Top 20 Healthy Food Swaps!


As society becomes more health conscious, food swaps or substitutes are gaining in popularity so that we can enjoy those indulgent flavours of popular high-calorie foods without the negative health consequences, not to mention the guilt!

In this blog, we outline some popular food swaps that are far from bland but really don’t taste that different to the regular high-calorie varieties to help you kick start your health and fitness journey:

    1. Quinoa for Couscous – Couscous is made from processed wheat flour, while quinoa is a wholegrain filled with protein and nutrients with the same texture
    2. Zucchini Noodles for Pasta Noodles – You can quickly blanch zucchini or ribbon noodles in boiling water and top with Bolognese, Napoli or Pesto sauce, or sauté in a pan with the sauce for a delicious meal.  It’s often the sauce that you crave, not the pasta!
    3. Lettuce leaves for tortilla wraps – while it’s not the same as a good old-fashioned wrap, this substitute can certainly lighten up your taco dish!
    4. Quinoa flakes for breadcrumbs – higher in protein and lower in carbs than traditional breadcrumbs.
    5. Veggie sticks for crackers – great low-carb alternative for your dips
    6. Sparkling water for soft drinks or juice – you can always add a slice of lemon, lime or orange for some extra flavour
    7. Almond milk for full cream milk – if you like almonds, this is a great alternative in your smoothies, coffee or on your granola with ¼ less calories, 1/3 less fat and almost no sugar (with full cream milk having 11g sugar per 250ml serve!)
    8. Pureed Cauliflower/Sweet potato or turnip for Mashed Potatoes – if you want some comfort food without the carbs, this is a great alternative and you can still add a bit of seasoning to flavour it like a bit of cheese, garlic and herbs.
    9. Ground Turkey for Beef – turkey has a lot less saturated fat than beef but because of this can be drier in recipes so add a few tablespoons of chicken stock to help.
    10. Stevia for sugar – this natural sweetener is quite sweet so a little goes a long way – you don’t need to add the same amount as you would in sugar.  Usually 1 cup sugar would equate to about 2 tablespoons powdered stevia.
    11. Plain Greek yoghurt for fruit flavoured yoghurt – Greek yoghurt has a lot less sugar and is higher in protein.  And if you really want some sweetness, add some stewed apple or berries on top.
    12. Olive oil for butter – if you are going to stir fry some vegies or scramble your eggs, use olive oil, preferably an olive oil spray to limit the amount you use.
    13. Homemade salad dressing for bottled dressing – this will reduce the sugar, salt and preservatives significantly.  Try mixing apple-cider vinegar or lemon juice with olive oil in a 2:1 ratio with a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, a dash of salt and pepper.  Shake in a jar and pour over your favourite salad or steamed vegies.
    14. Sweet potato fries for white potato fries – sweet potatoes are a lower carb option and if oven baked not fried, are even better for you!
    15. Popcorn for potato chips – natural popcorn without heaps of extra flavouring is a good lower carb, lower fat option to traditional chips.  You can add cinnamon or a sprinkle of salt, or even mix through some rice malt syrup and oven bake for some caramelised popcorn.
    16. Finely grated cauliflower for white rice – the texture is almost the same, and when paired with your favourite curry or stir fry, you don’t really notice the difference.
    17. Brown rice for white rice – if you are really craving rice, go for the brown variety instead for more fibre and nutrition.
    18. Whole wheat bread for white bread – whole wheat bread has a better nutritional profile, taste and texture than white varieties
    19. Cottage cheese or ricotta for tasty cheese – with less saturated fat and more protein, these are good cheesy swaps!
    20. Banana ice-cream for ice-cream – just freeze bananas then puree them for a delicious ice-cream alternative.  You can get creative and add some nuts through it or peanut butter without the added milk, cream and sugar of regular ice-cream.