk like almond or rice milk.

7. Spice things up:

Add flavor without extra calories to food by using fresh herbs and spices.

8. Stave off sweets:

While an apple may not quite quell the desire for a piece of cake, there are plenty of great recipes available for desserts that won’t derail your health efforts. Get creative with plant-based versions of your favorites. Fruit can be sweet too — and decadent — like a banana or a date dipped in raw almond butter. Try opting for fruit first instead of dessert; you may stave off that sweet tooth altogether or at least be much less likely to overindulge.

What substitutions do you make on the regular?


No matter what better means to you, Vega shares the knowledge, nutrition, and inspiration to support your quest to thrive.