10 Easy Tips for Healthier and Tastier Meals

Making changes to your eating habits can be a difficult and overwhelming process. We constantly hear about all of the new diet plans and medications available promising healthy and quick weight loss. But, are they really the answer in the long run?

When you decide it’s time to make changes to your diet, the best approach is to take baby steps. In other words, avoid drastic, overnight changes to your diet that restrict you from eating foods you enjoy. The likely result of this cold turkey approach will leave you frustrated and ready to give up.

So, let’s get started on small substitutions you can make that’ll have a big impact on your health. A great place to start is by using healthier alternatives for foods you eat on a regular basis

Try These Substitutions:

  • Light (tub) margarine instead of butter or margarine - saves 3-6 grams of fat per tablespoon
  • Skim milk instead of whole milk - saves 8 grams per cup
  • Two egg whites used in place of one egg - saves 6 grams of fat
  • Reduced-fat cheese instead of full-fat cheese - can cut up to 5 grams of fat per ounce
  • Using applesauce instead of oil in baking - saves 14 grams of fat per tablespoon

Cutting down on fat doesn't have to mean bland, boring foods. Try experimenting with these spices (add before or after cooking):

  • Sprinkle beef or pork with lime juice, garlic, and rosemary
  • Chop fresh tomatoes, onion, green peppers, garlic, and oregano – spoon over skinless chicken breasts and bake
  • Squeeze a slice of lemon on seafood, then sprinkle with dill
  • Season veggies with cumin, curry powder, basil, oregano, parsley, sage, or garlic and onion powders
  • Add some extra sweetness to fruit with cinnamon and vanilla extract

Smarter eating starts with smarter shopping. During your next visit to the grocery store, shop the perimeter of it for fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh meats and seafood and lower fat dairy products. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that the less processed your food is, the more likely it’s lower in sodium.

And, remember – if you can successfully make one small change in your diet you’ll give yourself more confidence and motivation to make another one.

Meet the Author

Carla J. Stevens, RD, is a Registered Dietitian and Board Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition at Aurora Medical Center and Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic in Two Rivers, Wisconsin.

Read more posts from this author

The information presented in this site is intended for general information and educational purposes. It is not intended to replace the advice of your own physician. Contact your physician if you believe you have a health problem.

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