Our everyday food choices have significant impact on our health and wellbeing. Whether you want to lose weight or improve your health, you need to eat a wide range of healthy foods to ensure you get all the nutrients your body needs.
However, you also don’t need to overhaul your diet abruptly just to achieve your goals. Here at HYPOXI, we recommend our clients to start their journey to healthy eating by cutting back on unhealthy food. Instead of stocking up on food with minimal nutritional value, we suggest eating healthier substitutes that can help them reduce their calorie and carbohydrate intake.
If you’re having a hard time establishing healthier eating habits, don’t worry. We’re here to help. Read below to discover some healthy food swaps that will make a big difference to your health.
Try millet or quinoa instead of white rice
White rice is one of the most common foods that cause weight gain for many people. This is because it’s a starchy food with a high glycemic index, which can cause a spike in blood sugar quickly.
If you love rice, we know that removing it from your diet can be challenging. But fortunately, there are a lot of healthier options you can use as rice substitutes.
Quinoa is one of the most popular alternatives you can include in your diet plan. It is a type of grain rich in protein, magnesium, vitamin B2, and fibre and has a low glycemic index.
Another healthy substitute we recommend is millet. Millet is high in iron and packed with minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients. It’s also a good source of protein and fibre, which can help regulate blood glucose levels and promote digestion.
Drink sparkling or coconut water instead of soda and energy drinks
Energy drinks and sodas are high in sugar which can have a detrimental impact on your health. Instead of drinking these calorie-filled beverages, why not increase your water intake by drinking lots of H20?
Water is the healthiest substitute for these sugary drinks. But if you think plain water tastes boring, you can opt for sparkling water instead. You can add more flavour to your fizzy water by adding orange or lemon slices to make it more enjoyable.
If you like something sweet but healthier, coconut water is also a tasty replacement. It’s a natural source of potassium and electrolytes that can help you stay hydrated all throughout the day.
Swap your regular peanut butter for almond butter or mixed nut butter
Regular peanut butter has a high amount of calories per serving and often contains saturated fat. While it isn’t necessarily harmful, having too much can cause a spike in your cholesterol and blood sugar levels, increasing your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
This is why we recommend our clients to try healthier alternatives made with other nuts such as almonds, cashew, walnut, hazelnut, and pecan. They all have similar nutritional profiles and provide heart-healthy fats, fibre, and antioxidants.
Nut-free spreads are also available like tahini, a paste made with roasted sesame seeds. It’s typically used as a condiment, but some people use it as a peanut butter substitute. You can also try soy nut butter as it has a similar thick and creamy consistency to peanut butter.
Choose healthier options over junk food
Love munching on lollies and chips after dinner? Unfortunately, you need to say goodbye to those types of junk foods if you want to improve your health. But don’t get us wrong, you don’t need to deprive yourself of eating food in between meals. You just need to find something that is flavourful and healthy at the same time.
Stock up your pantry with nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pepitas, buckwheat kernels and poppy seeds. These are very handy if you feel like snacking or want to add more nutrients, crunch and texture to your meals.
For sweet treats, dried fruits are your best option. You can buy them from your favourite supermarket or make your own if you have a dehydrator at home.
Swap your traditional pasta and opt for vegetable-based versions
Like white rice, pasta is also high in carbohydrates. So you may want to avoid this if you follow a low-carb diet or simply want to lower your carb intake.
Luckily, there are plenty of vegetables that can replace your regular pasta and noodles. For instance, zucchini noodles (a.k.a. zoodles) are one of the most famous gluten-free pasta. They are low-carb, high in hydration, low-calorie and a good source of vitamin C.
Pumpkin pasta is also a great choice as it contains vitamins and nutrients like vitamin B6, dietary fibre and vitamin C. Both zoodles and pumpkin pasta are easy to make. All you need to do is put your veggies in a spiraliser, steam for a couple of minutes and top with your favourite pasta sauce.
Replace white bread with sourdough
You don’t need to get rid of bread in your diet if you’re trying to lose weight. However, you need to avoid white bread as it is highly refined and often contains a lot of added sugar. Refined grains are stripped in the process of creating white bread. This is why it has less nutritional value and fibre than whole wheat alternatives.
If you’re craving bread, sourdough bread is one thing you should add to your shopping list. It’s more nutritious because it contains higher levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It’s easier to digest and contains prebiotics which can help improve your gut health.
The next time you reach for a soda or junk food, think about swapping it out for the healthier alternatives mentioned above.
If you want more healthy food swaps, snacking suggestions and nutritious recipes you can try at home, check out our HYPOXI Cookbooks.
The HYPOXI Cookbook and HYPOXI Vegan Cookbook consist of delicious and easy-to-prepare breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks and desserts. These are your go-to cookbooks when following a HYPOXI program.
Our cookbooks also have a 31-day meal plan, helping you achieve a stress-free way of eating and ensuring there is always something healthy to choose at hand.
Want to learn more about our amazing cookbooks? Click here.