Swap this for that: Healthy choices are easier than you think

We all know fried foods and dishes with high fat and salt content are bad for us. But it seems as if everywhere you turn fatty food is calling your name, triggering cravings. Swapping out these unhealthy choices for some healthy ones is actually easier than you may think. You can still fulfill your cravings without completely ditching your diet.

Trying some simple food swaps will put you on track to a healthier lifestyle.

Swap a frozen coffee drink for iced coffee. On a hot day, a blended coffee drink sure sounds refreshing, but the calories and sugar can weigh you down. A frozen coffee drink can pack up to 560 calories and 95 grams of sugar! Swap out the sweet treat with a lighter version (sans whipped cream and caramel drizzle), or even better, try an iced coffee with nonfat milk and sugar-free syrup. Your taste buds will be satisfied.

Swap deep-fried French fries for baked sweet potato fries. French fries get you every time. You need a quick snack and hit the drive thru, or they come with the meal you purchase. Some restaurants now offer sweet potato fries, but beware – they’re still fried. This hikes up the calorie content. Try baking or grilling some sweet potato fries at home to curb your hankering for the fried stuff.

Swap 80/20 burger for lean turkey or chicken. Not much is better than biting into a big, juicy hamburger. Overindulgence in red meat can affect your body’s health over time with the high calorie and fat content. So, head for the poultry section. Lean ground chicken or turkey is comparable in price, but can be bland. Swap your medium-well burger for a chicken burger flavored with onion and garlic. If you really need your hamburger, try buying a very lean 97/3 package.

Swap fried potato chips for edamame. Edamame is popping up in stores everywhere. Available in pods or shelled, they are an easy and versatile snack. They are also very good for you, with their high protein and fiber content. Swap that greasy bag of chips for a couple handfuls of lightly salted edamame when you get that salty snack craving.

Swap mayonnaise for avocado. A turkey sandwich just isn’t complete without a slathering of mayonnaise on your bread. There isn’t much nutrition in mayonnaise, so all you’re getting out of it is a creamy texture and flavor. Why not swap it with mashed avocado? You’ll get the same smooth consistency along with a slew of vitamins and a healthy dose of fiber.

Try these swaps along with other healthy choices and exercise to kick start some healthy habits. A healthy diet not only makes you look better, it makes you feel better, too. Be sure to consult your physician before drastically changing your diet.

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