Eating a healthy diet can reduce your risk for developing obesity and disease, according to studies from the Center for Disease Control. However, most people are not eating enough fruits, vegetables, whole grains–or what some would term “fit foods”–each day.
Rather, the average diet consists mostly of fast, packaged, convenience foods; which are high in fatty calories and low in nutritional value.
If your diet consists of more fat foods than fit foods, don’t focus on what you can’t eat and what you should cut out. Instead, focus on replacing those fatty, low-nutrition foods with nutritious, low-calorie foods that will help you stay fit and healthy.
1. Frozen Yogurt vs. Ice Cream
Believe it or not, you don’t have to give up frozen treats just to eat healthier. All you have to do is find low-fat alternatives to the high-fat ice cream you usually indulge on. For example…
A 1/2 cup of frozen yogurt, sorbet, or sherbet has around 110 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, and 16 grams of sugar. In contrast, a 1/2 cup of ice cream has about 290 calories, 18 grams of fat, and 26 grams of sugar.
You don’t have to give up the rich flavor or the creamy texture by choosing frozen yogurt, sorbet, or sherbet; but you do get to give up fattening calories and sugar. It doesn’t get much better than that.
2. Popcorn vs. Potato Chips
If you’re craving something crunchy, reach for popcorn instead of potato chips. A 1 oz. serving of potato chips has 150 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 1 gram of fiber. On the other hand, one 4 cup serving of popcorn has 60 calories, 2 grams of fat, and 4 grams of fiber.
And popcorn has more polyphenol antioxidants than fruits and vegetables, reports researchers at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. This doesn’t mean popcorn should replace fruits and vegetables in your diet. But it doesn’t mean that popcorn is a healthy snack you can munch on without feeling guilty.
Of course, it all depends on what type of popcorn you eat. Steer clear of movie theater or microwave popcorn, which are often no better than potato chips. Choose air-popped popcorn instead and hold back on the oil and butter if you want to keep calories to a minimum.
3. Spaghetti vs. Macaroni
Macaroni is tasty and easy-to-make, but it’s also high in fat and calories and low in nutritional value. A healthier way to satisfy your noodle craving is with whole-wheat pasta and spaghetti sauce. Just take a look at the comparison:
One cup of macaroni has 410 calories and spaghetti only has 230. Macaroni holds a whopping 19 grams of fat, but spaghetti only holds 1.5 grams. You only get 1 gram of fiber from macaroni, whereas spaghetti provides 6 grams.
“The healthiest kinds of grains are whole grains,” says the Mayo Clinic, so make sure to use whole grain pasta every time you whip up a batch of savory spaghetti.
4. Thin-Crust Pizza vs. High-Fat Pizza
Pizza is on almost every list of “fat foods you shouldn’t eat if you want to stay slim”. The truth is, you can still eat pizza and stay healthy and trim. You just have to pick pizzas that qualify as “fit foods”.
Two-three slices of a cheese-laddened, pepperoni-loaded pizza weigh in around 720 calories, 32 grams of fat, and 2020 mg of sodium. But 2-3 slices of a thin-crust pizza with grilled chicken or veggies–minus extra cheese–are only about 260 calories, 12 grams of fat, and 520 mg of sodium.
You can further keep these numbers low and the nutritional value of your meal high by limiting yourself to 2 slices and eating a side salad as well.
5. Vegetable Juice vs. Fruit Juice
There’s no question that fruit is good for you, but the high-sugar content of most fruit juice can cancel out the benefits of drinking it. One hundred percent fruit juice is a better alternative, but it can still hold a large number of calories. For instance, an 8 oz. glass of 100% grape juice has around 140 calories.
In comparison, an 8 oz. serving of tomato juice only has about 45 calories and 8 oz. of mixed vegetable juice has up to 70 calories. Both of these fit foods are full of vitamins, iron, fiber, and minerals; so you can get nutrients without all the calories.
Eat Fit, Get Fit
By making a few simple substitutions, you can still enjoy the foods you love. But you’ll get less calories, fat, and sodium and more nutrients and fiber. And the benefits don’t stop there…
By substituting fit foods for fat foods, you can lose weight faster and get healthier!
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For more information on fit foods or exercises that will help you lose weight, visit FatBurner.net and read any of the weight loss articles listed there.