Little Steps to Lighter Eating

Diving into a new healthy nutritional lifestyle can be scary and downright overwhelming for many. There are simple baby steps that you can take though to make some changes in the right direction. Heck, you might even lose some weight in the process!

Take tacos for example. Who doesn’t love a great Taco Tuesday?! There are plenty of ingredients in a typical taco night that you can switch out to lighten things up.

First off is the meat. Let’s lose the ground beef and put in some lean ground turkey meat instead. I promise you it’ll be hard to tell the difference, and it is a healthier solution. A 4-ounce serving of 85/15 (15% fat) ground turkey has about 50 fewer calories and 4 fewer grams of fat than the same amount of 85/15 ground beef.[1][2] Unlike beef, though, turkey meat is not a meat that should ever be pink; make sure you really cook the meat properly so that it is a minimum of 165 degrees Fahrenheit inside (73.9 degrees Celcius).[3]

Now, a lot of taco kits come with the packet full of spices. Here’s the thing, though- often, they’re not natural ingredients and include my least favorite ingredient, Maltodextrin. Maltodextrin is a food additive that can raise your blood sugar levels very quickly. Another issue with Maltodextrin is that it can cause havoc on your healthy gut (bloating).[4] Start checking your food labels for this ingredient and try to avoid it whenever you can. Instead, I recommend making your own blend of spices by using chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and onion powder. These are common spices that you could keep in your house anyway to use frequently.

Are you a hard shell or a soft shell kind of person? Well, what if instead of shells you used a head of lettuce? Yes, lettuce! A head of iceberg lettuce can be used as taco cups. Chances are, many of you were going to be putting lettuce on your tacos anyway!

What about my sour cream people? Now me personally, I do not use any white condiments, I’m just not into it. But, if you are a sour cream fiend, I suggest making the substitution of nonfat plain Greek yogurt. An ounce of the nonfat yogurt [5] is generally lower in calories and sodium and higher in protein than an ounce of nonfat sour cream. [6]

This next substitute will require a little more chopping but will have less processed food filled with sugary additives; swap out taco sauce and make your own pico de gallo. All it requires is to chop up some tomatoes and red onion, plus some spices to taste (cilantro, salt, pepper, and onion powder).

Wow, I’m starting to get hungry. Maybe I will have a taco night despite it not being a Tuesday.  Want some other healthy substitutes for your healthy meals? Check out the list of some of my favorites below. Happy cooking!

Maren Motivation- Food substitutes chart.png

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© Copyright Whatismyhealth, March 26th, 2017