How to Put a Healthy Spin on Popular Meals

Everyone has favorite comfort foods they love. Unfortunately, a lot of those foods aren't very good for you. They're often full of excess levels of salt, saturated and trans fats, and sugar. That's part of what makes them taste so good. Fortunately, there are ways you can make popular meals at least a bit healthier.

Replace Vegetable Oil With Alternatives

Oil is oil, right? Not quite. Oils, like most types of food, have a spectrum in which some are healthier and others are less. Avocado oil and olive oil can serve as healthier alternatives to the vegetable oil that tends to be so common in many recipes. Changing the oil you use may result in a subtle change in flavor, depending on how much a recipe calls for. You might find that you like the added depth of flavor olive oil can provide. If your tastebuds are truly refined, you might notice that different olive oils taste different too. Try different oils to see which ones work best with different recipes.

Add Vegetables

Adding vegetables is an easy way to bump up a dish's nutrition content. And with the wide variety of vegetables that are available, thanks to greenhouses and extensive shipping networks, there are plenty of options to choose from. There are lots of vegetables that go great grilled on a pizza. Supreme pizzas and vegetarian pizzas are excellent examples of this. Zucchini noodles are becoming an increasingly popular substitution for regular pasta noodles. These "zoodles" decrease the carbohydrate count in a pasta dish, are low in fat, and serve as a source for vitamin C and extra hydration.

Substitute Whole Grains

Maybe you don't want to eliminate grains from your diet. They're tasty, and an easy source of energy. Carbs are actually your brain's main energy source. They aren't actually bad for you, not inherently. You should be picky about which carbs and grains you choose to consume though. Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, are superior to refined, white grains. Whole grains also have a greater depth of flavor and are easy to substitute in place of refined grains. It's easy to use whole wheat bread for a sandwich instead of white. You can also easily switch whole grain pastas for refined pastas. Whole wheat tortillas can be great for quesadillas, tacos, and burritos. And that's just scratching the surface. If there's a refined grain product, you can probably find a whole grain option. Just be careful when selecting products. If it doesn't say the grains are whole grains specifically in the ingredients list, it probably isn't a whole grain product.

Making popular dishes healthier can be easy. It might take a bit of experimentation and imagination to make successful changes and adjustments, but you might find that the results are better than the original dish.

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