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Ingredient Swaps for Healthier Meals - Nutrition

We all know it’s important to eat healthily, but health experts say how your food is prepared can make or break the health benefits. “When we’re looking to make these swaps we want to help lower the added fats, specifically the harmful ones. Also, decrease the sugar load because the standard American diet is too high in sugar. We also want to look at decreasing your sodium intake, so less of the processed and packaged foods,” explained Carrie Bloemers, manager of the Healthy Life Center. When you’re cooking, health experts recommend making healthy substitutions to your recipe. “When you’re cooking a pasta-based meal, try the red lentil or black bean pasta,” she said. Any meal can become healthy if you just substitute better alternatives. For example, substituting lettuce wraps for bread, almond milk for cow’s milk, or hummus for mayonnaise can make a difference in both the caloric intake and the nutritional value. And if you’re craving something sweet, steer clear of artificial sweeteners. “You could use something like honey, a molasses, a pure maple syrup, sugar in the raw, or there’s coconut or palm sugar as well,” said Bloemers. Modifying your day-to-day meals and drinks can not only improve your waistline it can also benefit your heart health. “We can look at switching from some of the heavy cream, the sugar packets, maybe to add coconut milk creamer, almond milk creamer. I also recommend people using a measuring spoon to see how much they are pouring in,” said Bloemers. Just a few changes that can make a big difference. View More Health Matters video segments at Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care. Visit