March is Nutrition Month and there’s no better time to get your diet back on a healthy track — especially since bathing suit season is just around the corner! With these simple food swaps, you’ll cut calories but not flavour.
Instead of mayo, use hummus
Sandwiches can be totally bland without a spread, and hummus is the perfect compromise. It’s packed with fibre while being low in fat and calories — but the best part is that it’s totally delicious. Use it as a spread or a dip, or try mixing it with canned tuna and a few veggies for a high-protein salad or snack. You can buy it at the grocery store or make it yourself — here’s a great roasted red pepper hummus recipe to try.
Instead of potatoes, try sweet potatoes
Love your spuds? Sweet potatoes are a healthier alternative that taste just as good — or perhaps even better than — the original. Sweet potatoes are considered one of the “good” carbs, since they’re packed with potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C, and they won’t spike your blood sugar as drastically as regular potatoes. Enjoy them roasted in the oven; or, for a real treat, try these sweet potato fries.
Instead of sour cream, try non-fat plain yogurt
Sour cream is a delicious addition to almost any dish, but while it’s great for adding that perfect creamy flavour to your favourite soup or chili, it also comes with a lot of extra calories and fat that you don’t need. Non-fat plain yogurt provides the same creamy, tangy taste, but with half the calories. Plus, it’s totally versatile — just add some honey and fruit for a delicious, guilt-free dessert.
Instead of sugary soda, try sparkling water
A big glass of ice-cold pop or juice can be so refreshing, but is it really worth all the empty calories you’re consuming? Definitely not. Instead of guzzling soda, try some sparkling water or club soda instead, and sweeten it yourself using some fresh orange slices. If that’s still not sweet enough for you, try a glass of half cranberry juice and half soda water.
Instead of refined grains, try whole grains
You’re probably sick of hearing about all the health benefits of whole grains, but there’s a reason for the repetition: Swapping your white bread and pasta for the whole wheat variety can make a big difference in your overall nutrition. Here’s another swap you may not have thought of: in recipes (risotto, soup) that call for white rice, try pearled barley instead. It’s high in fibre and selenium, and it’s good for your digestion as well.