4 Foods to Replace in Your Diet

4 Foods to Replace in Your Diet

Not all foods that are considered “healthy” by most are actually good for you. Taking a deeper dive into the ingredients and nutritional facts of commonly consumed foods can be shocking for someone at first. As you may find that everyday foods that you consumed as a kid or even as an adult may not be as good for you as you thought. These misconceptions are why I preach doing research on what you are eating instead of relying on what you think or what makes sense. Here is a list of 4 foods that you should think twice about before consuming:

 

Cereal

This does not just include kid’s sugar cereals. Some cereals that advertise having healthy benefits may be coated in sugar in order to give them a better taste.

This especially goes for cereals that promote themselves as being an athletic protein cereal. These types of cereals are usually high in calories, carbs and will not have as much protein as you may think. This is why it is important to check the nutritional facts of what you are eating instead of relying on companies marketing to make your decision on what is healthy and what is not. Before you look at the nutrition facts it is important to weigh how much of the cereal you are actually consuming. Cereal boxes usually show their nutritional facts per cup (30 grams). For me I was shocked when I found out that my typical bowl of cereal actually weighed out to 60 grams and I had to double all of the nutritional facts in order to find out what I was actually consuming. Plus it is important to include the milk you are using to accurately measure the amount of calories you are consuming. Add all of this up and that bowl of cereal packs a lot more calories than you may have originally thought.

What to replace it with:

Egg whites: Same amount of protein as protein cereals with a fraction of the calories. They may not have the taste that cereal does because they are not coated in sugar. To counter this throw some veggies into the pan with them and top it off with some low sodium salsa and you have a much more appetizing healthy breakfast.

Oatmeal (non-flavored): Plain oatmeal is a great source of protein and fiber. Personally I find that oatmeal fills me up more than cereal does because it is denser. If you want to spice up your oatmeal (as the plain oatmeal is very bland) add some fruit and a few almonds and sprinkle with cinnamon.

 

Juice

A glass of juice is a staple for most people’s breakfasts. For some it is all they have for breakfast. What most people do not realize is that a juice contains about the same amount of calories as soft drinks do. Although juice does provide you with vitamins and minerals such as Potassium, and Vitamin C this comes with a high amount of calories and sugars.

What to replace it with:

           Water: It hydrates you and is virtually calorie free.

Eat a real fruit: Eating fruits still hydrate you because of the juices that are in them. They also fill you up better for fewer calories than juice can. For example one glass (237 ml) of orange juice has about 110 calories whereas a full orange only has about 60.

Water your juice down: Diluting juice will take its sweetness away from it but is much more calorie efficient. You are hydrating yourself and still getting nutrients from the juice and are consuming less calories and sugars. If you like fizzy drinks try mixing carbonated water with orange juice. It is like drinking fruit flavored soda with far fewer calories to it. 

 

Smoothies

Blending fruits and veggies together makes smoothies a great way to get a lot of nutrients into one cup. However this kind of smoothie will not fill you up as much as if you were to eat these fruits and vegetables. Thus you will end up eating more later on. If you are buying a smoothie the amount of calories, carbs and sugars that you are consuming can be shockingly high.

What to replace it with:

Fruits and vegetables: Eating the foods that you would normally put into your smoothie will prevent you from overeating later

Making your own smoothies: you get to control what is going into it thus allowing you to make it healthier by adding more vegetables and using unsweetened low fat yogurt.

 

Protein bars

Protein bars are a great source of protein for when you are on the go. With that protein though there is usually a lot of other junk ingredients like sugars, and artificial sweeteners in these bars to give them their great taste. Not to mention that protein bars can also be quite pricy. It is best to leave protein bars as an occasional recovery food after a workout. Even then protein bars can be replaced by many protein powders, which would give you the same amount of protein at a lower amount of calories. By mixing the powders with water you are skipping all of the junk like chocolate and peanut butter that is added to the bars.   

What to replace it with:

Water-based protein shake: As mentioned by doing this you are skipping all of the junk fillers that protein bars have.

Plain Greek Yogurt: Plain Greek yogurt with no added sugar is packed with protein and has a low amount of calories. Per 175 grams it contains 17 grams of protein and only 100 calories

 

When it comes to considering if a food is healthy or not I always refer back to Jack Lalanne’s saying: “If it’s made by man, don’t eat it”. When you look at the commonalities of all of the above food items you will notice that they are all man made solidifying the Godfather of fitness’ point. The more natural a food is the better it will be for you. If you think something is healthy but are not sure look up its nutritional information and determine for yourself. Living healthy is easier when you do it smarter!