These simple swaps will help you trim your waistline without sacrificing too much in the flavor department.
Go Low Sodium – It’s a welcomed and growing trend in grocery stores. More and more products are offering a “low sodium” option. I will pinky promise that you won’t notice a difference in taste or texture. The lower salt swap will combat high blood pressure and help you retain less water which will show when you hit the scales.
Take a box of Stove Top Stuffing – the plain chicken flavored contains 390mg of sodium. The low sodium version has 250mg. What about veggies? Always by fresh or frozen, but if you have to go for cans grab the “No Salt Added” offerings. A plain can of corn contains 200mg of sodium…the no salt added version only has 10mg! Green beans are the same way: regular can = 290mg, no salt added = 15mg. The difference there is HUGE.
Don’t let a recent study cloud your view. At the request of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Institute of Medicine reviewed more than 30 recent research papers regarding cutting salt intake. Dr. Strom led the charge in looking at the role of salt on health. The result – “Going from high levels of sodium to moderate levels reduced the risk of heart disease and stroke, but there was no benefit in going from moderate to low levels, the study found.” So don’t cut it out completely, but cut back where you can.
*I compared nutrition labels found on the box – not online.
Light and Diet Myth – It’s says “light” on the label and common sense leads you to think it is better for your waistline. That has become a myth that has consumers shrugging in the store. The truth about “light” and “diet” foods aren’t always pretty. In most cases when fat and calories are reduced, chemicals are added to make up for the loss of those flavorful fats. For instance, the additive Olestra is a fake fat used in “light” versions of your favorite chips. It tends to block your body from proper absorption of important vitamins and can cause diarrhea. Opt for whole fat foods with labels that you can understand, just eat less.
Bypass a Bypass With Baked or Grilled Options – Anything fried is usually synonymous with breading. That is where most the unnecessary calories and fat come in. Each 1 tbsp. of oil contains 120 calories, which makes frying a calorie-rich cooking method. KFC has a grilled chicken option now and it is substantially healthier. Chips are another vice that has a baked option, but beware of higher sodium levels found in baked versus fried chips. The baked version tends to have more salt to make up the flavor.
White Versus Clear – This is a rule for soups, sauces and dressings. Basically, if you pour it, go for the transparent option. Creamy soups, sauces and dressings will be white and have a heavy cream base which equals higher calories and fat content. Yup, even that salad at Olive Garden with the Italian dressing has a white tinge to it packs nearly 3 TIMES the calories, fat and sodium than your typical clear option. The deceptively un-healthy version from the chain eatery clocks in at 150 calories, 10 grams of fat and 760mg of sodium which is considerably more than your average commercial Italian dressing with 43 calories, 4.2 grams of fat and 243mg of sodium. White wine sauces are your best bet for your pasta and clear broth based soups are the winner.
Decode Your Cravings – If you are ravenous for a greasy bag of chips, your body might be telling you that you are lacking a specific nutrient, mineral or vitamin. Click HERE for more on that…
Swap Snacks – Crunchy – instead of chips go for crunchy nuts that have NOT been roasted in salt or honey. Opt for a nice dry roast.
Chocolate – dark chocolate is packed flavonoids which is a special class of antioxidants. Milk chocolate contains less of the original cocoa bean than dark chocolate does with the addition of milk solids, sugar, and cream.
Sweet – fruits are packed with sugar and, in moderation, are arguably better for you than artificial sweeteners. Some will say the calorie free options are better for your weight, but the fact is that they are all chemical replacements. Take this into consideration…
Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal); 200 times sweeter than sugar
Saccharin (Sweet’N Low, Sweet Twin, Necta Sweet); 200 – 700 times sweeter than sugar
Acesulfame-K (Sunett, Sweet One); 200 times sweeter than sugar
Neotame (approved for use in baked goods, soft drinks, chewing gum, frosting, frozen desserts, jams, jellies, gelatins, puddings, processed fruit and fruit juices, toppings, and syrups); 7,000 – 13,000 times sweeter than sugar depending on how it is used in food
Sucralose (Splenda); 600 times sweeter than sugar
So, the sugar versus artificial sweetener debate continues…
[Awesome Swap Table from Weight Loss Solutions]