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12 Small Food Swaps for a Healthier Life

 We all want to eat healthier, but it can but saying goodbye to our favorite foods can be hard. Fortunately, there is no need to completely avoid snacks, spreads or even maple syrup, because all you need is to use some healthy and wise substitutes. These 12 small swaps are exactly what you wanted to eat in terms of good taste, texture, and use, but they make a whole of a difference in terms of your lifestyle, and the quality of the food you consume.

1. To protect your heart: Replace pretzels with pistachios

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If your craving something salty and crispy, instead of reaching for the bag of pretzels filled with empty calories, choose the bowl of pistachios. According to studies, daily consumption of about 40 grams of pistachios reduces the chance of a heart attack because of their good cholesterol, helps diabetics, strengthens the immune system and promotes healthy skin because of its vitamins, especially vitamin E.

2. To maintain weight: Instead of drinking Diet Coke, make yourself an iced tea

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Think Diet Coke will help you lose weight? A recent study at the University of Texas found a 70 percent increase in the waist circumference of subjects who consumed Diet Coke regularly for 10 years, compared to subjects who abstained from the diet drink. The researchers conclude that Diet Coke makes people want to eat more, and Diet Coke consumers often have worse eating habits than those who avoid sugary beverages. If you still want a delicious drink besides water, pour yourself a cup of cold green tea. Green tea contains antioxidants that help you stay young and help prevent cancer.

3. To strengthen bones: Replace spinach with kale

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While spinach is known for its many health benefits, kale seems to one-up it. Both are consumed and prepared exactly the same way, however, kale has a lot more antioxidants and much more bone-building vitamin K. Kales also contain phytochemicals that help fight intestinal cancer, breast, and cervical cancer.

4. To prevent stomachaches and diseases: Replace sour cream with Greek yogurt

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If you want a tasty addition to a baked potato, or you just love sour cream, try replacing it with Greek yogurt. They both have that tangy taste however, one cup of Greek yogurt will provide you with about 20 percent of the daily calcium compared to the 1 percent found in sour cream, 20 grams of protein compare to the 8 grams in sour cream and a variety of probiotic bacteria that help the body fight disease and help digestion.

5. To absorb more nutrients: opt for chicken drumsticks over breasts

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Although chicken breast has less fat and calories, the nutritional value found in the drumsticks is higher. The drumsticks are richer in iron - which helps the body deliver oxygen to the organs, zinc - which helps the immune system, and vitamin A - which helps to maintain healthy eyes.

6. To reduce the risk of cancer: opt for red bell peppers over those of the green or  orange variety

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Red bell pepper has 3 times more fiber, 8 times more vitamin A, and 60 percent more vitamin C than can be found in yellow and green bell peppers. The red pepper also contains certain carotenoids. According to studies, regular consumption these carotenoids reduces the risk of lung cancer by 27%.

7. To balance cholesterol levels: Replace mayonnaise with avocado

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Avocado has a creamy texture similar to mayonnaise, but unlike it, it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which helps the brain function, reduces bad cholesterol and helps prevent heart disease.

8. To prevent breast cancer: Replace Israeli couscous with quinoa

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Half a cup of quinoa contains 8 grams of iron, more than any other grain, as well as magnesium and fiber. According to studies, a high-fiber diet lowers excess estrogen in woman's bodies and reduces the risk of breast cancer.

9. To prevent Alzheimer's: replace codfish with trout

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Salmon takes all the credit for omega-3, but trout, also from the Salmon family, is a fish rich in omega-3 and can contain more than 200 percent of the recommended daily consumption. Omega-3 has been shown to help heart health, improve memory and brain function, and slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

10. To prevent diabetes: Choose real maple syrup over the fake stuff

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Although fake maple syrup is sweeter, more enticing and cheaper, it contains a long list of industrial ingredients, large amounts of processed sugar and a host of chemicals, compared to pure maple syrup, which contains more than 20 antioxidant compounds and helps reduce the risk of diabetes.

11. To prevent breast cancer: Replace gum with parsley

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If you can’t end a meal without the fresh taste of gum, try chewing parsley instead. The parsley will freshen your breath just as well as chewing gum does, and it will also freshen up the rest of your body because according to a study conducted at the University of Missouri, parsley has the ability to stop growth and multiplication of cancerous breast cells.

12. To maintain liver health: Replace egg whites with a whole egg

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Many avoid egg yolk for fear of cholesterol, but in fact, it is rich in choline, an essential organic material used by the body to create a variety of compounds, and among other things prevents the accumulation of cholesterol and fat in the liver.

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