Food cravings are the best and worst: you’re reminded of your favorite foods, but you’re also tempted by items that aren't a part of your ideal balanced diet. No worries! For every food craving you experience, healthier food options are available. Check out these easy swaps you can make as you enjoy snacks in and around your assisted living apartment.
Instead of potato chips, choose popcorn
While a handful of chips every so often wouldn’t be awful, this isn’t a good food to include in your regular diet. Instead, indulge in air-popped popcorn, which you can add light flavoring to for an extra punch. Pre-popped popcorn is also available at the grocery store using healthy, all-natural non-GMO ingredients, but read packaging carefully before making your selection to avoid trans fats, high fructose corn syrup and other ingredients that would make your doctor cringe.
Instead of mashed potatoes, choose sweet potatoes
Mashed potatoes smothered in thick gravy is a mainstay of the South but isn’t the best centerpiece for a healthy diet. Sweet potatoes, which can be boiled and mashed in the same way as white or red potatoes, offer a lower calorie, lower carb alternative that is also far higher in vitamin A and calcium. Don’t get tricked into using canned yams, however, as these are covered in an unhealthy sugary dressing.
Instead of mayo, choose avocado
A thick scoop of mayo, slathered all over your favorite sandwich, may be just what you crave at lunchtime. However, too much mayo — particularly, the eggs and oils used to make mayo — may not be the healthiest constant presence in your diet. Mashed or pureed avocado, which can spread just as smoothly on bread, is a heart-healthy fat that can bind your sandwiches together just as nicely and with an added pop of flavor.
Instead of ground beef, choose ground turkey
Whether you’re preparing chili, meat sauce, burgers or meatloaf, using ground turkey instead of ground beef can be significantly healthier for your diet. Red meat can lead to heart issues when consumed too often and is higher in both calories and fat than turkey. Once the meat is cooked, and especially when used in recipes that have other dominant ingredients like sauces and spices, you may not even be able to taste a huge difference between the two.
Instead of whole milk, choose almond milk
Whole milk has a thick, satisfying taste, whether used alone or in a mix with other flavors and ingredients. Although the taste of almond milk is a bit different, it can be equally creamy and smooth. To ease into the change from whole milk to almond milk, begin by substituting your new mainstay when you’re making a milkshake or eating your favorite cereal. Once you get used to the new taste, you’ll be ready to drink it alone.
Here at Bethesda Gardens in Frisco, one of the many amenities we offer is a chef who is also a registered dietician. Talk to us to about the foods you’re craving so we can point you in a healthier direction. Our down-home cooking is designed to please your taste buds while still providing a carefully balanced diet to ensure you’re getting exactly the nutrition you need.
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