Healthy Food Swaps For Your Kitchen

As a nutritionist, I always get questions like “what foods are healthy?”, “what can I do to simply eat healthier?”, “what’s in your fridge?”, “how can I get my hair as big and curly as yours?”.

Minus the last question, because that friends is genetics and a really good diffuser, I’m here to give you some quick tips on how to make your kitchen healthier.

Iceberg Lettuce for Dark Leafy Greens

My friend Lesley is always asking me “Gaaaaaawd! Do I always have to eat a salad to be healthy?” And while I’d like to say “nah! Go on and eat that side of sweet potato fries”, I won’t always. I’m a big advocate of greens because they really help us incorporate more nutrients into our diet and also help us digest, depending on the green. That being said, salad doesn’t have to be boring. Switch up that snoreville Iceberg lettuce for mixed greens, spinach or even sprouts. Iceberg lettuce has no nutritional value whereas mixed greens, dark lettuces, spinach and sprouts are jam packed with vitamins, minerals and enzymes. You don’t have to be a rabbit at every meal, but having a side of greens with your meal might help you out.

Peanut Butter for Almond Butter

PB & J! I don’t know about you, but I was brought up on that stuff, although admittedly my favourite was PB & banana! While peanut butter can be a nice way of getting in protein and good fat you might do yourself a favour and change it up for something like almond butter. Almond butter gives you more bang for your buck! Containing higher amounts of good fats, fiber and Vitamin E than peanut butter. Another factor to consider is that peanuts are prone to mold which is why we can sometimes have digestive reactions to them or they may exacerbate conditions like candida or food allergies. But the most important reason is that other nut butters are soooo good! I’m a big fan of the almond and cashew butter combo!

Margarine for Butter

Speaking of being brought up on certain foods, the staple at my house was margarine. We all went through that phase where “they” were telling us that margarine was so much healthier for us. So of course my mom only bought it. I can’t believe it’s not butter indeed!! If you’re still on the margarine train, let’s get you to the butter station immediately. Margarine is a hydrogenated oil and if you haven’t been hiding under a rock for the last 12 years, you probably already know that’s a bad word! Not only does good quality butter provide you with a plethora of nutrients and good fats, but c’mon guys, it’s waaaaay better! See what Weston A. Price has to say here. Not to mention that if you put a tub of margarine outside for a week, no creature would come near it, not even that rascally raccoon! That’s saying a lot now isn’t it?!

Vegetable Oil for Olive Oil

We all have that mystery ‘vegetable’ cooking oil in our pantry. What is this ‘vegetable’ you speak of massively large container of oil? I’ll tell you; it’s probably soybean or canola. These types of oils are cheap to produce and cheap to buy. Not only do they not have great nutrient profiles, they also don’t have a high smoke point which doesn’t make them ideal for cooking anyhow. Great alternatives include olive oil or avocado oil that contain important nutrients like omega fats, vitamin E and K. Most importantly, canola and soy are typically genetically modified; and don’t get me started on that!

Table Salt for Sea Salt

Right next to that vegetable oil is that tall rectangular box of table salt, now isn’t it? While your first thought is “salt is salt, right?”….wrong! A lot of people think that table salt has just been finely ground; that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Most table salts have been processed to a point of stripping it of all it’s nutrients and sometimes blending it with things like aluminum, silica or talc and then it’s iodized to put back what was taken out. Switch up that table salt for sea salt. Being that sea salt comes from the sea, it comes with a laundry list of minerals like magnesium, calcium, potassium and naturally iodine. Way better for our bodies than something so processed. Sea salt also comes in an array of types like fine, coarse or rock which can suit any type of dish. You don’t have to fear sea salt like you do table salt.

Hopefully these simple food swaps will get your kitchen makeover kick started. What food swaps have you implemented in your kitchen?


Jeanette Rauch, Registered Holistic Nutritionist RHN

Resources

http://chriskresser.com/shaking-up-the-salt-myth-healthy-salt-recommendations

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/05/leafy-greens-healthy-gut-cruciferous-vegetables-digestive-immune-system_n_2807158.html