Making the change to a healthier lifestyle doesn’t always require major changes to your daily routine. There are some really easy ways that you can make small healthy changes to your diet by just swapping one type of food for another! Here are 5 healthy food swaps you can make for a healthier lifestyle.
1. Rice → Quinoa
Brown rice is a great substitute for white rice, but quinoa is even better in terms of nutrients! Both rice and quinoa contain good amounts of protein, but one cup of rice only has five grams of protein compared to quinoa, which has eight grams in one cup. Not only is quinoa a good source of protein, but it is also one of the few plant sources that are considered a complete protein. Rice is only a complete protein when combined with beans. Quinoa is a great swap for rice!
2. Light Greens → Dark Greens
Darker leafy greens tend to have more nutrients than lighter greens because they are able to absorb more sunlight, allowing them to produce more vitamins and antioxidants. To get the maximum amount of nutrients, be sure to swap out greens like kale, spinach, and romaine lettuce for iceberg lettuce!
3. Chips → Popcorn
When you’re craving a snack, you probably reach straight for a bag of chips, but chips have just about zero nutritional value. Instead, swap a bag of potato chips for plain or lightly seasoned popcorn! Popcorn is a great snack that is both tasty and full of beneficial minerals and vitamins, including iron and vitamins B6, A, and K. Naturally low in fat and calories as well, popcorn is the perfect healthy food swap for when you just need a snack!
4. Milk Chocolate → Dark Chocolate
Chocolate is delicious, there’s no doubt about it. However, white and milk chocolate are high in sugar, but dark chocolate has half the amount of sugar than milk chocolate! Dark chocolate also contains a compound called flavanols that can decrease the risk for heart disease. Be sure to eat dark chocolate in moderation, though! When you find yourself reaching for milk chocolate, swap it for one square of dark chocolate!
5. Crackers → Carrots
Crackers with hummus is a very easy and seemingly healthy snack, but it’s easy to end up eating half the box without feeling any less hungrier! That’s because crackers are all carbs that your body uses up quickly, and you usually end up eating something else right after. A quick fix: swap out crackers for carrots instead! Enjoy a crunchy, vitamin-rich vegetable that will leave you full!
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Do you know of any other healthy food swaps that we didn’t discuss here? Let us know in the comments!