8 Healthy Foods That Can Easily Replace Their Less Healthy Counterparts

By: Natasha Longo,

You don’t have to sacrifice taste when switching to a healthier diet. There are a number of nutritious foods which can replace your naughtier preferences without forgoing flavor. From ice cream to pasta, there are much healthier alternatives which will please your palate and your waistline.

1. Quinoa instead of Rice or Pasta
White rice and pasta are “bad” or simple carbs–you know, the ones that don’t provide much in the way of nutrition. But quinoa! This amazing ancient grain not only acts as a perfect platform for soaking up sauces, just like pasta and rice, but also it’s a complete protein, which means it delivers all nine of the essential amino acids.

2. Fruit Sorbet instead of Ice Cream
Conventional ice cream is loaded with added sugars, emulsifiers and preservatives (not to mention pasteurized milk). It is so simple to blend frozen fruits such as strawberries, bananas, blueberries, pineapple, mango and many others into your favorite fruit sorbet with a fraction of the calories, fat and plenty of vitamins and minerals. Just add your favorite fruits into a high speed blender with a little water and you have the perfect substitute for even some of the best ice creams. If you want it thicker, mixing in organic greek yogurt always does the trick.

3. Nut or Seed Milks Instead of Cow Milk
Conventional milk is loaded with pesticides, hormones, and by products of genetically modified foods not to mention that pasteurized milk is perhaps one of the most nutritionally deficient beverages misappropriately labeled as a “perfect food.” Nut or seed milks are super easy to make. Almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, macadamias walnuts, hemp seeds and flaxseeds make wonderful milk substitutes with healthy omega-3s and vitamins you will actually absorb (unlike conventional milk).

4. Shaved Zucchini instead of Pasta
Another magical swap, shaved zucchini (created by shaving zucchini into strands with a vegetable peeler) can carry sauces from the plate to your palate–and add a serving of veggies to your dish to boot. Bonus: You don’t even have to cook it and it’s a refreshing way to serve saucy dishes during summer’s heat!

5. Coconut Water instead of Gatorade
Unless you’re a serious athlete, you don’t need the kind of potassium and electrolytes found in Gatorade anyway; gulping down a good amount of water will more than do the trick for the average gym goer. But coconut water, or the water harvested from inside young coconuts, does provide additional nutritional value over water–without the additives found in sports drinks. Expect great, refreshing, even sweet taste plus about as much potassium as you’d find in a banana.

6. Spinach and Tomato Sauce instead of Spaghetti with Sauce
Let’s be honest. Pasta’s main purpose is to be a vehicle for sauce. So why not drive your favorite pasta sauce into your mouth via a more healthy vehicle? Lightly cooked spinach can be a perfect partner for tomato sauces–not to mention a valuable source of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, which are known to be anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer.

7. Kale Chips instead of Potato chips
We don’t need to tell you how unhealthy potato chips are. But you might like to know you can enjoy similarly crisp, greasy flavor and eat healthily if you reach for kale chips. There is a catch–you’ll need to make them yourself. But on the upside, all you need to do is de-stem kale leaves, spray them with a tiny bit of coconut oil, sprinkle them with sea salt, and bake them for 30 minutes at an oven preheated to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Even you have a dehydrator, even better (although it will take longer). If you ate an entire bunch, you’d have satisfied your greens requirement for the day and only ingested about 200 calories!

8. Cauliflower instead of Potatoes
Taste aside, there’s not much good that comes from mashed potatoes. But substitute even half of your spuds with cooked and mashed cauliflower and you’ll cut calories and add protein to your favorite rib-gripping side dish. After all, pound for pound, potatoes have nearly four times as many calories as cauliflower and not nearly the amount of nutrition.






24 responses to “8 Healthy Foods That Can Easily Replace Their Less Healthy Counterparts”

  1. Michele Tyler Avatar
    Michele Tyler

    Do you have any information about allergies and is there any advantage to allergy shots. Are there any natural things we can do to help out with allergies.

  2. Sara Gapper Avatar
    Sara Gapper

    Find a chiropractor who does kinesiology. He/she can check on what you’re allergic to, including foods. I used to get allergy shots, but when I discovered the muscle testing doc, it changed my life and the lives of my children.

  3. Kitty Avatar

    What is wrong with you people? In what universe does spinach replace pasta? Seriously, stinky mealy cauliflower in place of yummy starchy potatoes? This article makes me laugh out loud. What a disappointment.

    1. Marta Blomst Avatar
      Marta Blomst

      I agree with you, Kitty, very disappointing article. Let me add one more thing. Coconut oil has high saturated fat content and raises your LDL cholesterol levels. This makes it a non-recommended food.

      1. Cheri Avatar

        Marta, you may need to check your facts about coconut oil. It is a very recommended food source and it is wonderful for overall health. You are correct that coconut oil has saturated fat however it is predominantly medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) and does not raise cholesterol levels. See link for more info. http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/

      2. Paul Avatar

        Sorry but I believe coconut oil is the better oil. I have been using it daily for all my cooking needs for over ten years and my LDL is 63.

        1. Joan Avatar

          Same with me Paul. My LDL is 55 and I’ve been using coconut oil for at least 25 years. I use olive oil and palm oil too and that’s all.

    2. Kathleen Avatar

      Spinach IS a good substitute for pasta but not completely. Spinach can be a carrier for the sauce. You may also wish to use some pasta in your dish but not nearly as much.

    3. joe Avatar

      Please note, for those on restricted diets, for stage 4 kidney disease, THOSE ARE FACTS, ALTHOUGH I AGREE REGARDING SPINACH, A SMALL AMOUNT IS FINE due to the potassium level, cauliflower IS GREAT I consume 6-7 lbs of veggies, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, green beans, etc, that are recommended for my diet, so FAR THANK GOD I’VE BEEN ABLE TO STAY AWAY FROM DIALYSIS. I love pasta, and yes in SMALL AMOUNTS 1-2 times weekly with extra virgin olive oil, garlic AND LOTS OF VEGGIES, italians and great cook books can show you how to enjoy and satisfy a craving sensiably and still maintain your health, I must be very conscious of potassium, sodium, phosphorus. Thanks

    4. Joy Avatar

      I have found I would much rather have zucchini instead of pasta. IThe only thing is getting them moisture out so it isn’t mushy but not cooking it is a great idea I will try.

  4. Michele Avatar

    Kitty and Marta, please do some research before you post. You know not of what you speak.

  5. Cajungirl Avatar

    I enjoyed the article, it will be very helpful to me my neighbors follow most of what is in this article and I do some, so I will try the Kale chips, Coconut oil, and maybe try cauliflower as a replacement for potatoes, also making my own sorbet.

  6. Suzan Elliott Avatar
    Suzan Elliott

    With regard to Coconut Oil & LDL levels – my research has indicated that the oil can (in some people) raise TOTAL CHO -( cholesterol) – that means both HDL and LDL levels will be higher. The higher HDL levels, which remove LDL from the circulation – keep the overall ratio (HDL: total CHO) well within healthy range. The ratio is the more important variable than either the HDL or LDL levels taken alone.

  7. Paul Avatar

    Coconut oil must be the Extra Virgin kind just like Olive Oil must be Extra Virgin for one to get a benefit from it’s use. I have been using Extra Virgin Coconut Oil for over ten years and my LDL is 63 and total cholesterol is 153., triglycerides are 60. The only oils I use are coconut oil and olive oil.

  8. Lilly Moscato Avatar
    Lilly Moscato

    Our family has already implemented a few of these changes, and I am looking forward to trying more. Thank you, so much!

  9. joe Avatar

    Great articles, please keep them coming, thank you!

  10. Joey Avatar

    i cannot stand the smell or taste of coconut……does coconut oil taste or smell like coconut?

  11. Guy Miller Avatar
    Guy Miller

    What foods are good for prostrate health
    Thanks for great good substitute food article

  12. doris Avatar

    If you have allergies, try naet.com. Some people cannot eat spinach because of Oxalic acid. Quinoa pasta is good. Spaghetti squash makes a good pasta.

  13. Angie Avatar

    I have a problem with a bunion giving me problems. Does anyone know what would help to get rid of bunions…without surgery?

  14. Becky Florey Avatar
    Becky Florey

    Question about coconut water?
    Did you know most or all coconut trees are injected with
    Antibiotic for a disease called leathal yellowing?
    Is this also harmful to the coconut water consumed
    By people?

  15. Suzanne Avatar

    I am here to vouch for cauliflower. I have tried cauliflower crust pizza, mashed cauliflower and roasted cauliflower. I GLADLY gave up potatoes for the wonderful cauliflower recipes that I have found.

  16. Brooke Avatar

    Kale chips are no were near as good as patato. Coconut milk is no were near as good as Gatorade. Quinoa is gross.

  17. John G Crobons Avatar
    John G Crobons

    Try Alkaline water instead of anything! I question any health article that would refer to Gateraide as healthy.

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