Most of us know we could stand to eat more healthily than we do, but the prospect of making radical changes to our diets can seem daunting. In fact, the difficulty of maintaining a whole new way of doing something as basic as eating is why so many diet plans are scrapped after a week or two. Instead of trying to do it all at once, though, a more sustainable plan is to improve how you eat in small steps. By substituting healthier ingredients for unhealthy ones, you can improve your diet a little bit at a time without feeling like you’ve given up everything you love. Here are 10 simple tips to get you started — and make that New Year’s resolution a bit easier to stick to!
— brooklynsupper, Babble
Make It Low-Carb
Any time you can replace highly processed flour with vegetables, you've come out way ahead health-wise. Winter root vegetables, like parsnips, are very flexible and make an excellent, nutritious substitute for high-carb options like pasta. In this parsnip "mac" and cheese, for instance, you won't even miss the shells.
Use Honey Instead of Sugar
Honey and white sugar are pretty similar nutritionally. Honey's advantage comes from the fact that honey is sweeter, so you can use much less of it and still have the same sweetening effect — and eating less sugar is one of the best things you can do to have a healthier diet.
Sub in Quinoa Flour
Quinoa is rightly regarded as being an excellent high-protein seed that makes a wonderful substitute for grains. It's also a fantastic substitute for grain flours and baked goods that are low in carbs and high in protein (it won't work for recipes that call for yeast, though). Can't find quinoa flour at your grocery store? It's easy to make yourself by blending uncooked quinoa on high.
Use Yogurt Instead of Whipped Cream
Yogurt makes a top-notch substitute for whipped cream in many desserts. If you are concerned about the amount of fat in your diet, using low- or non-fat yogurt in place of cream is an easy way to cut back. Even if you're not worried about fat, the healthy probiotics in yogurt make a smart addition to any diet!
Use Fresh Ingredients Instead of Canned
While the benefits of fresh produce over canned are often vastly overstated, there are some great reasons to use fresh produce when you can. For example, when puréeing squash or zucchini for a pie or bread, you can leave a little of the vegetable texture intact to help familiarize your children with it so they'll be less averse when they try the same vegetable on its own later.
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