Three Easy Healthy Pantry Substitutions

Replace white bread with whole wheat bread—good whole wheat bread

Whole wheat bread is generally less processed, has more fiber, will keep you fuller longer, and won’t spike your blood sugar like white bread.  As far as your body is concerned, white bread is just sugar, and eating straight sugar doesn’t fall under “eat healthier.” Ideally, buy freshly baked bread from a deli, bakery, or farmers’ market; although highly-processed, pre-sliced whole wheat bread is a bit better than its white alternative, it’s still highly-processed and pre-sliced.

Insider tip: Look at the ingredient list. If it lists “wheat flour,” it means white wheat flour. If it lists ingredients you don’t recognize, they’re probably preservatives or other sketchy things you don’t want in your body, and you’d be better off buying a different loaf.

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Replace canned vegetables with fresh or frozen vegetables

Unlike canned vegetables, frozen vegetables retain most of their nutrients and fiber—and they’re just as convenient, if that’s a factor in your decision. When possible, eat fresh vegetables. This tip also goes for fruit. Canned fruits often come swimming in a sugary syrup, and have almost none of the beneficial nutrients of fresh or even frozen fruit.

Insider tip: Want to go the extra mile? Freeze your own veggies, from your garden or from a farmers’ market, to enjoy healthy produce throughout the year.

 

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Replace meat—especially red meat—with a vegetarian protein

Hold up! We’re not suggesting that you go full-on vegetarian, but at least once a week, go meatless. If possible, eat vegetarian proteins that are natural and not processed. For example, serve vegetarian Mexican food, with beans instead of meat. Or whip up an omelette, and let eggs provide the protein. You can always buy a tofu-based “fake meat,” but it’s cheaper and healthier to pick natural foods.

Insider tip: You can also improve health just by reducing the amount of meat in a meal. For red meat, a serving size should be no bigger than a pack of cards. Sound pitifully small? Mix the meat with other ingredients, for example in a stirfry, and its flavor will spread out over lower-calorie, more fibrous foods.

 

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