Whether you are just beginning your healthy lifestyle or have been on this journey for a long time, finding healthy substitutes for our favorite foods can be difficult! Here are some of the things I have found to be great substitutions.
Sour Cream: I LOVE sour cream, but sour cream does not love me. I found that plain yogurt is a great substitute and can be used on many dishes. Plus, it's less fat and more protein. Although I haven't tried this myself, another substitute is pureed tofu.
Butter: Coconut oil is what I'll use instead of butter sometimes. However, this isn't exactly low in fat. If I'm just using a fry pan I'll use coconut oil spray, which is zero fat! On a bagel or toast, I'll either use hummus, mashed fruit, PB & honey or I'll put cucumbers and tomatoes with some vinegar on top.
Pancakes: When I first began my healthy lifestyle I thought I could never eat pancakes again. But, guess what? I eat them almost every weekend! I make protein pancakes instead of regular ones. Tone It Up has a perfect recipe on their blog and I would highly recommend it (they are gluten free)! There are also Kodiak Power Cakes which are not gluten free, BUT they are free of nasty ingredients and artificial additives.
Peanut Butter: I'm sure most of you have heard of this, but PB2 is the best substitute I found. PB2 is powdered peanuts, basically the peanuts are roasted and then pressed to remove 85% of the fat and oils. You mix it with water to make creamy peanut butter. There has been some opinions on whether this is actually healthy or not (taking away the oils is taking away most of the nutrients out of the peanuts). I also found that other nut butters (almond, sunflower, etc.) are just as good, if not better.
Salad Dressing: Dressing can make your salad go from healthy to cheat meal in a second. There are dressings made of yogurt, which is a lot healthier. However, I found the best dressing was super simple! I like to use 1/2 Tbsp. of olive oil, 1 Tbsp. of balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt; it's so good and tasty!
Rice: White rice is of course a big no-no, at least to me anyway. Brown rice is good, but what is even better is QUINOA! Quinoa has 150% more fiber than white rice, is gluten free and contains a lot of nutrients our body needs. I like to put cooked quinoa in salads, tacos and stir fries.
Croutons: I've never really used croutons that often, but I know many people love them. Sliced almonds are a great substitute as it gives that texture your looking for and added taste.
Flour: There are so many different types of flour other than white flour. Almond flour, coconut flour and tapioca flour are some, just to name a few. Coconut flour has fewer carbs and a lot more fiber, making it a much better choice. I personally haven't been able to tell a big difference from these flours compared to white flour.
Sugar: Stevia is a great substitute. It's a plant and not something created in a lab (*cough* Aspartame and Splenda *cough*). Be careful though, Stevia is a lot sweeter than regular sugar so you will have to use less of it when baking.
Chocolate Chips: Raw cacao nibs are fantastic! They have no sugar (yes, they're a tad bitter) and taste great is pancakes, oatmeal, yogurt, etc.
Pudding: Try chia pudding! Chia seeds are little in calories, high in fiber and protein. There are many different variations of this. My favorite is chocolate chia pudding - takes little time to create!
Cow's Milk: There's a lot of sugar in cow's milk and depending which kind you get, fatty as well. Almond milk is a much better alternative. Almond milk has less sugar, less fat and less carbohydrates than cow's milk.
I hope you found these alternatives helpful!
What are your favorite healthy alternatives?