Most things that taste amazingly good aren’t good for you (we’re looking at you, cheeseburger and fries.) However, there are several unhealthy foods that do have better-for-you counterparts: You just have to know where to look. Read on for 7 savvy substitutes for your favorite foods.
Store brand Popsicles vs. homemade popsicles
Sure, our childhood memories are all tied up in sugary push pops, but making your own popsicles saves calories, refined sugar, and lots of artificial flavors. All you need are popsicle molds, sticks, fresh juice or yogurt, and your favorite fruit.
Deli Sandwiches vs. flatbread sandwiches
Deli sandwiches more often than not come loaded with unnecessary ingredients that don’t add anything to the sandwich other than calories. Flatbreads are a perfect alternative since they naturally contain fewer calories while still tasting great. We are currently obsessing over the Thai Chicken Flatbread Sandwich at Panera, made with chicken raised without antibiotics, fresh veggies and peanut sauce.
Store brand Hummus vs. homemade hummus
Instead of buying our hummus pre-made, why not make it at home? This way, you’ll automatically get rid of unnecessary preservatives that go into pre-packaged varieties. Hummus is also very easy to make: Just go out and buy the chickpeas in a can, which are already cooked, along with tahini and any other favorite ingredients. Throw it all in a blender and it’s ready to eat!
Fried doughnuts vs. baked doughnuts
So we know this isn’t breaking news, but doughnuts are not the most health-conscious food out there. When you fry dough in fat, it turns into one delicious trans-fat nightmare. To compromise, we suggest substituting baked doughnuts. Just by swapping a fried doughnut for a heart-friendly baked doughnut, we can cut out a lot of fat.
Frozen yogurt vs. homemade smoothies
When compared to ice cream, it’s easy to fall under the illusion that frozen yogurt is healthy for us. Unfortunately, frozen yogurt can be very high in sugar. To skip the 20 grams or more per serving of artificial sugar, we suggest a homemade fruit smoothie. All we need is to throw our favorite fruit, plain Greek yogurt, and some ice in a blender. Fruit has natural sugars that will satisfy our sweet tooth, and the Greek yogurt will provide a healthy does of calcium.
Soda vs. Sparkling Flavored Water
Say it isn’t so! We love soda as much as the next person, but man is it not good for you. The sugar and artificial content pretty much seal soda’s fate as one of the unhealthiest beverages around. It is even rumored that soda ages us. To keep our youthful appearance, try substituting soda for some sparkling flavored water. The carbonation and fruit flavors will trick us into thinking we are getting our daily soda fix.
Ready-to-eat Cereal vs. Prepared Oatmeal
Looks like our grandmas may be on to something. Even though happiness could be characterized as a bowl of hearts, stars, and horseshoes, ready-to-eat cereal is not nearly as beneficial to your health as oatmeal. Aside from keeping you fuller longer, oatmeal contains B vitamins, has been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and aids our immune system and metabolism.
For more information on our relationship with Panera Bread: cmp.ly/3