I find that making healthier option swaps for foods prevents me from feeling deprived and helps me to feel nourished at the same time. Swaps are the easiest place to start when making moves towards healthier foods and nutritious lifestyle.
The first and easiest place to start making swaps are in the foods that you use and eat every day, like the oils and fats, sweeteners, and carbohydrates. Bonus is that these swaps will not costs you much more than you spend already.
In Order of Importance….3 Easy Swaps for Big Positive Health Improvements
#1 Oils & Fats – Just say no to man-made highly processed oils.
- Seed oils: Corn, Canola (or Rapeseed) Vegetable, Soybean, Grapeseed, Sunflower, Safflower, Rice bran
- Crisco or other Shortening made from any of the above
- Margarine or “butter-like” products
- Traditional Mayo
- Traditional Salad Dressings
Side Note: When you eat out at restaurants you will be exposed to mostly the oils on the “Remove” list that is not healthy for your body and creates inflammation in your body. But I still eat out fairly frequently, so I keep to the ones below when eating at home.
- Real Butter (bonus points and nutrients for buying grass-fed, pastured – I use Kerry Gold)
- Ghee (clarified butter, for those with dairy allergies) (I use Tin Star)
- Lard (grass-fed, pastured pork fat) or Tallow (grass-fed, pastured beef fat)
- Coconut Oil (organic, old-pressed, extra-virgin or virgin) (I use Dr. Bronner’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil)
- Avocado Oil – (I use Primal Kitchen)
- Olive Oil (I use Kasandrinos)
- Sesame Oil (I use this as a finishing oil to add flavor to a dish, not to cook in)
- Organic Mayo made with healthy fats (I use Sir Kensington’s Organic Mayonnaise)
- Organic Salad Dressings made with healthy fats (I use Primal Kitchen’s Green Goddess, Caesar Dressing, Greek Vinaigrette. They just came out with Balsamic Vinaigrette that I’m sure I’ll love too. And I’ve not tried their Ranch Dressing nor Honey Mustard Vinaigrette, because I personally don’t eat either with any regularity. I ALSO use Bragg Organic Vinaigrette (I use this one as a marinade for roasting and grilling vegetables), but my favorite of Bragg’s is their Ginger & Sesame Salad Dressing.
- Equal, Nutra-Sweet, Sweet’N Low, Truvia, Sun Crystals, Splenda
- Agave (mostly Fructose), Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup
Healthy Swaps: Organic
- Stevia (the one I use is bleached but is organic.)
- Raw Honey
- Maple Syrup
- Raw Sugar
- Fresh Whole Fruit
#3 Starchy Carbohydrate Sources
Remove: Boxes and Bags
- Traditional Potato Chips
- Traditional Crackers
- Breads and Tortillas
Healthy Swaps: Whole Food Carb Options
- All the Organic Potatoes and Yams
- All the Organic Rice (I use Lundberg Farms) (Side note: organic rice is important, because conventional rice is known for having arsenic in it and who knows what other pesticides.)
- Squashes (Butternut, Winter, Spaghetti, Pumpkin)
- Root Veggies: Parsnips, Carrots, Turnips, Beets
Treat Bag Carbs:
- I’ve swapped traditional chips for brands that cook in better oils. Such as: Kettle brand cooked in Avocado Oil (Chili Lime, Himalayan Salt, Hawaiian BBQ). Or Jackson’s Honest brand (Purple Heirloom, Sweet Potato, Sea Salt & Vinegar, Sea Salt, or Rippled Red Heirloom).
- Inka Crops Plantain Chips (Chile Picante, Plain)
I highly encourage you to Sign-up for Thrive Market.
Thrive Market allows you to shop for all the healthy food items you know and love at discount prices, because they cut out the middle man, and it gets delivered to your door so it also saves you time. Not only to you save money, but for every paid membership Thrive Gives a membership to a family in need.
The second best part, aside from saving money, is that all your favorite pantry items will be delivered to your door and you don’t have to go to stores which also saves you time and energy. And who can’t use more money, time, energy?!?!
Side Note: Many to all of these products can also be found at various grocery stores near you: HEB, Kroger, Whole Foods, Sprouts – but it may cost you more money, time, and energy…