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Easy ways to use substitutions to make healthier food

Lana Bandoim's picture

Are you wondering how to use food substitutions to make your meals healthier, so you can lose weight?


You know you need to cut out harmful items such as sugar and trans fats from your diet, but it is challenging. One way to eliminate harmful ingredients is to replace them with healthier options that taste similar to the original. This will have a positive impact on your health and help you lose weight without sacrificing flavor.

You probably heard about substituting applesauce for butter or oil in baking. Another common substitution is to use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream or mayonnaise in recipes. There are companies like Hampton Creek that focus on creating healthier food options by using plant proteins instead of eggs and sorghum blends instead of sugar. If you are trying to lose weight, then consider the following food substitutions.

How to make hamburgers and fries healthier

A childhood favorite for many people is the beloved combination of hamburgers and French fries. You may have fond memories attached to these comfort foods, and you probably do not want to completely cut them from your diet. What if there is a way to make a healthier version of hamburgers and fries?

One way to make hamburgers healthier is to cut the amount of red meat you use when making burgers to about one ounce. Then, add a mixture of red beans, onions, mushrooms, tomato paste and oatmeal pulsed in a food processor to create the same texture and taste. For French fries, you want to try using thin skinned sweet potatoes and baking them. You can cut them into wedges and season them with a healthier alternative such as sea salt. You end up with a higher fiber fry that also lowers your glycemic index.

How to make desserts healthier

You might think it is impossible to make desserts healthier, but there are several ways to do it. You can substitute cinnamon or vanilla for sugar. Another option is to use sweeteners like honey and applesauce to replace sugar, so you get the sweet taste you love without the harmful side effects of white sugar. The key is to trick your taste buds into thinking there is real sugar in the food or larger amounts of sugar than there actually are in your recipes. It may take experimentation, but the results are healthier desserts that everyone will love.

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How to make Mexican and Chinese food healthier

Whether you are eating at a restaurant or cooking at home, there are easy ways to make Mexican and Chinese food healthier. For Mexican food, you can substitute refried beans for cheese. You may want to save a small amount of cheese to add to the top of the dish, so you get the flavor you love. The trick is to cut about half the cheese in recipes by substituting black beans or refried beans for the cheese.

Chinese food can be healthier if you eliminate the rich sauces like duck sauce, oyster sauce or hoisin. Instead, you can use Chinese five-spice powder that can be found in the spice section of grocery stores or online. The flavor may change, but it will still taste delicious.

How to make soups and salads healthier

One way to make soups healthier is to replace fatty, rich creams with nuts and beans that have been pureed. You still get the creamy texture in your soups, so you can make appetizing cream of mushroom, cream of asparagus or cream of potato soups.

Salads may seem healthy on the surface, but your toppings can affect this. If you add dressings filled with sugar, fat or salt, then the healthy factor diminishes. Instead, you want to use a healthier dressing substitute that tastes great. You can make your own version by draining fresh salsa, adding lime juice, adding olive oil and blending everything until it is smooth. You can also experiment with ingredients such as balsamic vinegar, white wine vinegar and other options that add dashes of flavor in a healthier way.

Why substituting is a great way to make food healthier

Food substitutions give you an easy way to control your diet and lose weight. Some foods in grocery stores have already replaced harmful ingredients with healthier ones, so you want to focus on brands that care about your health. One of the key items to remember is to become aware of food labeling and search for healthier substitutions. Although it may take more time and effort compared to simply grabbing the first items on a grocery shelf, it is worthwhile to know that you are cutting things like sugar and fat from your diet and helping your entire family eat healthier.