21 Smart Food Swaps

As much as I love my unhealthy treats, I understand I can’t eat like crap everyday. Whether it’s snacks, everyday food products, and drinks; I thought about writing some tricks to show you, so you can swap out the unhealthy things for a healthier version. There are plenty of ways to still eat flavourful foods, but by being just a tad bit mindful you can save yourself some extra pounds!

I’m not a person that will preach about always swapping out foods for a healthier option, because my page is all about balance; but some of you have everyday things that you enjoy in your foods that may not be the best for you and your health. These swaps are smart and you should take them into consideration for a better healthier lifestyle!

Also, if you’re on a weight loss journey read these 12 tips and tricks that can help you achieve your goals. Kickstart Your Weight Loss Journey With These 12 Tips

Coconut Oil Instead Of Margarine

We should all know that butter and margarine have extra trans fats in them and aren’t healthy at all. Butter is cleaner than margarine, but should only be consumed in moderation. However, if you’re someone who likes some carbs in the morning and has toast with margarine spread all over it, consider swapping out margarine for coconut oil! It’s delicious, the flavour is subtle but it tastes great, it’s spreadable and works exactly like butter! Avocado is also a great idea. Flavour it with some lime juice, salt and pepper. Avo toast is life!

Organic Natural Peanut Butter Instead Of Fake PB

By now I hope you have realized that the peanut butter we grew up with as kids is not the real deal. If you look at the back there will be “sugar” added in the ingredients, when the ingredients should literally just be “peanuts”. Organic crunchy PB is the way to go. Some of you may think it’s really dry, which it isn’t but I love adding honey on top of PB on my toast. YUM! Everything we put into our bodies will affect us in one way or another, so why not swap out something that’s fake and has no benefits for something that’s healthier, has real ingredients and is natural.

Honey Instead Of Sugar

Coffee and tea drinkers are everywhere! They’re are people who drink their coffee black and those people who have a triple triple… There are ways to sweeten your drinks without all that extra unhealthy sugar! Start sweetening your drinks with some honey or even some Splenda! Splenda does have added stuff in there, but it’s a better option than sugar itself. Splenda is sweet enough; where I use the same small package for a week. There’s honestly no difference in the taste.

Bubbly Water Instead Of Soda

A lot of people enjoy carbonated sodas, but it’s packed with a ton of sugar in such a small can. Instead of loading your body with unwanted junk, try carbonated water! Perrier is a great example, they have different flavours with 0 sugar and calories! For extra flavour add some lime slices and some fruit to make your own flavours you enjoy!

Fresh Fruit Instead Of Dried Fruit

Dried fruit is easy to store at work in your drawer so you can nom all day on these chewy candy like snacks. These “fruit candy” never seem to get old, which is problem #1. If your food doesn’t get old for a very long time, that means it’s loaded with extra preservatives we don’t need. Problem #2 as good as they can be they are always filled with extra sugar! When travelling for 4 months, I fell in love with dried mango and got them often in Asia. The ingredients always showed that they had extra sugar added, which is odd because fruit has enough natural sugar in them, which already makes them taste so good. Instead of having dried fruit, eat more fresh ones! Not only do they taste refreshing, but it will save your body from the extra sugar you don’t need.

Halo Top Instead Of Ben & Jerry’s

Ahh, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream! The small pints are addictive and when my husband and I get it for a treat, we usually eat the whole thing at once! Ben and Jerry’s ice cream is great for that snack every once in awhile, but the sugar content is high! Good ice cream is my weakness, so when it’s that addictive we need to find some healthier options too! Halo top is a great alternative! The flavours are amazing and it won’t hurt your fitness goals!

Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough – Per serving of 2/3 cup (138 grams) 370 calories, 20 grams fat, 42 grams of carbs and 33 grams of sugar.

Halo Top Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough – per serving of 3/4 cup (188ml) 130 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 25 grams of carbs and 10 grams of sugar.

Plain Greek Yogurt Instead Of Vanilla Or Other Flavours

Depending on what yogurt brand you go with, a lot of them are packed with unwanted sugar in those little tiny containers or even the tubs. For example, I usually go with the big tub of the President’s Choice plain Greek Yogurt and here is the difference between the plain and the vanilla one.

Plain – Per serving of 3/4 cup (175 grams) 100 calories, 0 fat, 6 grams of carbs, and 4 grams of sugar.

Vanilla – Per serving of 3/4 cup (175 grams) 150 calories, 0 fat, 19 carbs, 15 grams of sugar.

They both have about the same amount of protein in it, but that’s not the issue. Just because the vanilla one has a good amount of protein in it, doesn’t always mean it’s the best for you. When you don’t pay attention to your sugar intake with small stuff like this; it adds up, and ends up demolishing your fitness goals! SO my tip would be to pick the healthier one and add your own flavour and sweetness to it yourself! You can add Splenda, honey, vanilla drops, fruit, protein powder etc. There ARE ways to make things taste just as good as the “unhealthy” version. Trust me, I’m not a fan of plain greek yogurt. I find it boring and sour, but by adding some of the things I mentioned, it changes the whole taste! OR if you like having the flavoured ones, I suggest you mix it up, add a bit of the flavoured one into the plain yogurt and voila! A little bit of extra flavour!

Start comparing the same foods and you’ll start to notice a huge difference with what you’re actually eating. Heck, even kids yogurts are packed with a TON sugar and I honestly think we need to start looking at ways to make it better for them as well.

Oatmeal Instead Of Cereal

I’m still a kid at heart and love my cereal once in a blue moon. When I have them, I eat them as a snack and not first thing in the morning for ‘breakfast.” I know some grown adults that eat cereal every single morning… Ya, your sugar intake can definitely sky rocket! Also, cereal isn’t filling! So make a swap and start eating some more oatmeal in the morning or just throughout your day. Sometimes I have oats 2-3 times a day! It’s very inexpensive, delicious, and you have the ability to flavour it however you want so you don’t get too bored! It’s packed with great calories and its macro friendly for everyone.

Check out my 5 Overnight Oat Recipes to get some ideas! 🙂

Homemade Salad Dressing Instead Of Store Bought

Who wants to save money and make healthier choices?! Ya, me too!! Some store bought salad dressings aren’t too bad, you just have to stay away from creamy ones and double check the nutritional facts. I don’t know about you, but store bought dressing make me grossed out. It’s just been sitting on the shelf with ingredients that should be getting old, but instead people have them in their fridges years after years and it never goes bad… Ya… Real ingredients get old.

Making homemade dressings is actually fun because there are a lot of options to make your salads flavourful. You can make your own honey mustard, basic vinaigrette or if you’re like me I love mixing white balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lime or lemon juice and some salt and pepper. That’s honestly all you need.

Smart Sweets Instead Of Candy

As much as it’s ok to nom on some yummy candy every once in awhile, it’s also great to find something that tastes just like candy, but without all the added junk and extra sugar! Smart Sweets are a guilt-free sweet tooth crusher! Do I recommended eating this everyday because it’s “healthier?” No. But, enjoy it instead of always turning to the normal candy in the grocery stores or bulk barn. You can find these at any supplement stores or even your local grocery store in the nutritional isle.

Daryl’s Granola Protein Bar Instead Of Chocolate Bars

Not every protein bar is good for you and not every protein bar tastes good. I HATE those protein bars with those weird taffy textures, so I wouldn’t recommend a bar that I don’t like. Daryl’s granola protein bar is delicious, it’s filling, because rolled oats is one of the main ingredients and it’s a perfect snack when you’re craving chocolate. There is sugar in the bar, but it’s mainly from honey. Let’s take a look at the macro differences.

Reese Cups – 1 package Serving size (42 grams) 220 Calories, 13 grams of fat, 24 carbs, 5 grams protein and 22 grams of sugar.

Protein Bar- 1 package Serving size per 85 grams. 290 calories, 6 grams of fat, 36 grams of carbs, 28 grams of protein and 12 grams of sugar. This bar is bigger too and it’s healthier!

Everything is about balance. 🙂

Homemade Meals Instead Of Pre-Made Crap

I get it, you’re busy, tired and the last thing you want to do is cook. However to make your day-to-day routine a lot easier, try making a full menu on Sunday and know exactly what you’re eating throughout the week and maybe prep stuff ahead of time if you can. A lot of people turn to the “laziest” pre made foods and some of them are packed with unwanted preservatives. By constantly going to these quick fixes, it’s really challenging to hit your fitness goals. Also you will lack a lot of healthy nutrients if you don’t make it yourself.

Schneiders Angus Burgers- Serving size (170 grams) 450 Calories, 36 grams of fat, 2 carbs and only 26 grams of protein.

Extra lean ground beef- Serving size (170 grams) 306 calories, 0 carbs, 17 grams of fat and 35 grams of protein.

I looked up the verified lean ground beef on My Fitness Pal (keep in mind there are lots to choose from so try to find the one with the green check mark!) Regardless of which ground beef you select on the app, it will always be better to make your own burgers compared to the pre-made frozen stuff. By making it yourself, you know exactly what is in it, and you can flavour it to your specific needs. I also find pre-made burgers to be really salty and to be honest it’s never as good as homemade!

This goes with buying store-bought fries. Once in awhile they’re ok, but I do prefer homemade fries; whether that’s sweet potato or regular! 🙂

Waldens Farm Pancake Syrup Instead Of Maple Syrup

When having a treat breakfast like pancakes or waffles, swap out syrups to make it not as sugary. I find maple syrup to be really sweet. Walden Farms has an amazing pancake syrup that tastes exactly like the real stuff, but without it being over the top sweet. It’s sugar free, which means they’re some extra preservatives in it, but it’s still better than all the sugar you get from actual maple syrup.

Dark Chocolate Instead Of Milk Chocolate

I love dark chocolate! And you know what else I love about it? I love that you can have like 2-3 squares and be completely satisfied with your sweet tooth! As much as I do enjoy good o’l milk chocolate, it’s nice not eating the whole bar in one sitting.

Iced Latte Instead Of A Frappuccino

I used to love chocolate frappuccinos when I was a teenager. It was a treat like once a year, because my hometown didn’t have Starbucks at the time. We had to drive to a mall, which was 40 mins out, just for Starbucks! But i know people out there who enjoy their fraps a couple times a week, if not everyday…

Coffee is coffee! If you want something cold, have an iced latte!

Iced Latte Grande – 130 cal, 13 carbs, 4.5 fat, and 11 sugar.
Carmel Frap Grande – 410 cal, 66 carbs, 15 fat, and 64 grams of added sugar! YIKES!

Sugar in drinks add up quickly, so be mindful! Also, bigger is not always better, get drinks in smaller sizes, they really do satisfy you more than you think.

Chocolate Protein Shake Instead Of Chocolate Milk

Chocolate milk is delicious period. However if you’re a family who constantly has jugs of chocolate milk in the fridge you may want to wean off of it a bit more! The brand Beatrice chocolate milk has 170 calories 9 grams protein, and 28 grams of sugar just in one single cup! That’s a sh*t ton of sugar.

Protein powder these days has so many flavours to choose from including lots of different chocolate ones. Have a protein shake and give yourself some nutrients instead. 🙂

ChickPea Pasta Instead Of Regular Pasta

Ohh em gee! Jamie and I recently found this organic chickpea pasta called Chicapea! It even has protein, tons of iron, fibre and more! The best part is, it tastes exactly like “normal” pasta. The carbs are like pasta, but it’s chickpeas, unlike the white starchy stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I love normal pasta, but sometimes I need a break from having it. This is such a better alternative with tons of nutrients!

Olive Oil Spray Instead Of Olive Oil

If you’re making eggs in the morning or any lunch or dinner and you need to heat the pan with some oil, your fat can add up quickly without you even knowing. Just by dumping oil onto the pan without being mindful can be harmful to your goals. Use the spray instead! 🙂

Fruit Infused Water Instead Of Juice

Juice once in awhile is amazing, I’m not a big fan of juice just due to how sweet they can be. The older I get the more certain stuff tastes way too sweet for my palette. For those people who love juice or like to add flavour to their water; adding some fruit to your tap water is great way to take out the extra sugar you’re consuming. Add some strawberries, cucumbers, lime, lemon, or whatever you want to make it more satisfying, with less sugar and calories.

Simple Boozy Drinks Instead Of Sugary Drinks

I get it, it’s a hot summer day and you’re craving a girly drink like a Daiquiri. You will most likely have more than 1 due to how small they can be, however even with a small glass you’re consuming a lot of calories with a lot sugar.

Serving of 231 grams of Daiquiri – 244 calories, 31 carb, and 23 gram of sugar.

500ml Perrier soda water (flavoured) with 1 ounce of gin – 75 Calories, 0 carbs

When you’re not careful you could be drinking a ton of junk just in one sitting! I love having some drinks, but I do the best I can to still make it healthier and obviously still flavourful! Flavoured soda water, gin, squeeze some lime juice. Or what us gym rats love is our BCAA’s which has SO many different types of flavours mixed with some vodka or gin, you have the perfect summer drink without the added crap.

Homemade Smoothies Instead Of Bottled

The Naked smoothie you see at your local grocery store is an easy thing to grab for your “breakfast” or “snack”, however nothing compares to making your own and controlling what you put in it and how much. The Kale Blazer Naked Smoothie has 40 grams of carbs and 34 grams of sugar AND literally 0 FIBRE! If you don’t believe me check it out for yourself! While sometimes it may look clean with simple ingredients like apple juice, you should already know that apple juice has a ton of extra added sugar, it doesn’t say freshly squeezed, so we know that it’s most likely coming from juice concentrate. Sometimes smoothies lack simple nutrients that we could just add it in ourselves. Like really, it’s not a lot of work at all to make your own. Save your money or use it towards your own fresh fruit and veggies for your delicious homemade smoothie!

See!! There are plenty of ways to tweak little things and make it healthier, which means your fitness goals will be much more achievable in a less stressful way. I think all these neat ways of swapping things out make life a bit more interesting and it gets you to use your imagination more often. I hope you enjoyed this post and if you have any other swaps you use in your daily life; I would love to hear them! 🙂

With all these amazing food swaps comes with learning how to meal prep effectively. Catch up on my other post! 10 Tips On How To Successfully Meal Prep