Easy healthy food swaps for breakfast, lunch and dinner

Simple swaps can take you meal from so-so to oh-so-healthy with minimal effort

porridge and fruit bowl

by Hayley Kadrou |
Published on

Working towards a healthier lifestyle doesn't have to mean making a thousand big changes all of a sudden. Taking it step by step, making gradual adaptations makes a big difference over time, and soon making healthier choices becomes second nature.

Start with these simple food swaps to up the goodness of your day-to-day meals.

Healthy Food Swaps: Breakfast

Little changes or additions to your breakfast is the perfect kick-start to a healthy day ahead. 
Little changes or additions to your breakfast is the perfect kick-start to a healthy day ahead. 

SWAP: Peanut butter for almond butter

Almond butter has the same texture and similar taste to your beloved toast topping, but ranks better for you in the health department, so it's a swap you'll barely notice. Although peanut butter is still a good source of healthy monounsaturated fat, the almond variety is the best source of the nut spread variants. It also has a higher vitamin E content, more magnesium and iron.

TRY: Meridan Almond Butter Smooth, as it's made with 100% pure almonds.

**SWAP: Sausage sandwich for veggie sausages and grilled mushroom **

To save on calories, switch out the pork sausage for a veggie alternative. Per 100g, you can save on up to 23 grams of fat and 250 calories, which can make a huge different if you swap it even just once a week. Switch out the white bread for a grilled Portobello mushroom for extra health kicks, too.

TRY: Linda McCartney Original Sausages, as these are vegan-friendly too.

SWAP: Sugary cereals for home made granola

Guilty of snacking on sugary, processed cereal in the morning? It sounds like a lot more hassle, but simply batch making granola of an evening will provide a nutrition-packed breakfast all week long. Head to the health food shop on the weekend and pick up plain whole rolled oats, mixed nuts unsalted, unsweetened dried fruit, seeds, honey and coconut oil. Then mix and place on a lined baking tray in the oven for 20 minutes at 200C. These ingredients are rich in healthy fats, vitamins and fibre, and provides great all-day energy. And you can switch ingredients in each batch to keep it interesting. Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt or a splash of almond milk.

TRY: Get everything you need from health stores like Holland & Barratt, or for homemade sugar and preservative-free granola delivered to you in weekly batches, try TrooGranola.com.

Healthy Food Swaps: Lunch

Swap cous-cous or rice for quinoa for a lightly, healthy take on lunch

**SWAP: Cous-Cous for Quinoa **

Similar in taste and texture and cooking method,

One the surface level, the two seem like twins (similar texture. cooking method, and tastse) but if reality they're more like distant cousins. Quinoa comes out top trumps for it’s high protein and fibre content, and it's low in fat. Being an actual seed as oppose to made from ground wheat, it’s great for those going gluten-free, too. Did we mention Quinoa’s low glycemic index will leave you fuller for longer, too? Win.

Try: Quinola Mothergrain, as they carry the different types of quinoa, and make a good rice alternative as well.

SWAP: Croutons for mixed seeds

To cut down your carbs without loosing that added crunch, top your lunchtime salad with seeds instead of croutons. A mix of seeds like sunflower, poppy and sesame will enrich your lunch with plentiful vitamins, protein, antioxidants, and omegas.

TRY: Pre-mixed seed mix Indigo Herbs Organic Gourmet Seed Mix, which includes poppy, golden linseed, seasame and brown linseeds.

SWAP: Butter and mayo for mashed avocado

Yes, you can still have a buttery, creamy addition to your lunchtime bagel, but you can pack it full of goodness if you switch your butter and mayo for mashed avocado. This superfood is lower in calories and fat per tbsp. for each, and full of fibre, potassium, vitamin E, B vitamins and more. Add that to some seeded wholemeal bread and you’ll lunch will be a health powerhouse.

TRY: Any ripe and ready avocado, mashed with a little squeeze of lemon and hint of chilli

Healthy Food Swaps: Dinner

Sweet potatoes are healthier than your average spud, but taste just as good chopped, baked or mashed

**SWAP: Beef Mince for turkey mince **

You can still eat your favourite dishes while on the road to better health. While it’s good to get your protein from red meat, if t you’re a big meat eater, try switching the beef for lean turkey mince every now and again, as it’s much lower in saturated fats.

TRY: Premium Turkey Breast Mince from Musclefood.com, as it’s 100% breast making it the leanest about.

**SWAP: Spaghetti for spiralized courgette **

Always feel bloated after a big evening meal? Make dinner times lighter – but just as satisfying – by switching your spaghetti for a spiralized courgette. It’s low in carbs and calories and filled with nutrients such as vitamin C, meaning is good for immune system boosting, too.

TRY: Buy an affordable but good spiralizer like the OXO Good Grips Hand Held Spiralizer, Amazon, or grab a pot of Tesco Courgette Spaghetti, £1.00.

SWAP: White potatoes for sweet potatoes

Still great baked, mashed or chopped, a sweet potato beats your average spud as it's packed with more health-boosting properties. The orange beauties are higher in fibre, vitamins A, C and B6, potassium, calcium, magnesium and manganese, and lower in calories. Also, they really are delicious, however you eat them.

TRY: Too tired to chop? Try the Sweet Potato Chips Waitrose Love Life, £2.29, instead

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