There are uncountable food substitutes but that are far more nutritious, healthy and delicious than many of the everyday meal you are used or familiar with. Simply replacing some of your them with healthier options can help in a really big way! The point is to balance your diet and reach for nutritious options more often, building better habits that lead to a healthier you along the way. Here are six healthy food substitutes you never thought of:
Cabbage for Rice
If rice could on human heads, it will grow on the heads of a large number of Nigerians. This is because it is one of the most consumed staples in the country. A perfect replacement for rice is cabbage. Cabbage is a versatile vegetable and comes in many shapes, sizes and colours. Green cabbage, with its firm head and smooth leaves, is probably the best known, but there are many other types of cabbage to discover. For example red cabbage and pointed cabbage. Cabbage rice yields the lowest amount of net carbs with zero grams of fat and 2 grams of protein per cup. Looking for the perfect option to fill you up and help you feel satiated without going over your macronutrient goals for the day? Cabbage rice is the key.
Raisins for sugar
Raisins have been with us for years and it is surprising that it is missing in many kitchens and many consumables. No thanks to the fame of sugar. Raisin is rich in antioxidants, low in sodium and cholesterol free. Raisins can be used as a healthier substitute for sugar in a variety of food and dessert recipes. While using raisins instead of sugar imparts a slightly fruity flavor to food items, it is surprisingly minimal, and some recipes even benefit from the added flavor.
Coconut oil for vegetable oil or butter
Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which metabolize quickly for fast energy. It’s great for sautéing veggies and cooking at high temperatures. You can also spread it on toast instead of butter, use it to pop popcorn and add it to smoothies. As with any fat or oil, keep an eye on your total calorie intake, but if you’re simply replacing your usual cooking oil with coconut oil, you shouldn’t notice a big difference in calorie content. Most oils and fats have between 100-120 calories per tablespoon.
Greek yogurt for sour cream
Surprisingly, you probably won’t be able to tell that you just put greek yoghurt on your taco instead of sour cream. Just make sure you get the plain kind instead of flavoured. You can even jazz it up with some lemon and hot sauce. What’s the benefit? Greek yoghurt is high in protein and even contains probiotics, which support healthy digestion and immune health.
Coconut flour with flour
Even if you aren’t going gluten-free, wheat flour alternatives have a lot to offer, and coconut flour is one of the favourite flour alternatives. It’s made from dried and finely ground coconut meat. Coconut flour has fewer carbs than other nut flours and 11 times the fibre in wheat flour, plus more protein.3 Its light, airy texture makes it great for baking and especially good for pastries.
Almond milk for milk
Plant-based milks are trending, and there’s no shortage of options—from oat milk to rice milk, cashew milk and beyond. But the deliciously mild, nutty flavour and creamy texture of almond milk has kept it a favourite. Unsweetened almond milk is lower in calories and contains no cholesterol, saturated fat, or lactose. Unlike cow’s milk, almond milk does not contain calcium unless it’s enriched, so make sure to get your calcium from other sources if you make the swap from cow’s milk to almond milk.
We will probably try these substitutes in our upcoming show, ‘Off The Menu‘. Get ready to be mindblown!
By Damilola Faustino