Healthy Eating

The Ultimate Healthy Swap List

Because eating healthy can be as simple as making some simple eat-this, not-that swaps.

By: Emmy Schneider-Green

Eating healthy can seem daunting—we get it. If dietary advice you see on the front of every magazine makes it seem like you have to overhaul your entire diet, we have good news! Making some simple and painless healthy swaps to your staple foods is a doable way we can all give our kitchens and diets a healthy makeover.

Research suggests we’re more likely to stick to (or start, for that matter!) healthy behavioral changes like eating well when we opt for bite-sized gradual tweaks, versus attempting to overhaul everything overnight  (makes sense, right?)

So instead of tossing everything in your pantry, turn to these 19 healthy swaps for all the familiar flavors and staples you love, with some big added health perks.

19 Healthy Swaps to Make Now

#1 Coconut Aminos Instead of Soy Sauce

For that salty, umami flavor, coconut aminos are a soy-free, non-GMO version of soy sauce without any icky additives.

#2 Plant Milk Instead of Cow’s Milk

Plant milk is more digestible for most, plus healthier for the planet. Grab a fortified one for tons of protein, calcium, and vitamins.

#3 Cumin, Paprika, and Chili Powder Instead of Pre-Packaged Taco Seasoning 

Packaged taco seasoning is a combo of these three spices anyway, but a DIY version is free of any preservatives or artificial flavors.

#4 Plain Yogurt Instead of Flavored

Spruce up with some fresh fruit and a drizzle of honey if you need a bit of sweetness

#5 Organic Coffee Instead of Conventional Coffee

Because you want that caffeine, not the pesticides on conventional coffee beans.  

#6 Veggie Chips Instead of Potato Chips

All the crunch and satisfaction, less saturated fat, and carbs.

#7 Rolled or Steel Cut Oats Instead of Instant Oats

Even rolled old fashioned oats cooked up on the stove or in the microwave in minutes, and retain more of their naturally occurring fiber

#8 Nutritional Yeast Instead of Parmesan Cheese 

Nutritional yeast or nooch has a cheesy (vegan) umami flavor and is brimming with B vitamins.

#9 Roasted Nuts and Dried Fruit Instead of Bars

Yes, they’re convenient, but a fruit/nut bar is loaded with extra sugar, and a baggie of nuts and dried fruit is just as simple to prepare and grab.

#10 Quinoa Instead of Rice

You don’t have to ditch rice entirely but change it up with lower carb, higher-protein quinoa as a substitute.

#11 Himalayan Salt Instead of Table Salt

Not just for salt lamps, this pink salt gets its color from the actual minerals (about 90+ of them) stripped away from standard table salt.

#12 Spaghetti Squash Instead of White Flour Pasta

A veggie that tastes and cooks up just like a carb that you can enjoy huge portions of? Yes, please!

Bonus tip: for when you want actual pasta, try lentil pasta for a punch of protein and fiber!

#13 Veggie Broth vs. Olive Oil (for sautéing)

Did you know that you can easily sauté onions, greens, or any veggies in broth instead of oil, for less fat and calories?  

#14 Frozen Grapes Instead of Candy

Seriously, these are nature’s candy. Simply pop them in the freezer and enjoy anytime.

#15 Plain Yogurt Instead of Sour Cream

You won’t even know the difference, and it’s way lower in fat and higher in protein.

#16 Coconut Water Instead of Gatorade

All the electrolytes, as nature intended, sans added sugar and colors.

#17 Avocado Instead of Mayo

For when you need the creaminess without the fat and cholesterol of mayo.

#18 Olive Oil and Vinegar Instead of Bottled Salad Dressing

Add a dash of mustard, spices, or chopped garlic and a bit of coconut aminos for extra flavor.

#19 Real Peanut Butter Instead of No-Stir

Peanuts and salt should be the only ingredients in your peanut butter. No added palm oil or sugar!

Healthy Swaps Without Sacrificing Flavor 

Whether you’re watching your calories or simply trying to make healthier decisions for yourself and your family, you’ll be giving your pantry a big boost in the health department with these swaps, without missing out on any flavors!