Healthy Food Swaps For Common Pantry Items
Navigating the world of health and nutrition on your own can be overwhelming...especially navigating the health food aisle at the grocery store! Nowdays, there are so many gluten-free, sugar-free, grain-free products out there that it almost makes it impossible to choose the right one for you. Here are some healthy food swaps for your favourite pantry items to make grocery shopping a breeze!
Fresh fruit instead of snack bars
Many granola bars and snack bars are marketing as healthy, but in reality they are filled with processed grains and sugar additives. Stick to fresh fruit such as berries, bananas and melon between meals rather than packaged snack bars.
Extra virgin olive oil instead of vegetable oil
Extra virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest oils and is part of a well-rounded diet. Buy olive oil in dark glass bottles to avoid rancidity of the oil from light exposure.
Oatmeal instead of breakfast cereals
Most breakfast cereals on the shelves have unnecessary added sugars. Check out the nutrition label to see for yourself! Starting your morning with a bowl of oatmeal topped with berries and nuts is a much healthier alternative to sugary cereals.
Whole grain flours instead of white flour
In most recipes, you can substitute whole grain flour for white flour which is a healthier alternative. Alternatively, check out recipes using almond flour or coconut flour as an alternative to wheat flours to boost your intake of healthy fats and decrease your intake of grains.
Low sodium broths instead of broths with added salt
There can be a lot of sodium hidden in store-bought broths and stocks. Look at the front label as well as the ingredient list on broths and choose one that is "no added salt" or "low sodium" so that you can control your intake of salt in your recipes.
Himalayan salt instead of table salt
Himalayan salt has gained popularity recently and is quite attractive due to it's pink colour. This type of salt contains trace minerals and is less processed than traditional table salt. Many stores are now carrying himalayan salt in the health food section as a healthier alternative.
Brown rice instead of white rice
Brown rice is a whole grain which has higher amounts of nutrients that benefit the heart and nervous system. The antioxidant content in whole grains help reduce inflammation in the body. The fiber helps with satiety and aids in digestion and elimination. On your next grocery shop, stock up on some brown rice!
Chickpea pasta over white pasta
Chickpea pasta looks and tastes like regular pasta, but has three times as much fiber as white wheat pasta. As well, the protein content is much higher as chickpeas are a good source of plant-based protein. This easy pantry swap makes the world of a difference for weight loss if you are someone who enjoys pasta.
Herbal teas instead of fruit juice
Herbal teas are a great substitute for fruit juices which are very high in sugar. If you feel like a sweet beverage, brew some herbal tea and add a natural sweetener like honey or stevia for a bit of added sweetness.
Unsalted nuts instead of sugary snacks
Unsalted nuts are a satisfying alternative to sugary snack foods. A small handful of unsalted almonds or cashews is a great snack that will not spike your blood sugar the same way milk chocolate or candy will. Stock up on some containers of your favourite nuts to use as snacks and add to salads and oatmeal.
Sprouted bread instead of white wheat bread
Sprouted bread is a healthier alternative to white wheat bread. This type of bread is made using whole grains that have been soaked and sprouted to break down proteins and carbohydrates in the grain, increasing the vitamin content and digestibility. One of our favourite brands of sprouted grain bread is Silver Hills Bakery.
We've listed some of the more common pantry items and these useful substitutions are a great place to start if you are looking to clean up your diet.
Like what you've read? Here's another great article on one of our favourite pantry items - hemp hearts!