If you are looking to reduce your overall fat intake, the process doesn’t have to be too painful. Food swaps are a great way to create a healthier menu for yourself without having to make too many huge changes. In other words, you still get to enjoy the things you usually enjoy, they will just be healthier versions of the same.
Swap your sandwich for a veggie grinder
If you are the type to make a sandwich for lunch, that could be one of the main culprits of a high triglyceride count, or excess fat intake. Things like cheese, lunch meat, mayo, etc. all add up quicker than we realize.
So try this: Veggie grinders are meant to be huge, abundant, and satisfying sandwiches. Instead of putting lunch meat and cheese between that roll, try spinach, ripe tomato, alfalfa sprouts, onion, pickle, or anything else you enjoy. Instead of adding cheese or mayonnaise, drizzle a bit of low-fat salad dressing.
Not only is this option lower in fat, it is much higher in fiber and vitamins.
Swap chips for veggie sticks/slices
We all love chips, but if you are trying to cut back on fat intake, this snack probably has to go.
Try this: Whip up some healthy guacamole at home, and use celery sticks, carrot sticks, thin radish slices, or raw cauliflower heads in place of those chips.
Even chips which advertise that they are reduced fat, whole grain, baked, etc. can’t compete with raw veggies. You get the crunch you love, plus extra vitamins and minerals, too.
Swap a store-bought smoothie for a homemade parfait
Many people are surprised to discover just how high in fat and sugar store-bought smoothies can be, even those coming from stores or stands that position themselves as health-food providers.
Try this: Find your favorite fresh fruit (frozen is OK too, especially if your favorites are out of season) and alternate layers of low-fat vanilla or honey Greek yogurt with tons of fruit.
Juice stands or smoothie shops often use ingredients like whole milk, full-fat yogurt, and sometimes even ice cream to get that delicious taste and texture. Making this alternative at home will cut out a lot of excess fat from your diet.
Portobello mushroom caps instead of burgers
If your doctor has recently advised that you watch your fat intake, he or she probably also advised that you go easy on the red meat. It can be hard to give up your favorite burger, but maybe not after you try this amazing swap.
Try this: Portobello mushroom caps have an amazing flavor and texture that makes them the perfect substitute for a burger patty. Grill them up with your favorite burger spices, top with low-fat melted cheese and all your favorite condiments, and you’ll come out with a much healthier version of a classic.
Try edamame instead of nuts
Nuts make for a great snack, but they are very high in fat.
Try this: Edamame, or salted soybeans, have a very similar texture to nuts. They also have the advantage of giving you that continual hand-to-mouth motion, and thanks to a high fiber content, can fill you up much faster.
Swap salad dressing for oil and vinegar
Some store-bought salad dressings can be shockingly high in fat. A fresh, seasonal salad full of interesting ingredients ought to taste pretty darn good on its own, so let’s try letting those natural flavors shine through.
Try this: A drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a serving of balsamic vinaigrette, raspberry vinaigrette, or even apple cider vinegar can do a lot to enhance a healthy salad without adding the additional fat.
Swap sour cream for plain Greek yogurt
Sour cream goes great on burritos, with baked potatoes, or even mixed in with your favorite chili. The problem? It is almost all fat.
Try this: Unsweetened, plain Greek yogurt has a taste and texture that is nearly indistinguishable from sour cream, but it has only a fraction of the fat. Remember to look for plain, not vanilla. Try substituting this in some of your favorite dishes. You probably won’t detect any difference at all!
These easy swaps should help ease you into a healthier diet with a lower fat content. Healthy eating habits are most successful when they are introduced slowly, over time, and don’t require too drastic a change. Good luck, and enjoy snacking your way to a healthier you!