Give Your Diet a Healthy Makeover

When people talk about diets and eating healthy, it might conjure up an image of small plates filled with weird food you don’t want to eat. But eating healthy doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself. You don’t have to forsake your favorite dishes in order to care for your body. You just need to modify them a bit. Below you’ll find a few healthy alternatives that will give your diet a makeover and still allow you to enjoy dinner time.

Healthier Pasta

Traditional pasta is lacking in nutritional value and comes packed with a lot of carbs, which is not a good combo if you’re looking to eat healthy. Next time you’re craving spaghetti, try replacing your regular pasta with zucchini noodles. Zucchini is an excellent source of protein, vitamins A, C, and B6, as well as potassium. The most efficient way to make this change is to invest in a spiralizer. You can use it for several dishes, and there are plenty of easy to use options available. If you’re more of a lasagna fan, cut up thin slices of eggplant to use in place of lasagna noodles.

Swap Your Meat

A burger and fries is a fast food and diner favorite, but unfortunately  eating red meat in excess increases your risk of developing heart disease or cancer. Next time you get the craving for a quarter pounder, ask for a turkey burger instead. Turkey is high in protein like beef, but it also provides plenty of nutrients and health benefits that you won’t find in red meat. If you’re trying to cut back on meat altogether, give veggie burgers a try.

Eat More Veggies

Fast food and frozen entrees have become the norm for many Americans. It’s unfortunate because these types of food don’t provide you with the balanced diet and nutrition your body craves in order to stay healthy. If you frequently eat out of convenience, it’s especially important for you to add veggies to your diet. Vegetables provide you with a wide variety of nutrients and help reduce cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease. Fresh produce is best, but if you’re in the habit of buying frozen meals, buy a bag of broccoli or carrots to fix along with your dinner. Your body will thank you for it.

Snack Smart

Snacking isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It all depends on what you choose to eat between meals. If chips are your go-to snack of choice, consider swapping them out for a far healthier option: kale chips. Kale chips might not look like your typical chip, but they provide a crunchy texture and savory flavor, which makes them an excellent alternative. Kale chips are easy to make and only need to bake for about 10 minutes. Unlike potato chips, which are high in fat and carbs, kale chips provide you with antioxidants and vitamins, making them a snack you can feel good about.

Change Up Your Breakfast

Instead of eating Poptarts or cereal that is berry flavored, try eating actual berries instead. Berry flavored food rarely contains any kind of actual nutrients, and they’re usually packed full of sugar. If not every morning, at least a few times a week try to eat eggs with a side of blueberries or a healthy cereal with a real berries thrown in.

Swap Ingredients

If you do a lot of cooking at home, you can tweak the recipes you find online or in cookbooks to make healthier versions. For instance, if a recipe calls for sour cream, use Greek yogurt instead. And replace butter with avocado or coconut oil. By changing what you cook with, you change the fat, calorie, and carb content of your meals and add a bit of nutrition in the process.

Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to be miserable and hate what’s on your plate. Small changes can go a long way towards a healthier heart, lower blood pressure, and lower cholesterol. By simply swapping a few ingredients, you can enjoy your favorite foods and boost your body’s nutrients at the same time. It’s a win, win situation.