Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Healthy alternatives

Habits are hard to break, especially dietary ones. But you know how the saying goes: “Where there is a will, there is way!” Over the years, I have found that to be true when applying everything learned about health and nutrition to daily life. In quest of finding what worked, I came up with a list of food items, which when used in moderation, can be healthier alternatives to their counterpart.

Greek yogurt: As a rich source of protein and probiotics, Greek yogurt can be eaten alone or used as a low-calorie ingredient in dips (in place of sour cream), in desserts (in place of ice-cream), and as a thickener for sauces during cooking. Ensure to purchase low fat, plain Greek yogurt for versatility.  

Honey or agave syrup: One of the strongest properties of honey and agave syrup is their lower Glycemic Index (GI) compared to table sugar. Using honey or agave syrup in food and beverages is thus, a healthier sweetening alternative.  Choose 100% pure honey and agave syrup

Herbal teas/Infusions: Drinking herbal teas is one of the best ways to increase the intake of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals without a dose of caffeine which can cause elevated blood pressure and sleeplessness. 

Herbs and spices: see article Get Ginger

Whole grains: Choosing whole grain bread, pasta, rice, or any other whole grain food over those made from refined grains will keep you full longer in addition lowering the chances of developing chronic illnesses. 

Homemade drinks*: From lemonade to flavored water, homemade drinks, when made with a moderate amount of water and fresh ingredients, are a healthier alternative to sodas and commercial fruit juices. They are saturated with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and allow the body to remain hydrated.
*Not to be consumed in place of plain water.

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