Do you love chocolate desserts, pizza and other goodies, but you’re on a diet? No problem! Who says that you can’t enjoy your favorite foods and lose weight at the same time? The key is to replace sugar and trans fats with healthier alternatives. Not only this will help you lose fat, but also reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and high cholesterol. Here are five smart food swaps for weight loss:
Replace Refined Cooking oil with Olive Oil
Refined Cooking oil is packed with unhealthy fats and may increase your risk of cardiovascular disease and high cholesterol. Olive oil contains monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat as well as a small amount of saturated fat. It is also rich in antioxidants, vitamin E, and vitamin K. The amount of saturated fats per 100g of olive oil is 13g. Extra virgin olive oil is even a better choice due to its high content of monounsaturated fats.
Low Fat Yogurt with Fresh Fruit Instead of Low Fat Fruit Yogurt
The low fat fruit yogurt available in grocery stores is loaded with sugar and additives. Although it contains little or no fat, it has plenty of carbs from sugar. If you care about your health and want to lose a few pounds, forget about this sweet treat. Eat low fat Greek yogurt with sliced fresh fruit instead. Greek yogurt has twice as much protein as regular yogurt. Additionally, it’s healthier to add fresh fruits to a cup of yogurt instead of buying flavored yogurt.
Eat Quinoa Instead of Brown Rice
Quinoa takes less time to cook and contains more protein than brown rice. Although they’re equally high in calories, quinoa has three grams more protein, six grams more dietary fiber, and larger amounts of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, and potassium. Due to its high content of protein and fiber, quinoa will keep you full longer and reduce hunger. This grain also contains fewer carbs than brown rice.
Cook Protein Pancakes Instead of Regular Pancakes
Depending on the ingredients used, protein pancakes can have zero fat and up to 40 grams of protein per serving. Some recipes contain no carbs at all, making them ideal for weight loss and ketogenic diets. Regular pancakes are high in carbs and have little protein. Some provide over 550 calories per serving. Protein pancakes rarely exceed 200 calories per serving. These delicious treats can replace most desserts while providing your body with a steady flow of amino acids and quality protein.
Replace Diet Soda with Unsweetened Iced Tea or Coffee
Diet soda contains no sugar. However, this doesn’t mean it’s good for your health. Researchers have found that diet drinks increase insulin levels and trigger sugar cravings. They may also cause hunger pangs and interfere with your ability to regulate calorie intake. Recent studies indicate that for every sugar-free drink consumed daily, the risk of being obese or overweight increases by 41 percent. If you don’t like water, drink unsweetened tea, coffee, homemade iced tea, or homemade lemonade with no sugar.