healthy food alternatives

10 Simple Healthy Food Alternatives

Do you want to eat healthier but you don’t feel like you are ready to change to a completely new diet? Then you can still make some small dietary changes to improve your health. For example, instead of eating unhealthy foods that are pretty standard in the U.S., you can choose healthy food alternatives.

What I love about healthy food swaps is that they can make your diet much healthier without the need for making huge changes in your habits. Some swaps can significantly boost your nutrition and reduce empty calories. So most likely, you can lose some weight as well. Plus, have more energy.

I can vouch for these simple swaps as a great way to get more nutrients without feeling like you’re missing out on all your favorite foods. It’s amazing how much of a difference it makes in my energy levels when I do simple things like add hemp seeds to my cereal 🙂

Today, I will show you 10 healthy food alternatives that are easy to build into your diet and can reduce your cravings for junk food too. Are you ready? Then let’s see the list.

1. Unsweetened oatmeal (instead of flavored oatmeal)

In general, whole grains such as oatmeal are healthy breakfast options. However, flavored, instant oatmeal can contain a lot of calories and chemicals that can ruin the health benefits of oats. Rather choose natural, unsweetened oatmeal and don’t add any sugar to it. Simply flavor it with honey (a touch), cinnamon, nuts, or some fruits. If you need a good recipe, check out this easy oatmeal recipe that includes some ideas for healthy toppings as well.

Related read: 30 Day Health Challenge Ideas: The Nutrition Edition

2. Smashed avocado (instead of jam)

healthy food alternatives

If you start your day with a jam-topped butter toast, I have bad news for you. Your jam is filled with a lot of added sugar, which is not a good way to start your day at all. It would be a better idea to choose something that is more nutrient-dense.

I like to spread some smashed avocado (a half is enough) on the top of my morning toast. Then I add a little lemon juice and a slice of tomato for better flavor. But if you want, you can also top it with some garlic, fresh leafy herbs, or a fried egg (it’s a great source of extra protein!).

Avocados are rich in fiber and healthy fats, so it is worth changing your jam to avocado. An avocado toast will keep you full until your next meal.

Related read: Why Organic? The Pros and Cons of Shopping Organic

3. Hummus (instead of mayo)

Many people don’t know that mayo contains a lot of calories (some emptier than others). One tablespoon of mayo has 95 calories, so adding mayo to your sandwich may not be such a great idea after all. If you are looking for healthy food alternatives to mayo, hummus may be a good option.

Since hummus is made from chickpeas and tahini, it has fewer empty calories. Plus, it is very delicious!

Don’t know how to make hummus? Don’t worry, it is not so complicated. Here is a simple healthy hummus recipe. (Or buy a tub at your favorite shop.)

4. Fruit or veggies (instead of chips)


Do you eat potato chips often? I know, I know- they’re delish! Sadly, chips are nutrient-poor and you are eating only empty calories.

Swap your chips for something healthier such as fresh fruits (berries, watermelon), fresh veggies (baby carrots, cucumber), or you can also make kale chips or even air popped popcorn. These choices are all great because they are more filling while having fewer calories.

Related read: Monthly Meal Planning Ideas: How to Create a Monthly Meal Planner

5. Bowls (instead of burritos)

Burritos are so delicious! But unfortunately, at the same time, they can pack a lot of calories. Just imagine that a burrito can have up to 470 calories depending on the size and ingredients (I’m sure mine are more- they always turn into monsters). In particular, the tortilla provides a lot of empty unnecessary calories.

Therefore, it may be better (and easier too) if you replace your burritos with bowls. Make sure to add a lot of veggies and not too much rice. Also, opt for salsa and guac instead of sour cream. This way you can enjoy the flavors of a burrito but it will be much more nutrient dense.

Related read: Summer Healthy Recipes and Drinks

6. Brown or cauliflower rice (instead of white rice)

Choosing brown rice and cauliflower rice over white rice can help you reduce your calorie intake and increase your fiber intake.

You can easily make your own cauliflower rice at home, all you have to do is to follow these simple instructions. You will see that cauliflower rice is such a great substitute for rice, your meals will feel less heavy when using cauliflower. (I’m always pleasantly surprised- even my 2 year old likes it!)

7. Side salad (instead of fries)


Most of us love fries. The only problem with fries is that they give too many empty calories to your diet. If you really would like to add something to your meal, make an easy side salad. This way, you can not only decrease your calorie intake but adding some leafy greens to your diet can also do a lot for having a more balanced diet.

If you need some recipe ideas, check out this page. Most of the recipes are super easy and you can prepare these salads in a really short time.

Related read: How to Stop Eating Junk Food: Practical Tips

8. Unsweetened applesauce (instead of sugar)

Unsweetened applesauce is a great sugar substitute in baking recipes. Simply add applesauce to your cookies, brownies, or cakes in a 1:1 ratio. Don’t worry, your dessert will be sweet enough but will have fewer calories per serving. One cup of unsweetened applesauce has 100 calories while the same amount of sugar has almost 8 times more and has a crazy effect on your blood sugar!

9. Energy bites (instead of cookies)

Are you craving something sweet? For example, cookies or ice cream? Then make instead some energy bites- my favorite! Most energy bites recipes require only a few ingredients such as oats, dates, coconut, peanut butter, dark chocolate, and chia seeds and are free from added sugar. And the best thing is that you don’t even have to bake them!

Here is an easy 5-ingredients energy bites recipe that is naturally sweetened and will definitely fulfill your needs for sweets.

Related read: How To Reduce Sugar Cravings For Good

10. Almond milk (instead of regular milk)

healthy food alternatives

Nowadays, plant-based milk options such as oat milk, rice milk, and almond milk are very popular, particularly in a plant-based diet. And for a reason! They are delicious and lower in calories than regular milk.

Unsweetened almond milk is one of the best milk substitutes as it contains no lactose, saturated fat, or even cholesterol. The only disadvantage is that it has no calcium, so make sure to choose almond milk which is enriched with calcium, or get some calcium from other sources.

If you want to try almond milk, you can buy it in most grocery stores or you can make it at home as well. Here is an easy 10 minutes-recipe that requires only a few ingredients and a blender.

Related read: Is perfume bad for you? The dangers of fragrance

The bottom line

If you would like to improve your health and have a more balanced diet ( and maybe lose some weight too), you have to make some sacrifices. Luckily, you can make a difference and achieve great results in the long term even with small changes like replacing some foods with healthy food alternatives.

Use our list as an inspiration to further healthy food swaps. There are so many other replacement hacks you can try! You will notice that creating healthy eating habits will bring you closer and closer to both your nutritional and fitness goals.

Related read: What is Mindful Eating? And How Can It Benefit You?

Will you try any of the above-mentioned healthy food alternatives? If yes, which one(s)? What other swaps do you already use?

Similar Posts