There are many health advantages to adopting a whole plant-based diet. Replacing normally eaten foods with healthier plant-based foods is a common barrier that prevents people from making the change. Here are few plant-based food swaps that will make it much easier for you to make healthier choices.
Sweets to fruit
Sweets: Eating sweets such as candy and pastries can be pleasurable to eat, but eating too much can negatively impact your health. Sweets are usually high in refined sugar, saturated fat, and artificial flavors and lack beneficial nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Regularly consuming sweets can contribute to the development of dental caries, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
Fruit: Fruit is nature’s sweet treats that offer health benefits that help prevent diseases such as hypertension, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients, fruit provides essential components for proper functioning of the body.
Salt to herbs/spices
Salt: Salt is a mineral composed primarily of chloride and sodium. Your kidneys react to salt intake by making your body hold onto more water. This process causes your blood pressure to rise which puts a huge strain on your heart, brain, arteries, and kidneys. The dietary guidelines, healthy adults should consume less than 2,300 mg of sodium a day (1 teaspoon of salt). According to the American Heart Association (AHA), 90% of US adults consume a lot more than that.
Herbs/spices: Herbs and spices have been used for centuries as powerful treatment agents to cure many health ailments. They are rich in vitamins and antioxidants that strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation. Using herbs and spices are a great way to enhance the taste and nutritional value of foods without adding salt.
Butter to avocado
Butter: Butter is literally a block of cholesterol and saturated fat. This combination creates the perfect storm for clogged arteries. Butter is also high in calories and is a main contributing factor to weight gain.
Avocado: Unlike most fruit, avocados are not sweet and have a soft creamy texture. Avocados are also calorically dense due to their high fat content. But don’t be alarmed. Most of the fats in avocados are the heart healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. Avocados are a great source of dietary fiber and contain nearly 20 different vitamins and minerals. Studies have shown that regularly eating avocados can potentially reduce the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, certain cancers, and hypertension.
Milk to plant-based milks
Milk: The milk you find in grocery store, where it is whole milk, 2% milk or skim milk is literally the breast milk from a cow that just gave birth. The purpose of this milk is to support the growth of a baby calf into a 1,500 pound cow. Even if you buy the most pristine milk (local, organic, grass-fed), it is still loaded with estrogen, progesterone, growth hormone, IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor), and pus. The estrogen found in cow’s milk may be one of the contributing factors to the increased incidence of breast cancer in women and low sperm count and the development of gynecomastia (male breast) in men.
Nondairy milk: Non-dairy milk is an excellent replacement to cow’s milk. Not only do plant-based milk offer all of the vitamins and minerals that are found in cow’s milk, they are also lower in calories, hormone free, and have a longer shelf life. There’s also a large variety to choose from. Some of the varieties include almond milk, soy milk, cashew milk, rice milk, coconut milk, and hemp milk.
Cheese to nutritional yeast
Cheese: Cheese is the #1 source of saturated fat in the American diet which is linked to inflammation and oxidative stress within the body. More than half of the calories in most cheeses are from fat. One cup of American cheese contains a whopping 900 calories, 78 grams of fat, and 4077 mg of sodium. Removing cheese out of your diet is one of the easiest ways to shave away pounds which reducing your risk of developing chronic diseases.
Nutritional Yeast: Nutritional yeast is the deactivated strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae which is a fungus grown on molasses. Since it’s deactivated, it does not grown or feed once inside the body. It contains all 9 essential amino acids and is a good source of B vitamins, especially vitamin B12. Nutritional yeast provides food with a cheesy taste and is usually sold in the form as a yellow powder or flakes. Nutritional yeast can be sprinkled on top of pasta or added to mashed potatoes and scrambled tofu.
Eggs to chia seeds
Eggs: Cholesterol is only found in animal derived foods especially eggs. Eating just two eggs will push you over your recommend daily of amount of cholesterol per day. Dr. Roberts who is the editor in chief of the American Journal of Cardiology states that cholesterol is the only true risk factor for heart disease. You’ll find many articles on the internet claiming that there are studies that show consuming eggs don’t raise serum cholesterol levels. If you take a closer look at these studies usually notice that most of them are founded by the egg counsel and the participants already have high cholesterol levels to begin with. Eating eggs also carries the risk of contracting the greats public health problem associated with foods poisoning, Salmonella. In 2010 alone, over half a billion eggs were recalled due to Salmonella outbreaks
Chia seeds: Chia is an ancient plant that belongs in the mint family. Packed with vitamins, minerals, essential fats, fiber, and antioxidants, it’s a perfect addition to any diet. Chia can absorb more than nine times its weight in water and turns into a gel, making it a great egg substitute for baking.
Beef patty to black bean patty
Beef patty: When researching the links between cancer and diet, scientists found that diets those who avoided meat were less likely to develop the disease. Research from Harvard University shows that meat eaters are appropriately three times as likely to develop colon cancer, compared to those who rarely eat meat. Meat that is cooked or processed at high temperatures contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and heterocyclic amines (HCA) that are known carcinogens.
Black bean patty: Black beans are an affordable food that should be kept in all kitchen cabinets. Consuming black beans on a regular basis helps protect the body against heart disease, inflammation, cancers, and diabetes. Compared to beef patties, black bean patties contain no saturated fat or cholesterol, have comparable levels of protein, and are higher in fiber and antioxidants.