5 Food Swaps for the Fit Fanatic


With the holiday season already here, many of us have already though about going into diet mode. Just think: stuffing, turkey, pie, latkes, bread…whoa, drool alert.

Regardless of your motivation for a change in diet, you’re in luck. Here are 5 easy, tasty and much healthier swaps to make our favorite comfort foods emotionally comforting too. Any difference in taste is minimal, and after a few bites, they’ll become a natural and satisfying go-to.

1. Greek Yogurt for Mayo/Sour Cream

Greek yogurt is a great swap for dip, sandwich topping, creamed soup or salad dressing.

Photo by Christine Chang

2. Quinoa for Rice

Quinoa, an ancient grain, is a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids our bodies require. It tastes just as good as rice and provides a heartier texture to better soak up sauces.

Photo by Christine Chang

3. Salsa for Cheese/Cream Dips

Think of tortilla chips – it’s nice to have a low-fat complement to this high calorie snack. Salsa, unlike cheese/cream-based dips, is loaded with veggies. Plus, there are so many varieties of salsa beyond the levels of mild to hot. Try mango, pineapple, pico de gallo, corn or black bean, just to name a few.

Photo by Christine Chang

4. Cocoa Powder for Chocolate Chips

This swap is going to be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made. You’d be surprised how well this actually works! Instead of pouring chocolate chips into a cake or cupcake recipe, mix ½ cup cocoa powder into the batter and adjust to taste. At 10 calories per tablespoon, it kicks chocolate chips’ butt, beating them by 60 calories per serving.

Photo by Christine Chang

5. Cauliflower for Potatoes

Mashed cauliflower tastes just like mashed potatoes (crazy, we know). Now, I’m not suggesting your family serve mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes at every holiday meal, but try it for average meals. You can even replace just half the potatoes with cauliflower if you’re skeptical. Here’s the general idea:

  • Cut a head of cauliflower into florets.
  • Boil the cauliflower florets (or microwave with a little water) until tender, which should take no more than 10 minutes.
  • Using a hand blender, immersion blender or food processor, mix the cauliflower with a little milk, margarine/butter, spices, etc. and add in whatever else you’re craving!

Photo by Christine Chang

So switch it up: The holiday season is in full swing…I’m just sayin’.

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