In fact, the Standard American Diet includes many unhealthy foods. However, here are 30 alternatives to the most common unhealthy foods that can help you improve your health.
– Cookies or Cake – Fresh Fruit with Coconut Milk and Cacao Nibs
Cookies and cakes are packed with dairy, sugar and gluten that can result in inflammation, gut problems, weakened immune system, skin problems, brain fog, and many other ailments.
Instead, consume berries high in antioxidants, a splash of unsweetened coconut milk and a handful of cacao nibs.
– Milk Chocolate – Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate contains about 70% cacao, whereas milk chocolate contains dairy and sugar. It is important to understand that high-quality cacao chocolate possesses fiber, manganese, copper, magnesium, iron, and other minerals. Furthermore, it is also a great source of antioxidants that help prevent free radical damage.
– Canola Oil – Coconut Oil
Did you know that canola oil is made from the rapeseed? Rapeseed is among the highest GMO crops, which makes canola oil a terrible option for cooking your healthy food in!
On the contrary, coconut oil is a nutrient-dense food. It is high in beneficial medium chain triglycerides, which make it an excellent option for cooking. It will not become rancid even if you heat it at high temperature.
Plus, coconut oil could help you burn fat and elevate your energy expenditure by about 5 percent.
It has strong anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties. Introducing coconut oil to your daily diet helps regulate your blood cholesterol levels and decrease your likelihood of heart disease and neurodegenerative disease.
– Ice Cream – Frozen Banana
You should peel and chop one banana (or more) and lay it on parchment paper on top of a cookie sheet. Next, freeze it. Afterwards, add the frozen banana to a food processor with some cacao powder and blend. Consume it right away.
Bananas are abundant in potassium that helps reduce your likelihood of heart disease and high blood pressure.
The regular consumption of this fruit has also been associated with a lower risk of depression because of the high amounts of tryptophan present in the fruit. Tryptophan is transformed into serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter in your brain responsible for happiness.
Also, bananas are beneficial for fighting diarrhea, low energy, PMS symptoms, and muscle cramps.
– Croutons – Toasted Nuts
Toasted nuts are high in heart-healthy fats, minerals, protein, and vitamins. For instance, Brazil nuts and almonds are rich in selenium, whereas walnuts help improve your brain health.
– Conventional Dairy – Kefir
Conventional dairy possesses a high amount of sugar and hormones. On the other hand, kefir contains beneficial bacteria that can boost your immune system and enhance your gut health. It could also help those suffering from lactose intolerance start to tolerate lactose again.
Simply consume organic goat’s milk kefir with some turmeric powder.
– Snack Bar – Raw Almonds
Almost all store-bought bars contain fillers, sugar, and gluten. So, you should opt for a handful of raw almonds that could help keep you full longer, keep your blood sugar levels under control as well as keep your mind sharp.
– Crackers and Cheese – Nut Butter and Apple
Replace crackers and cheese with nut butter and apples as they contain a higher amount of protein and fiber that can help keep you full longer. Also, nut butter and apples can prevent weight gain and give you the salty and sweet flavor you love.
– Potato Chips – Kale Chips
Potato chips contain large amounts of trans fats. Additionally, kale chips are a great alternative to potato chips because they are high in omega-3 fatty acids, folate, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, fiber, and protein. Plus, you can also add cayenne for a little punch or nutritional yeast for a “cheesy” flavor.
– White Rice – Cauliflower Rice
The regular consumption of cauliflower rice has been found to help prevent cancer because of its nutrient support to three body systems related to cancer, such as anti-inflammatory/inflammatory system; detox system; and antioxidant system.
– Conventional Beef – Grass-Fed Beef
Conventional beef contains chemicals and hormones. So, you should replace it with a pure, organic grass-fed beef as it is rich in minerals, protein, and vitamins.
– French Fries – Sweet Potato Fries
Even though potatoes have a bad reputation, you can consume them in moderation. However, sweet potatoes are an excellent option if you are looking for a nutrient-dense food in the carb community.
Specifically, sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin B6, i.e., a vitamin that could help decrease the levels of homocysteine in your body. High levels of homocysteine have been associated with heart problems and many other diseases.
Moreover, they are also high in magnesium, iron, vitamin C, and vitamin D.
Although they are sweet, the sugar found in them is released slowly in your bloodstream. This helps provide energy without dramatic spikes and dips as well as helps regulate your blood sugar levels.
– Alfredo Sauce – Vegan Pesto
Most cream-based sauces are high in sodium, calories, and dairy. Vegan pesto is a good alternative to these cream-based sauces.
Homemade Vegan Pesto Recipe:
Things You Will Need:
- 3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- Half a cup of extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large garlic cloves
- Half a cup of raw, unsalted pine nuts
- 2 cups of lightly packed fresh basil
- Fresh pepper and sea salt to taste
Blend the ingredients in a food processor and keep the mixture in an airtight container for five days. Use it as a dip for vegetables or add it to chicken and fish.
– Egg McMuffin – Vegetable Scramble
Avoid eating high-carb muffins and cheese and add vegetables to your super-nutritious eggs in order to enhance your overall health from a cellular level.
There is no doubt that eggs are abundant in protein, selenium, folate, vitamin B, and vitamin A. You should consume the WHOLE egg, because most of the nutrients are found in the yolk, whereas the protein is found in the white.
Although eggs contain cholesterol, they don’t have a negative effect on your blood cholesterol levels. Keep in mind that cholesterol in foods does not increase the cholesterol in your blood.
Eggs are also packed with choline, i.e., an essential nutrient, which the majority of people do not get enough of. This nutrient plays a key role in building your cell membranes and creating the signaling of molecules to your brain.
– Granola – Steel Cut Oatmeal
It is a fact that granola is packed with added sugars that can elevate inflammation and lead to a wide range of health problems. On the other hand, steel cut oats are low glycemic that could help regulate your blood sugar levels. This makes them an excellent food choice for those suffering from diabetes. They are also packed with dietary fiber. The soluble fiber found in oats could also have a positive impact on your blood pressure levels. The consumption of steel cut oatmeal helps keep you full longer and reduce the possibility of overeating.
– Banana – Avocado
Bananas help provide a creamy texture in your favorite smoothies. However, if you look for a lower glycemic option, you should use avocados because they are rich in potassium, folate, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K; and provide the same creaminess like bananas. They are also abundant in healthy fats, which can help boost your immune system and metabolism, and improve your skin, brain, and heart health.
– Soda – Anti-Anxiety Beverage
Even though this alternative to soda isn’t really good, it could help relax your body, lower anxiety, boost digestion and provide your body with minerals.
– Cheese – Nutritional Yeast
The regular consumption of dairy products can result in inflammation in your body. It can also lead to mucus formation. So, you should sprinkle nutritional yeast on dishes that you would sprinkle cheese on. Although it doesn’t give you the texture of cheese, it can provide a similar flavor to cheese. Furthermore, nutritional yeast is high in B12 that is considered to be a “complete protein.” Also, it is free of gluten and sugar, low in sodium and fat, and high in iron.
– Iceberg Lettuce – Romaine, Kale, Chard, and Spinach
Iceberg lettuce is high in water. However, it does not have the same nutritional value like other green vegetables. Opt for dark greens because they are rich in nutrients that provide your body with many minerals and vitamins.
– Commercial Salad Dressings – Apple Cider Vinegar and Olive Oil
Raw, organic, unfiltered ACV and extra-virgin olive oil are an excellent alternative to commercial salad dressings. Commercial salad dressings are packed with sugar and fillers. So, drizzle some ACV and olive oil and add a bit of Celtic sea salt rather that using any commercial salad dressing.
– Sour Cream – Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is a good source of beneficial bacteria that can enhance your immune and gut health. Even though organic Greek yogurt is technically a dairy product, the beneficial bacteria found in it have been found to help fight lactose intolerance. So, you can more easily digest it. But, in case you can’t tolerate dairy products, consume organic kefir.
– Bread – Collard Wrap
As you probably know, bread is packed with carbohydrates and sugar that can interfere with your effort to lose weight. What’s more, it also possesses various harmful ingredients to help prolong its shelf life. Plus, it also possesses gluten. Most people have some kind of intolerance to gluten/wheat due to the way it has been over-processed. This could elevate your likelihood of skin and digestive problems, brain fog and a wide array of chronic diseases.
You should replace bread with collards since they have an incredible nutritional value. Collards belong to the cruciferous family and help reduce your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Additionally, they are rich in minerals and vitamins, such as vitamins B, calcium, fiber, manganese, vitamin C, vitamin K and vitamin A.
– Sugar – Cinnamon
Eating too much sugar can lead to inflammation, thus reducing your risk of various diseases.
On the other hand, cinnamon helps provide numerous health benefits. Keep in mind that Ceylon cinnamon is the “real” cinnamon. So, you should look for this type of cinnamon when shopping at the market.
It contains a substance known as cinnamaldehyde that helps boost your metabolism and enhance your overall health. Moreover, cinnamon is abundant in antioxidants known as polyphenols. In a study, researchers examined the antioxidant effects of 26 spices. They concluded that cinnamon could outrank oregano and garlic.
That’s not all, cinnamon has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that could help decrease your likelihood of many diseases. In addition, it has also been found to greatly elevate sensitivity to the hormone insulin. About 1/4 – 1 teaspoon or 1-6 grams of cinnamon on a daily basis could help decrease your fasting blood sugar levels.
Plus, the smell of cinnamon has been found to result in a 15% increase in cognitive function.
– Margarine – Ghee or Butter
Margarine is produced in a laboratory and contains dairy, chemicals, and sugar. Moreover, it is made from trans fats that act as artery clogging fats. The regular consumption of margarine could elevate your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and reduce your good (HDL) cholesterol levels.
However, ghee or butter has a good nutritional profile.
Butter is abundant in vitamin K, vitamin E, vitamin D, and vitamin A. It contains trace minerals like selenium, copper, zinc, chromium, and manganese that act as a potent antioxidant agent. Additionally, butter possesses more selenium per gram than wheat germ or herring. It is also high in iodine.
The healthy fats present in butter could help boost your metabolism and immune system. It is important to understand that fat does not make you fat, sugar can make you fat. Fat is also good for your cognitive abilities and skin health.
Furthermore, raw butter possesses Wulzen Factor, i.e., a hormone-like substance that has many different functions. Specifically, it helps prevent stiffness in your joints and arthritis. It also helps ensure that calcium is deposited in your bones instead of in your joints.
Ghee is a type of butter free of milk solids. It is an excellent food choice if you cannot handle standard dairy.
It is recommended to use organic ghee or butter for maximum benefits.
– Pasta – Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti squash is low in calories. One cup of cooked squash possesses about 42 calories, i.e., 2% of the daily intake of calories on a 1,500-calorie diet. As a result of its low amount of calories, you should use spaghetti squash as an alternative to pasta. Consuming spaghetti squash instead of pasta could significantly decrease the amount of calories in your meal. In case you consume spaghetti once a week, the calorie difference in switching to spaghetti squash is equal to 2.5 pounds of weight loss for one year.
1 cup of cooked squash possesses about ten g of total carbs, including 2.2 g of fiber.
1 cup of squash possesses vitamin K, vitamin E, vitamin C, B vitamins, and vitamin A. It also contains selenium, manganese, copper, zinc, and calcium.
– Sugar-Laden Latte – Organic Black Coffee with Coconut Oil or Butter
Espresso drinks are packed with empty calories, including a large amount of sugar. As coffee is a GMO crop, avoid chemicals and pesticides by using organic beans.
Substitute your vanilla latte for organic black coffee with coconut oil or butter. In addition, you can also a bit of vanilla stevia for additional flavor.
Although coffee has a bad reputation, high-quality coffee taken in moderation could have many benefits, including high antioxidant content. The journal “Plant Foods for Human Nutrition” published a study that showed that the high amount of antioxidants found in coffee could lower inflammation and oxidative stress in the body and decrease the risk of many diseases, such as cancer.
That’s not all, the “Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism” published a study that showed that coffee could help prevent and fight diabetes by reducing blood glucose levels after meals.
You should also add healthy fats in a cup of organic black coffee to help prevent sharp spikes and dips in energy, optimize your body’s pH levels and improve your cognitive function.
– Gatorade (or Any Sports or Energy Drinks) – Organifi and Coconut Water
Coconut water is an all-natural isotonic beverage that helps provide the same benefits as formulated sports drinks, such as the potassium, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium, and electrolytes calcium, but in their natural form.
Furthermore, organifi contains phytonutrients, antioxidants, and adaptogens that help keep you invigorated, energized, and alkalized throughout the day.
– Refined Sugar (Agave Nectar) – Raw, Organic Honey
Agave nectar is a popular sugar substitute that possesses about 80 percent fructose. This is a higher amount of fructose compared to that present in high-fructose corn syrup. Almost all agave products are laboratory-created fructose syrups that do not contain any nutrients.
But, raw, organic honey has strong antioxidant, antifungal, anti-viral, and antibacterial properties. The consumption of raw, organic honey helps improve your digestive and overall health, boost your immune system, and fight allergies. It acts as a natural remedy for any type of infection and skin wounds.
– Soy Sauce – Coconut Aminos
Unfermented soy has been found to act as a hormone disrupter, especially an estrogen simulator. If you suffer from any autoimmune disease or endocrine system imbalance (adrenal, thyroid, and hormone problems,) exclude soy from your diet since it can make the condition even worse.
Replace soy with coconut aminos as it is free of wheat and soy.
The good news is that coconut aminos has a higher content of essential amino acids than any soy-based sauce. It is important to know that amino acids are called the “building blocks of protein” as they are crucial to your overall health. Namely, they are responsible for boosting your energy and immune system, rebuilding and repairing of your muscle tissue, and improving your nervous system and brain function. Protein is among the most important substances in the human body. So, it is recommended to follow a diet high in amino acids.
– Skim Milk – Coconut, Almond or Hemp Milk
Skim milk is packed with synthetic vitamins to replace those vitamins lost in fat-elimination as well as milk solids to replace the calcium and protein lost in processing. 1 cup of skim milk possesses about 12 g of sugar and 90 calories.
You should substitute skim milk for unsweetened hemp, coconut or almond milk because this type of milk is low in calorie and free of sugar. Unlike dairy milk, coconut, almond or hemp milk do not possess any harmful additives.
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- Mateljan, George. ˮThe World’s Healthiest Foods: Essential Guide for the Healthiest Way of Eatingˮ;
- Anduze, Alfred. ˮNatural Health and Disease Preventionˮ;