Food Swaps That Aren’t As Healthy As You Think

When it comes to eating healthier, some people take the approach of doing a complete diet overhaul. While you can always do this, many consider it far less than ideal. The reason? 


Few people can stick with changes in the long run. A better method is to simply just swap out some of the unhealthy foods that you’re eating for healthier ones. This way, you don’t feel like you’re dramatically changing your diet, but instead, are just making a few adjustments. This makes it easier to stick with, thus you’re more likely to see it through to the end. 


Sadly though, in some cases, when someone makes a food swap, they might think that they’re making a healthy change but in reality, they’re doing the opposite. The swap may be a little better than what they were eating before, but not enough to see positive results.


Today we’re here to talk about some of these mistaken swaps. If you’re currently using these in your plan, you may want to rethink them and choose something else instead. 


Whole Milk For Skim Milk 


The first swap you don’t want to fall for is thinking that skim milk is a far better choice than whole milk. It may be worse. When you compare and contrast the calorie difference, you’ll see that whole milk contains around 160 calories while skim milk contains around 90. So strictly from a calorie standpoint, skim milk does appear to be the better choice.


However, because skim milk has no dietary fat and does still contain quite a significant dose of sugar (nearly 10 grams per cup), this means it has the potential to spike blood glucose levels a lot more, which could increase your overall risk for fat gain. Having some dietary fat in your diet plan helps stabilize blood glucose levels, which is key if you want to keep your body composition under control. 


Whole milk has the same sugar content as well, so you aren’t doing much better there, but it impacts how your body handles the sugarFor many, whole milk may be the superior option. 


Corn Flakes For Granola 


Another food swap that many people make thinking they’re doing their body proud when they aren’t is exchanging a sugary cereal for some ‘adult’ granola instead.


Granola is made with whole grains and may boast how many grams of fiber it has, making you think that it’s a great choice for your meal plan. Here’s the thing: when you break down how much sugar is in granola, you’ll quickly see that it often contains just as much sugar, if not more than what’s in that sugary cereal you were eating.


What’s worse is that the serving size may be smaller. The sugary cereal may list the serving size as one cup, whereas the granola lists 2/3’s of a cup, meaning if you eat the same amount, the granola is worse.


And don’t forget to consider the total dietary fat content as well. When you stop and look at the fat content, you might just be shocked to see how high it is. 


Ice Cream For Frozen Yogurt 


If you have a sweet tooth for ice cream, you aren’t alone. Many people love to indulge in the creamy stuff and feel instantly guilty after they do. They might think that instead, they should opt for frozen yogurt because it’s a superior choice. Don’t be fooled.


Frozen yogurt often has just as many calories as ice cream, and while it may be lower in fat, it’s higher in sugar.  So you’ve just swapped out one diet evil for another. Many professionals would consider sugar more harmful than dietary fat, so you may be better off just eating regular ice cream instead.


If you are more satisfied with regular ice cream and would typically eat less of it than the frozen yogurt, stick with ice cream and monitor your portion size. Some people will find the yogurt doesn’t hit the spot like ice cream does, so they eat one cup of it rather than a half-cup serving. This is now going to mean nearly double the calorie intake and a much higher risk of weight gain. 


Whole Wheat Pasta For White Pasta 

 

Next up we have the pasta exchange. You might love your pasta and think that as long as you choose whole wheat, you’re home-free. Think again. While whole-wheat pasta may have a gram or two more of fiber, that’s about all it’s going to do for you. In the grand scheme of things, this doesn’t make it superior. It’s still high in carbs, still high in calories, and still will spike your blood glucose levels if you eat enough of it. So pasta, while okay to eat on occasion in moderation, should not be part of a wholesome diet plan regularly.


There are many lower calorie noodle options out there now that you could turn to instead if you feel like you just need to combat that pasta craving and stick with your diet plan. Some of these alternatives (such as yam noodles) contain hardly any calories at all.  


Organic Cookies Versus Regular 


Finally, and this could apply to almost any sort of swap that involves processed foods, is the notion that choosing the ‘organic version’ is going to be that much better than the regular version.


It’s very important when making any sort of food swap that you don’t lose common sense. If cookies were not healthy before, just because they’re suddenly organic doesn’t mean that they’re healthy now. Sure, the actual ingredients may be more natural, but they aren’t naturally occurring ingredients in the first place. Cookies are still high in fat and sugar and that hasn’t changed at all. 


So keep these food swaps in mind and make sure you aren’t making one of these mistakes. It’s an easy mistake to make but one that will certainly cost you if you aren’t careful.

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