Easy and healthy food substitutes

Simple replacements for what you eat can give you improved health and wellbeing.

Choose biscuits made of whole-wheat flour instead of refined flour.

You don’t have to deprive yourself of all things tasty, if you’re battling cholesterol, diabetes, weight or blood pressure – to name a few. Simple, everyday replacements for what you’re eating can significantly impact your health and wellbeing. These healthy food substitutes will allow you to still get all the flavour and satisfaction you’re used to.

Easy, healthy food substitutes:

IN: Red rice

OUT: White rice

Red rice has far more nutritional benefits over white rice that most of us are used to eating. Dr Jyothi Prasad, practicing dietitian at Manipal Hospital, Bangalore says, “Red rice has more fibre in comparison to white rice, as white rice is stripped off its fibre and vitamins during the refining process.”  And red rice is a safer option for diabetics too.

IN: White meat (chicken and fish)

OUT: Red meat (mutton, beef, pork and organ meat like liver and heart)

When it comes to non-vegetarian options, choose chicken and fish over mutton, beef or organ meat like liver. Chicken and fish (white meat) is far healthier than beef, mutton and pork (red meat).

Dr Prasad explains, “white meat has less fat and cholesterol than red meat. It gives the same amount of protein with an added advantage of lesser fat.” Dr Prasad stresses that fish provide essential fatty acids, which are heart friendly, and also aid brain development in children.

IN: Skimmed milk

OUT: Whole milk

Choose slim milk over whole milk. Here’s why! “Skimmed milk has less fat, which means it can help keep your weight under check. In the run long it is more heart friendly,” advises Dr Prasad. This is strictly not advisable in the case of growing children, unless there are concerns about obesity.

IN: Fresh fruit juice

OUT: Colas, energy drinks and fruit concentrates

Give the colas and energy drinks a break, and reach out to fresh fruit juices. Colas, energy drinks and the various other concentrated juices available in the market, contain noting more than sugar and calories. Further, energy drinks, Dr Prasad warns, contains caffeine, which isn’t good either. Dr Prasad advises one to opt for fresh fruit juices instead, “they pack in vitamins, minerals and a little bit of fibre too.” Even packages juices, as long as they are free of sugar, are a better choice. So chuck those colas today!

IN: Whole-wheat flour and multi-grain flour

OUT: Refined flour or maida

Refined flour, maida, only has carbs and no other nutrients, which means calories sans benefits. So pick whole-wheat flour instead. Whole-wheat flour packs in proteins, vitamins and fibre, which are all extremely beneficial. So choose cakes, bread, biscuits and rotis made of whole-wheat flour/ multi-grain flour, available aplenty in the market today.

IN: Citrus juices, spices and herbs’ dressing

OUT: Oil dressings

Citrus juices, spices and herbs’ dressing is any day healthier than oil dressings, even if you’re using the heart-healthy oil, olive oil. “Spices, herbs and lime juice add zing to your salads without adding the extra calories that oily dressings do,” Dr Prasad says.

IN: Herbs, citrus juices and spices

OUT: Salt

Cut your salt, and supplement it with herbs, citrus juices and spices. “Adding too much salt is detrimental to your health, it can put you at risk of blood pressure and more. So cut down your salt intake by adding herbs, citrus juices and spices to add to the taste,” suggests Dr Prasad.

IN: Egg whites

OUT: Whole eggs

Egg whites are any day better than eating whole eggs: “Egg yolk is a rich source of cholesterol and must be completely eliminated if one has complaints of high cholesterol or has a family history of heart disease,” says Dr Prasad. However, in the case of children, whole eggs are more a better bet any day.

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