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As we get older, we put more and more foods back on the shelfs after reading the nutrition facts. Some of us may be lucky and have metabolisms like Usain Bolt, but the rest of us watch what we eat more than TV. Over the years, being healthy has actually grown more popular; and therefore, food companies have taken advantage of this and added light and low fat to make you feel better. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but low fat means more preservatives and added sugars. Moreover, what I’m trying to say is, with so many different diets and foods, it's hard to know what’s healthy and what’s the opposite. Over the past year, I’ve cleaned up my eating; and with that, one of the big things that helped me was switching out my foods with healthier options. I am nowhere near an expert on nutrition facts, and these are just recommendations if you want to follow them. That is up to you. Later on I will do a sequel to this article about the healthiest places to eat when going out.
Chips are one of my favorite guilty pleasures and they are one of the foods we eat a good amount of in one sitting. It should be no surprise to you that chips are packed with sodium and fat, and they’re especially unhealthy when most of us don’t stick to the serving size. My alternative is Pistachios because they are just as addictive as chips, but they are a healthy fat. The serving size for pistachios is 49 which is a really good, satisfying snack. You may not even be able to eat 49, which also is great. Another alternative to chips can be almonds as well.
Smoothies - Kombucha
Smoothies are usually seen as healthy because they are made from fruit, but smoothies that aren’t homemade can be packed with excess sugar. The sugar may be naturally occurring, but having a cup with over 30 grams of sugar isn’t great. The same goes for fruit drinks like orange juice and Starbucks beverages that are also packed with sugar. Instead of these drinks, you can have Kombucha, which is a tea that has been consumed for thousands of years. The drink has many health benefits and is extremely delicious. The drink can be found at your local Walgreens with less than 10 grams of sugar, depending on the flavor.
Butter - Avocado
The trend of replacing your toast with an avocado spread has become pretty popular and an aesthetically pleasing Instagram pic. If you don’t have the taste for avocado, there are many other spreads to put on your morning toast or other food items. I love avocado toast and it has to be one of my favorite breakfast meals. Avocados are healthy fats, and can be implicated into any meal.
Granola Bars - Protein Bars
This isn't a big change, but granola bars, like every bad food I've listed, do have a good amount of added sugar depending on the brand. Protein bars can be the perfect pre-workout snack, and, in rare occasions, a meal replacement. If you do choose to use protein bars as a meal replacement, in order to do so, the bar should have at least 30 grams of protein. Although protein bars are meant to be healthy, there are a variety of brands that sell deserts instead of nutritional bars. I've experimented with many bars and the one that I have been eating lately is the Kirkland chocolate chip bar. The bar has 1 gram of protein, 20 grams of sugar, and can be found in Costco. They come in two flavors and there are two of each. They taste amazing and are extremely fulfilling,
Hamburgers - Salmon Burger
If you really want to make a healthy change in your life, I would recommend cutting red meat out of your appetite so your heart will be stronger. Red meat, like pork and beef, is high in saturated fat, and that has a bad effect on your cholesterol and heart. Alternatives to red meat are chicken and fish, specifically salmon. What's good about salmon is it's a brain food, and eating fish can increase brain volume because it is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. If you like hamburgers, a devious alternative is getting canned salmon and turning them into patties. With some seasoning, this is the perfect meal for dinner and you can eat the patties by themselves.
Pancakes - Oatmeal Pancakes
Pancakes used to be one of my favorite breakfast meals with the warm feeling it gave me. I haven't eaten pancakes in a while, but not too long ago I wanted to make some pancakes and found this amazing oatmeal pancake recipe. If you look up oatmeal pancakes, there are actually many recipes to try. All you need to make these pancakes are milk, oatmeal, a banana, and an egg. Then you blend and follow the steps you normally would when making pancakes. Also an alternative to syrup can be just a drizzle of honey.