Easy food swaps for healthier meals

Adella Miesner

Table of Contents Small tweaks that make a big differenceLettuce cupsCauliflower riceOne-ingredient banana ice creamCucumber slice blinisSeason with nutritional yeastBrieSpread with tahiniKale caesarToast topped with NutellaCourgettiAlmonds on your saladRoasted butternutSun-exposed mushroomsGo GreekAll BranRed peppersDry ciderA slice of malt loafPrawn curryWhipping creamRed onionsSmashed avocadoCalories and nutrients Small tweaks that make a […]


We’re all on the lookout for little ways to make our lifestyles that bit healthier – and you don’t have to completely overhaul your eating habits to feel some benefits. Just minor tweaks to your usual diet can cut excess calories, boost your intake of vitamins, minerals and fibre, and reduce the amount of sugar and saturated fat you’re consuming. Try these easy food swaps for an instant health boost.



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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article


Top a slice of fresh cucumber with cream cheese and smoked salmon for a spin on the traditional cocktail blini that’s crunchy, fresh and has around 20 calories fewer than the flour-based version.



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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article


In a sandwich made with 45g of cheese, you’ll save 33 calories by going for brie compared with Cheddar. Brie is a bit lower in calcium, but it’s richer in folate, which can help fight fatigue.



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Peanut butter is good, but tahini, made with sesame seeds, is an even better spread for your bread. A 15g tablespoon (100 calories) provides 57mg of magnesium, compared with 27mg in peanut butter. Magnesium is important for nerves, muscles and energy and the average intake in women aged 19-64 is only 238mg daily, versus a daily recommendation (NRV) of 375mg.



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A 15g level tablespoon of Nutella on toast has 71 fewer calories and 3tsps less sugar than a Snickers bar. Use wholemeal toast and you’ll also get 2.6g fibre, making this a more satiating sweet snack than a chocolate bar too.



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Topping spiralised courgette instead of traditional spaghetti with beef bolognese sauce slashes the calories in a typical serving from around 700 to nearer 300. Courgetti is available in many supermarkets if you don’t have the spiralising equipment to make your own.



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Adding a small handful of almonds to your salad gives that satisfying crouton crunch, but with higher amounts of protein, essential fats and fibre, plus a decent dose of magnesium, potassium and iron.



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Swap a 150g serving of roast sweet potatoes for the same size serving of roasted butternut squash to save around 115 calories. Butternut is less carb-heavy, but an equally good source of vitamin A.



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Zero-percent-fat natural Greek yogurt is strained and has a higher protein content than regular yoghurt, plus a thick, creamy texture. A 100g serving has just 57 calories – that’s the same as in standard zero-fat natural yogurt, but you’ll find the Greek option curbs your appetite better and fills you up for longer.



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Red peppers don’t just look prettier than green – you’ll also be getting more vitamin A by choosing the more vibrant veg. One 160g red pepper provides 20% of the daily recommendation (NRV) of vitamin A, which is needed for a healthy immune system, eyes and skin. A green pepper has less than half this, though both are excellent sources of vitamin C.



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Check the strength of your favourite cider. A higher alcohol (6-8.5%) vintage brew, like Aspall Premier Cru, has around 386 calories per pint, while a standard dry cider, with 4.7-5-5% alcohol, such as Strongbow, has only around 200 calories per pint.



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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article


Whipping cream (110 calories and 7.3g saturated fat per 2tbsps) can be used wherever a recipe calls for double cream (140 calories and 9.4g saturated fat per 2tbsps). It’s worth making the switch, as you’ll barely notice any difference in taste or texture.



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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article


Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article


Velvety avocado works brilliantly as a mayo alternative in wraps, salads and sandwiches, keeping chicken and tuna fillings succulent. You’ll also save 136 calories per serving (2 tbsps full-fat mayo = 193 calories; 2tbsps smashed avocado = 57 calories).



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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article


26/26 SLIDES

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