When it comes to cooking and baking, there are healthy (and tasty) substitutions you can incorporate into your daily meal preparation. While substituting new foods for your traditional staples might feel foreign, the health benefits with last. Here are five heart-healthy substitutions to try:
Substitute: Mashed Avocado for Mayonnaise – Although great for pasta salads or sandwiches, mayonnaise contains unhealthy fats and cholesterol. Swap some mayo with an equal amount of avocado and you’ll add vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and even a little protein without losing the creamy texture. Avocados have nearly 1/2 the calories as mayo per serving.
Substitute: Greek Yogurt for Sour Cream – Plain yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, makes a terrific substitute for sour cream in dips, salad dressings, and baking. Not only does one cup of nonfat Greek yogurt have six times more protein than sour cream (13-20 grams vs 2-3g), but it is also much lower in fat and packed with healthy probiotics that promote GI health. For the same creamy texture and delicious tangy taste, swap plain, nonfat Greek yogurt mixed with a little lemon juice for sour cream in your next dish.
Substitute: Nuts for Croutons – Unsalted or lightly salted nuts pack both flavor and crunch and can give your dish a boost of protein and healthy fats. Instead of croutons, which are laden with empty calories, saturated fats, and tons of salt, substitute nuts to your next salad to get more nutrition out of your meal. Just don’t go overboard — a small handful is high in calories
Substitute: Brown rice for White rice – Brown rice is better for you than white — most of us know that. While it’s true white rice looks so much more delicious than brown rice, it doesn’t mean it’s the healthier alternative. In fact, brown rice has more fiber, more protein, and more healthy nutrients overall compared to white rice. Additionally, brown rice actually has a nuttier, more hearty flavor than white, making it more satisfying and keeping you fuller.
Substitute: Applesauce for Oil, Butter or Eggs – When you’re trying to eat healthy, baking may seem out of the question because of all the fat, calories, and cholesterol found in the oil, butter, and eggs. Luckily, applesauce works as a substitute for all three. Applesauce adds not only moisture and flavor to baked goods, but fiber and nutrients as well. For the best results, start out by using ¾ the amount of oil, butter, or egg called for in the recipe and stick to unsweetened applesauce in order to maintain taste and texture. -Allegra Egizi