Before you buy a “healthy” granola bar or some 100% fruit juice, take a peak at the nutrition label. Advertisers and product development teams everywhere have picked up a few techniques to keep you dropping dimes. Peel back on your packaged foods and opt for healthy foods that pack a punch.
1. Smoothies with whole fruit
Okay, not all smoothies are guilty of health deception. But before you slap down your debit card on an overpriced smoothie – check the ingredients. Most smoothie stops use sugary juices and powdered additives that make them super-sweet. Ditch the extra calories and opt for whole fruit, or make your own superfood smoothie at home.
2. Dairy with alternatives
Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past few years, you’re bound to notice dairy alternatives invading your local coffee shops. Whether it’s almond, cashew, or soy, non-dairy creamers have less fat and calories. Bonus: Mother Nature will thank you!
3. Hamburger with black beans
For meat enthusiasts, this might make you cringe. If you’re worried about missing out on protein keep in mind that beans and legumes have tons of protein without the fat and high calorie cost. Buy some frozen black bean patties or if you have a chef’s touch, try your hand at some homemade alternatives.
4. Rice with cauliflower
Alright, hear us out. Rice isn’t unhealthy, but if you’re looking for some added fiber and a lower carb diet, cauliflower rice is calling your name. Try out some with black beans and salsa for a Mexican-style bowl, or add some egg and veggies for stir-fry vibes. Our personal favorite is faux Mac-n-cheese.
5. Juice with water
Yeah, even that small serving of OJ isn’t helping your health. Juice has all the sugar of many whole fruits without all the minerals, fiber, or satiety. Grab some water, tea, or whole fruits instead.
6. Pasta with spiralized vegetables
Your favorite Insta vegan is probably raving about them, but for a good reason. Spiralized zucchini noodles, or spaghetti squash are great options that are filling and provide more health benefits than their starchy alternative!
7. Sugar with raw honey or pure maple syrup
Think about all the sugar you’ve added into your cups of coffee over the years. Sugar provides no nutrients or energy, while it racks up calories faster than you can say Stevia. Opt for a natural alternative (and just a teaspoon).
8. Table salt with Himalayan sea salt
Yes, the hype is real. Himalayan sea salt has over 80 essential minerals, and tastes just as good! Season your dishes without the guilt.
9. Canola oil with extra virgin olive oil
Or avocado oil, ghee, and coconut oil. Either way, keep your oils to a minimum – they can be difficult to track and calorie-dense.
10. Ice cream with nice cream
Don’t knock it until you try it! Pull out your blender, a few frozen bananas, and almond milk for a creamy and sweet concoction that doubles as a healthy nighttime snack. Add in cacao, cinnamon, or maple syrup for some extra sweetness.
11. Chips with popcorn
Yes, you can enjoy some snacking while staying healthy! Opt for a brand that has no additives and season with garlic powder, pepper, or Himalayan salt! You can eat a big bowl for as little as 100 calories.
12. Cheese with nutritional yeast
Not for everybody, but for those who are trying to cut back on dairy products. This product is raved on by vegans for a reason. It has all the cheesy flavor, without the fats and sodium of your usual slice. Throw it on your eggs, popcorn, or veggies to satisfy your cheese craving!