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Healthy Alternative Food Swaps – Part One

Health is the goal for a great number of people in the world, but there are plenty of us who are still eating unhealthy “health” foods.

man_apple_cookie_choice_decision_healthy_unhealthy_fuel_preworkout_picHealth is a topic of great importance for our country as each year the number of people with serious conditions like obesity, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes only seem to grow. For many, eating healthy and well all the time can be daunting and overwhelming. But a few simple and consistent changes, or swaps, can make a big impact on the long-term health and longevity of the body.

The list below offers great ideas for simple swaps that can have a significant impact on the health of the body, down to the cellular level!

Switch out

Table Salt for Real Salt, Pink Himalayan, or Celtic Sea Salt:

Replacing table salt, which has no nutritional value and wreaks havoc on the body, with a healthier salt prevents the same damage table salt tends to inflict. These healthy salts provides an abundance of trace minerals and other health-promoting elements to aid mineral balance in the body and promote the healthy function of several of the body’s systems.

Cow’s Milk for Nut Milk:

Conventional cow’s milk is not the health food many consider it to be. It is highly processed and contains dead cells, antibiotics, hormones, and other damaging things. Conventional milk is linked to many issues, including allergies, digestive problems, bloating, acne, and weight gain. A better option would be unsweetened, organic nut milk (a brand that does not contain carrageenan, and I recommend avoiding soy). Quality nut milks are not only less processed than conventional cows milk, but they also will not contain any dead cells, antibiotics, or hormones. However, they will contain nutrients such as vitamins and minerals to support health.

kombucha_ferment_drink_probiotics_healthy_picAlcohol or Soda for Kombucha:

Alcohol is hard on our bodies, particularly the liver. Not only can it be addictive, but it can cause more harm than any good it might provide. In addition, alcohol is a source of empty calories. A better choice would be a low sugar, natural kombucha drink, such as GT’s Synergy kombucha. Not only does it taste great, but it has a naturally strong flavor somewhat similar to alcohol, that makes you feel like you’re getting a refreshing drink without any of the harm! Kombucha provides us with enzymes, antioxidants, B vitamins, and probiotics, to name just a few of its benefits.

Processed and Packaged Juices for Fresh Juice:

Packaged juices, even when organic, are processed, often even homogenized, which means much of the nutritional value has been destroyed. We’re basically getting loads of sugar in a liquid form without much benefit to go in hand. A better alternative would be to juice your own juice or to get it fresh from a local juice bar. Always aim to keep the sugars low in any form of juice. And of course water always has less sugar than any other drink!

Coffee for Green Tea:

Most people drink their coffee with added sugars and processed fats, which does harm to the body. While coffee does have some benefit, it also can stress and deplete the adrenal glands and has a few other negative effects on the body. A better alternative is an herbal green tea, which provides the body with some strong antioxidants without any of the harmful effects coffee can have.

Cocoa for Raw Cacao:

We’ve all probably heard by now that chocolate can be a healthy food. This is true, but not all chocolate is created equal. Cocoa is the processed form of cacao and has been heated and processed and contains little nutritional value. Raw cacao powder on the other hand is chock-full of antioxidants, magnesium, and many other nutritional components to boost health.

coconut_water_glass_fruit_straw_drink_picSports Drinks for Raw Coconut Water:

Sports drinks are loaded with sugars, dyes, and other less-than-ideal ingredients. Electrolytes are minerals, and these electrolyte minerals are found naturally in many foods. A great replacement for commercial sports drinks is raw coconut water. It’s naturally sweet and delicious and provides an unprocessed source of minerals.

Traditional Mayo for Avocado:

Most mayo found in the fridge of Americans is highly processed with poor quality ingredients and harmful oils. A healthful alternative would be a fresh avocado, which is creamy and loaded with healthy fats, vitamins, and fiber.

Wheat Products for Sprouted Grain Products:

While some wheat products are certainly better than their white counterparts, many wheat products are actually just as highly processed with low quality ingredients and little overall nutrition. A great swap would be truly whole grain, organic, and, ideally, soaked and sprouted grain bread. Brands such as Ezekiel, Silver Hills, and Alvarado Street Bakery all offer several types of grain products that are soaked and sprouted, organic, and non-GMO to provide minerals, vitamins, enzymes, and a more digestible source of protein.

While this list is by no means all inclusive, it’s a great start to creating your own simple, manageable, and maintainable steps today to improve your health and, therefore, your life!

See more healthy alternative food swaps in part two!

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