Do you want to improve your diet and be healthier? These 5 Ingredient Swaps You Need To Make Now will guide you in the right direction.
Remember there is nothing more important than cooking at home using fresh ingredients for the overall good health of your family. What you have available in your kitchen is what you will eat, so keep your kitchen as a haven of healthy options. With so many dangerous preservatives, oils, GMOS and chemicals in our food system, it is crucial to start making more natural choices. The benefits: a healthier family and healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime.
Interested in making better choices for breakfast and snacks also? Check out my 5 Worst Breakfast Foods For Kids Plus DIY Healthier Options post and 5 Processed Kids Snacks You Should Avoid.
You don’t have to sacrifice taste if you switch to healthier ingredients. In fact, you will be adding more flavor and your food will taste way better using natural products that are also good for you. Remember also it is a slow process. You cannot expect to have a 100% clean eating kitchen in a month or two. Little by little you can inform yourself and make better choices. This 5 Ingredient Swaps You Need To Make Now post can help you get started.
So here’s my list of 5 Ingredient Swaps You Need To Make Now. What I did was switch one ingredient at a time not to get overwhelmed with so many changes. In a few months I was already eating healthier and feeling so much better. My goal is to stay away from processed foods and use more natural and healthier alternatives.
5 Ingredient Swaps You Need To Make Now
1.- Sea salt instead of refined salt. The difference? Sea Salt comes from natural evaporated seawater under the sun. It contains natural potassium, calcium, and other minerals that gives great flavor. The minerals are also readily used by the body as there are naturally occurring. Table salt is heated to extreme temperatures and refined with chemicals. Potassium and sodium iodide added for iodised salt. Dextrose, sodium bicarbonate and sodium are also added for color. My choice: Celtic Sea Salt. Another sea salt I like to use is Himalayan Pink Salt.
2.-Butter instead of margarine. Real butter is actually good for you! Butter does not contribute to heart disease, it is high in vitamin A, necessary for thyroid and adrenal health Real butter also contains anti-oxidants that protect against weakening arteries and cancer. Butter is high in important fatty acids for brain development. Butter is actually associated with a lower risk of obesity and lowers heart attack risks compared to margarine. Margarine is made from vegetable oils extracted from seeds by a chemical process, deodorized and altered. Margarine is one of the most altered foods in our diets. It is not natural and most likely comes from GMO crops. My choice of butter: Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter.Made from grass fed cows and natural with only two ingredients: cream and salt. Want a simple and delicious recipe using real butter? Please see my Perfect Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe and start baking from scratch using quality ingredients.
3.-Dates instead of sugar. If you make smoothies and bake regularly, Dates are a fantastic way to sweeten your favorite treats! Everyone knows sugar is bad for your health and the less sugar you eat, the better. Dates come from nature and are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. Dates help relief constipation, intestinal disorders, heart problems, anemia, sexual dysfunction, diarrhea, and even abdominal cancer. So next time you make a smoothie or bake some cupcakes like my Super Healthy Banana Cupcakes, try substituting dates for refined sugar. For smoothies, just a couple of dates will do the trick. Please also see my Green Smoothie Recipe.
4.- Quinoa instead of rice . This is one of my favorite healthy swaps. At home, we only eat rice occasionally and we substitute it for nutritional and delicious Quinoa. Quinoa has more fiber and 50% more protein than even brown rice. Quinoa has also more iron, folate, vitamin B2 and zinc. Even considering the healthiest type of rice which is brown, it still undergoes a refining process and recent studies are concerned about high arsenic levels. Switch to quinoa and gain more health benefits! If you want to try some quinoa recipes, please see my Molded Quinoa With Ground Beef Filing or Chicken Quinoa Chaufa recipes.
5.- Whole grains instead of refined. Refined grains loose important nutrients during the grinding process, such as vitamin E, which is essential to our health. Choosing whole grains will also add fiber, iron and B vitamins to your diet. When I first started switching to whole grains, I used to buy any type of whole grain product. Please don’t be fooled by the advertising on the package. The words “natural” and “made with whole grains” do not mean the product is a healthy choice. When choosing a whole grain option look for the words “made with 100% whole grains”. Always look at the ingredients: the first ingredient should be a whole grain such as whole wheat flour or whole oats. Remember ingredients are listed in order of quantity. My whole grain picks: King Arthur 100% Whole Wheat Flour, Alvarado Multi Grain Bread and 100% Whole Wheat Penne Rigate. Please also check out my Homemade Mini Brownies recipe, made with 100% whole wheat flour.
Easy 5 Ingredient Swaps You Need To Make Now list. When my son was born about 4 years ago is when I really started researching and investigating about nutrition. I wanted to give him the best possible start to life. But you cannot learn about nutrition in just a few months.
Now 4 years after investigating about food and nutrition, we are in a much healthier and informed place. Little by little we are still improving in the ingredients we use for everyday cooking and we still have a long way to go. There is always something to improve and learn.
I am not an extremist and we do eat out on the weekends. Our rule is that when we are out we feel free to eat whatever we want, but at home we try and eat as healthy as we can. I hope these 5 Ingredient Swaps You Need To Make Now helps you get inspired and start eating healthier. It is really worth it.