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When you either go on a diet or make healthy lifestyle changes to promote weight loss, swapping out less-than-healthy ingredients for those that are more nutritious can allow you to eat just as much food without having to sacrifice good taste. In some cases, the ingredient swaps you make could end up shaving off several hundred calories per day, which will help you get that much closer to your weight-loss goals.
Before you decide to make any drastic changes to your diet and portion sizes, take a look at these seven delicious ingredient swaps that help promote weight loss.
1. Replace mayonnaise with mashed avocado
Typically, you probably eat mayonnaise on sandwiches or mixed with tuna. When you replace mayonnaise with avocado, you’ll be able to enjoy the same creaminess that mayo offers, but benefit from more potassium. Potassium helps lower your risk for health problems such as heart disease, arthritis, and cancer.
2. Replace sour cream with Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt is just as thick and creamy as sour cream, and adds a boost of healthy flavor to mashed or baked potatoes, salad dressings, and even tastes great as a topping for Mexican dishes. One cup of sour cream has nearly 500 calories, whereas one cup of fat-free Greek yogurt only has 130 calories.
3. Replace salt with white vinegar
If you typically add table salt to food while cooking, swap out salt for a small splash of white vinegar, which will provide the same flavor and helps your body efficiently absorb important minerals and nutrients. When boiling, steaming, or sauteeing vegetables, add just a small splash of white vinegar.
4. Replace butter with unsweetened applesauce
This substitute works best with meals that you bake in the oven. Unsweetened applesauce contains no fat, so you’ll save on overall caloric intake. One-half cup of applesauce contains only 50 calories, whereas one-half cup of butter contains 810 calories! Apples are packed with fiber, and will help you feel full when used in place of butter in your baking recipes.
5. Replace half the meat in chili with mushrooms
Considering mushrooms have a robust, meaty taste compared to other vegetables, mushrooms are the ideal substitute for the beef, steak, and other meats you add to chili. Replace every one-half pound of lean ground beef with two cups of mushrooms and end up saving about 375 calories. Plus, mushrooms contain nutrients and compounds that ward off cancer.
6. Replace white flour with whole-wheat flour
If you can’t stand replacing all the white flour in your recipes with whole-wheat flour, at least start with replacing half. When baking any recipe that calls for white flour, mix in whole-wheat flour and benefit from increased fiber, which will help create a lasting feeling of fullness.
7. Replace cream with coconut milk
When using cream in soups, sauces, or even in tea or coffee, replace with coconut milk to boost your potassium intake. In most cases, you won’t even be able to tell the difference between cream and coconut milk considering both ingredients are especially creamy. Plus, one tablespoon of cream has 52 calories, whereas the same amount of coconut milk only has 28 calories.