Food Swaps That Cut Calories

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Food Swaps That Cut Calories

Read on for simple healthy swaps that can change the way you live and eat.


Replace Granola with Oatmeal


Have you ever read the nutritional facts on a box of granola? The deceptively healthy breakfast can be incredibly sugar-filled. Instead, make a big pot of steel-cut oats and enjoy a small portion all week. Oatmeal is healthier and definitely less sugary than granola.


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Replace Sour Cream with Greek Yogurt


Greek yogurt is an extremely versatile food. Add fruit and it's sweet, spoon it on tacos and it's savory. Replace sour cream with Greek yogurt, which has a lot more protein and a lot less fat.


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Replace Pretzels with Almonds


If you're looking for a satisfying and crunchy snack, raw or roasted almonds are a filling and nutritious choice.


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Replace Pita and Hummus with Veggies and Hummus


By dipping veggies into your hummus you'll decrease the calories in the snack while increasing the nutritional benefits.


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Replace Spaghetti with Spaghetti Squash


For a healthier noodle, try spaghetti squash, which is lower in calories, but high in fiber.


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Replace Iceberg Lettuce with Kale


Yes, salad is almost always the healthy choice, but there is a hierarchy when it comes to greens and unfortunately iceberg lettuce is one of the least nutritional greens. If you can't give up crunchy iceberg lettuce, just mix kale or spinach into a salad and you'll have a perfectly healthy meal.


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Replace Potatoes with Cauliflower


Mashed potatoes are a super delicious comfort food, but by mashing up cauliflower instead of potatoes, you'll significantly lower the amount of calories in the dish.


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Replace Butter with Almond Butter


Instead of lathering butter on to a bagel or toast, try almond butter. The nut butter boasts healthy fats and will keep you satisfied for longer.


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Replace Creamy Soups with Clear Broths


Soup can make for a great, healthy dish, but the calories can add up if the broth is filled with milk or cream. Go for chicken or vegetable broth-based soups, or better yet, make your own at home!


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Replace Milk with Almond Milk


Based on calories alone, almond milk has fewer calories than skim milk.


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Replace Beef with Mushrooms


Mushroom burgers are all the rage in the food world and make for tasty burgers. If you're not willing to give up beef entirely, shake up your burger recipe by adding mushroom, which will help to cut down on fat, but add nutritional value.


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Replace White Bread with Whole Wheat Bread


By using whole wheat bread in sandwiches or for toast you'll be enjoying more fiber and than you would by eating white bread. According to SparkPeople, whole wheat bread still has fewer calories than white bread too.


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Replace Rice with Quinoa


Rice always makes for a great side dish, but quinoa is not only more versatile, but a whole lot healthier. Quinoa contains protein, vitamins and nutrients, and it even has fewer calories than brown rice with 185 in a cup compared to 195.


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Replace Mayo with Avocado


The heart-healthy fats in avocados actually make it the perfect spread for toast or a tasty addition to egg salad. In terms for nutritional value, avocados beat mayo by a landslide.


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Replace Ketchup with Mustard


Unfortunately, ketchup actually contains a lot of sugar. One tablespoon of ketchup has four grams of sugar and 20 calories even though this doesn't sound like much, it can quickly add up. On the other hand mustard has no sugar and three calories per tablespoon.


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Eating healthy doesn't always have to be a complete dietary reboot. Sometimes just skipping one ingredient can decrease calories or adding another can up nutritional value. Increasing your almond intake can help you to cut down on those vending machine snacks and trying a new grain like quinoa could spice up a salad.

The best news is that most of these changes can be made with ingredients you already have in your pantry.

Check out the slideshow above for easy swaps to cut calories.

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