While the word diet has become synonymous with a short term eating plan for the purposes of weight loss, in reality, a healthy diet should be a life-long eating plan that accomplishes a number of health goals. Regardless of weight, a healthy diet is a key ingredient in an overall healthy lifestyle. Whether you are attempting to lose weight or simply eat healthier, here are 4 basic food staples you can swap for healthier options.

 

Yogurt for sour cream

Many people love the tart, tangy taste of sour cream and use it as a condiment on everything from potatoes to Mexican food. As delicious as sour cream may be, even low-fat sour cream options can contain as much as 416 calories and 32 grams of fat in a single cup, versus full-fat Greek yogurt which only contains 300 calories and 23 grams of fat. In addition to the lower fat and calories of Greek yogurt, it also contains active cultures or probiotics which help promote a healthy immune system and digestive tract.

 

Locally sourced food

One of the problems of modern food manufacturing is that food is processed in one place and then shipped across the country to be stocked in stores. It can be weeks or even months from the time a product is made to when you consume it, so it has to be laden with chemical preservatives to keep it fresh. These preservatives are being linked to a greater and greater number of health and even behavioral issues. Purchasing local fresh-baked goods from a local establishment like Klosterman Baking Company can cut down significantly on the number of chemicals and preservatives you ingest.

 

Applesauce in baked goods

While apples are almost as sweet as sugar, applesauce is lower in calories. Applesauce also lends the same richness to recipes that butter does but without the saturated fat. As an added bonus, applesauce adds a healthy serving of fiber to all your favorite baked goods.

 

Sparkling water for tonic water or soda

Almost all sodas are excessively high in sugar or contain controversial sugar substitutes. You can drastically reduce the sugar content in commercial sodas without losing the carbonation by mixing soda with sparkling water or flavoring sparkling water with a dash of juice.

 

Eating is one of life’s greatest pleasures and no diet is destined to last for long when it is devoid of foods you enjoy. Eating healthy doesn’t mean cutting out all the foods you love, it simply means finding better options. There are healthier and less healthy options in almost every food category ranging from potato chips to even salads. Making some fairly simple changes in your diet can make a world of difference in the long run.