Food Swap! Replace These 3 Pantry Staples With Their Healthier Counterparts
We all know that a great food swap can make the difference between keeping a recipe in your regular menu or having to save it for rare treats. After all, some ingredients may taste fantastic, but they’re not necessarily good for our waistlines. But what happens when it comes to pantry staples?
There are other times when we think we’re eating healthy options but it turns out that we’ve been duped into thinking we’re on the right track out of nothing more than sheer habit.
Are there really effective food swap options for ingredients that have become staples in our lives? Absolutely! The secret is to know which ones are truly great swaps and which ones are best left on the shelf. Start to ask yourself: Is the bread you’re eating really good for you? Are you cooking with the right oils? Is your breakfast cereal working against you?
Consider the following food swap ideas for replacing 3 of the top staples in many kitchens:
1. Whole wheat bread
Many people believe that because they’re eating whole wheat bread, they’re eating a healthy choice that will reduce their risk of conditions like diabetes or heart disease. That said, not all whole wheat bread is created equal. While some is made of the whole grain wheat and very few ingredients (ideally, four), others are actually made from refined white flour mixed with whole wheat flower, as well as a surprising amount of sugar, salt, chemicals and preservatives. No matter what the front of the label may claim, check the ingredients list for the true story. Make sure you find the worlds “whole grain” in the ingredients, too. Otherwise, you may as well be eating white bread.
2. Vegetable oil
Vegetable oil can be made up of any number of individual or combination oils, such as canola or palm, among others. Even though the word “vegetable” sounds healthy, this type of oil is often very high in trans fats and can do more harm than good to your body. Choose a heart healthier option such as olive oil, used sparingly. Sesame, coconut and peanut oils used in small amounts are also among the better options.
3. Breakfast cereals containing chocolate or “clusters”
These types of cereals may contain some healthy nutrients but they also contain a shocking amount of sugar and salt. It is the sugar content that is typically the most problematic among the ingredients, though the artificial ingredients don’t help. Look for alternatives such as muesli that doesn’t contain any added sugars.