When it comes to making healthier choices, it’s better to focus on what you can add or replace in your diet rather than what you should try to remove. Below you can explore 7 better-for you food swaps.
A better for you swap for regular pasta is bean or lentil pasta. These pastas have the
exact texture of normal pasta, but are made from only one ingredient, beans ! They are higher protein, higher fiber and lower carb than regular pasta and therefore will have a better impact on your blood sugar than regular pasta. You will be shocked by how full you feel from a small serving of this pasta. There are many different brands out there but Barilla red lentil and Banza chickpea pasta are a couple of my favorites. You can also purchase frozen vegetable pasta in the Birdseye brand steam fresh bags in the frozen section
of the grocery store for a quick lunch option. Some other pasta alternatives include zucchini noodles which are just spiralized zucchini and spaghetti squash. When roasted, the inside of the spaghetti squash can be easily pulled apart with a fork and comes out in strands. If you are looking for a way to cook it, you can find a couple great recipes here and here.
For a higher fiber and lower carb alternative- swap cauliflower rice for regular rice. You can buy ready to steam bags at most grocery stores for your convenience. I enjoy pairing cauliflower rice with a burrito bowl or stir fry- you can even opt for this blood sugar friendly alternative at chipotle now !
3. Ramen Noodles
Swap your Ramen noodles for Miracle noodles! These are made from a Japanese plant called konjac and the entire bag only has 5 calories and 1 net carb. I wouldn’t recommend them as a spaghetti alternative personally, but they are great in soups or stir-fries. I use these to make a better for your version of pad Thai or season them to taste like ramen noodles- the texture is exactly the same.
4. Breakfast Bars
Many of my health coaching clients enjoy eating the different cereal bars such as Nutrigrain and Nature valley bars. These tend to have about as much sugar as a candy bar and don’t contain any protein and therefore aren’t a good option to keep you feeling full and satisfied. A better for you swap would be Barebells brand protein bars. You can purchase these bars at trader joes or order them online from amazon. They are 20 g of protein, no added sugars, only 16 net carbs and taste like one of those little Debbie star crunch cookies. They are truly the most delicious protein bar out there.
5. Energy Drinks
I am not going to tell you to live a life without caffeine, that would probably be unrealistic BUT I do want to share a better alternative- the first is crystal light pure energy- these can be added to your water and contain 90 mg of caffeine with only 6 g of added sugar in comparison to the 27 g in a monster. They are primarily sweetened with stevia which is a natural sweetener and can typically be found at target. Two other good options are Celsius live fit and yerba mate.
This one is really simple, swap plain Greek yogurt with berries for sweetened or fruit on the bottom yogurts. This will save you 15+ grams of sugar on average!
Swap white bread for sprouted, whole grain or sourdough bread. The grains in sprouted bread have been allowed to sprout which allows your body to better digest the grain and absorb more nutrients.
Which of these swaps sounds like something you would like?