Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Food Substitutions

I had a comment posted yesterday on regarding the diet plan I am following. The comment was from SonyaAnn. She said that she will be doing good at eating healthy & then will come across a new recipe that she wants to try & will blow her healthy eating habits. A very important thing to think about is that any recipe can be modified to make it healthier.

One of the easiest ways to substitute is to use a version of a product that is reduced fat or fat free. Some foods also have sugar free versions or reduced sugar versions, swap a full sugar ingredient for one that is reduced. It’s amazing how many calories and/or fat grams a person can eliminate from their diet by swapping foods for their reduced fat/sugar counterparts.

Another change that you can make is to limit breads, pastas, rices, & potatoes. If you are going to eat them make sure you don’t eat the “white” version. AND check the labels. Often these foods are labeled as “wheat” or are brown so we think they are healthier. This can be very misleading because many foods that are “whole wheat” are just as bad for us as the white versions because of all the sugars. Usually if it’s marked multi-grain your pretty safe – but not always! You will find that it really does pay to check labels.

To be honest, I have eaten virtually no bread, potatoes, rice, or pasta since I started. The second week was truly the most challenging because our bodies crave the sugars we get from these foods when we are used to eating them regularly. And I ate them pretty much every single day, maybe even more than once each day. By the time the second week was over though I really didn’t crave these things any more.

Once in a while I do get a craving for something like chocolate cake (although I’ve only had this craving twice). When I got this craving I waited a while to see if it would pass, when it became evident that it wasn’t going to I bought a chocolate cake donut & ate about half of it. That was enough to satisfy my craving & I didn’t completely blow the progress I had already made.

One of the hardest things for me to change was my fruit habit. I was used to eating all the fruits that quickly turned to sugars. I needed to change that. Apples are great because the skin is full of fibers & berries are also another great choice when it comes to fruits.

Here is a link to check out healthier alternatives to everyday foods (mostly condiments):


You can also Google “Glycemic Index” to get more information about what the Glycemic index of foods is. The higher the number the quicker your body converts it into sugar & subsequently, fat.


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