Switch It Up: 9 Healthy Food Substitutions

April 5, 2013  |  
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I once read in a fitness magazine that 80 percent of weight loss is dependent on what you eat.  So, even if you work out like crazy, if you’re still eating a lot of junk, that work out is naught.  So, when I came across Julia Austin’s article on eating healthy on a budget, and she suggested buying foods with multiple purposes, a few examples came to mind.  So, here are 9 healthy food substitutions that could help you with your weight loss goals.



The key ingredient to guacamole can also be used as an alternative to Mayo.  By mashing or using a mixer, you can turn avocados into a spread.  Where mayo is 90 calories per tablespoon, avocados are only 50, and they’re healthier.


Plain Yogurt

One of my guilty pleasures is sour cream.  Mmm… just, give me a moment to daydream.  …Okay, I’m done.  But, my creamy topping is not the healthiest, so a good substitution would be plain yogurt.  Plain yogurt caters to your nutritional needs of dairy and protein.  So, if you’re making yourself a healthy black bean burrito, switch your sour cream with plain yogurt to continue on with your health kick.



I’m also a pasta girl, and it hurts my soul when I indulge in a lot of pasta, and see the numbers on the scale go up.  However, that’s where zucchini comes in.  If you dice your zucchini the long way, you can turn those into noodles.  Use them as an alternative to pasta.


Portobello Mushrooms

The only thing I love more than pasta is burgers.  However, by switching your meat patty with a portobello mushroom cap, you can have the same meaty affect without all the dead animal.  Grilling it and then adding your normal burger dressings will gives you a fulfilling substitute.

Source: Shutterstock.com


One of the best things about fried chicken (for me) is the skin.  So crispy and crunchy, and oh so delicious.  However, that great taste comes with a great price.  If season your chicken well, dip it in your egg and milk mixture, coat it with mashed corn flakes/Special K and then bake it, you can get the same crunchy skin effect, but healthier.


Sweet Potatoes

Just like zucchini, the same goes for sweet potatoes.  You can use a potato peeler and slice those potatoes for the appearance of fettuccini noodles.  There are a ton of recipes that use sweet potatoes as noodles, and here’s one that looks too delicious.



If you’re a person who is interested in lowering your carb intake, try substituting your bread with lettuce.  Instead of using a tortilla to make a cold wrap, try a long lettuce leaf.


Egg Plant

I never really cared too much for egg plants, until I found out that I can use them as an alternative to lasagna noodles.  Switch your noodles for sliced egg plants and enjoy a healthier version of your beloved lasagna.



I’ve toyed around with the idea of veganism, and while cruising Youtube, I’ve came across “The Sweetest Vegan.”   This adorable cook has veganized burgers, deserts, and the entire McDonald’s menu.  For one of her deserts she veganized Red Velvet cupcakes by using beets.  I’ve never had a beet in my entire life, until I tried her recipe and they were AMAZING.  So beets, my new favorite desert ingredient.

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