Friday, January 10, 2014

This New Year, Focus on Making Healthy Swaps

Creating a healthy lifestyle can be overwhelming with all the information we constantly receive about what is good for us and what is not.  A great way to take steps in the right direction is to start with small changes, because these are the ones that will last. 

When it comes to our diet-the most important part of our health-making swaps that will save calories and fat is easy, and doesn't require a lot of training.  

Take a look at what you are preparing, and chances are, there are ingredients that can be swapped out for healthier ones.


Healthy Ingredient Swaps


Start simple by swapping out one ingredient or item in your diet.

•    Swap out butter and margarine for olive, canola, avocado, coconut or another healthy oil.  Not all fat is bad, and these oils are better for you than butter or lard.


•    Instead of full fat dairy products, swap them for low fat versions, such as milk and yogurt.  This cuts down on saturated fat.


•    Substitute the salt you flavor meals with for dried or fresh herbs and spices.  This is better for your blood pressure, and you'll experience more robust, natural flavors.


•    Stay away from refined grains and white rice and swap them for whole grains like quinoa, or bulgar.  You'll be leaner with a higher fiber intake.




Healthy Baking Swaps


By swapping out ingredients, you don't have you give up baking to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

•    Use cocoa powder in cookies and cakes instead of chocolate chips.  This swap cuts fat and calories and you'll still experience the chocolate flavor.


•    Used mashed bananas, unsweetened applesauce, pumpkin or prune purée in place of half the oils or margarine to cut fat and still retain moisture.  


•    Swap out white flour for whole wheat, white whole wheat, or whole wheat pastry flour for more fiber and less empty calories.


•    Swap out sugar and replace it with Dr. John's Xylitol Sweetener. It replaces sugar 1:1 and can be used in fruit salads, oatmeal, cooking and most baked goods.  See our previous blog posts for some delicious recipes.




Healthy Sweet Snack Swaps


When you are craving sweets, you don't have to always reach for sugary laden products.  There are plenty of natural snacks that can satisfy you.

•    Swap out fruit for refined sugars. A mere 1.9 oz of jelly beans, 1.8 oz of gummy bears, or 16 oz of soda will give you the same caloric intake as 11.6 oz of kiwi, 10.2 oz of grapes, 13.5 oz of apples and a whopping 19.5 oz of melon.  You will be able to eat more and feel satisfied longer.  As another bonus, the craving for sweetness will be fulfilled and you won't crash from the sugar later.


•    Eat sweet snacks with Xylitol.  If you're still in the mood for candy or chocolate, choose those made with xylitol from birch. It keeps the calories down, and won't cause tooth decay or significantly raise glucose levels, making it safe for diabetics. We offer a complete line of xylitol-rich treats including gourmet chocolates, classic hard candies, chewy caramels and more.


•    Swap your soda or energy drink that is full of sugar for a white or green tea without any extras. If you need a sweetener, use xylitol. You won't sacrifice caffeine to get you moving, while the teas' delicious natural flavors are near calorie free and will not leave you feeling sluggish hours later. On top of this, you'll reap the benefits of all the healthy antioxidants the teas provide. 


Please leave a comment with other small changes you have made that have brought about big results.

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