Easy Food Swaps

Easy Food Swaps

*See a few special recipe links below table

Swap For Why
White breadWhole wheat bread, rye bread or wholemeal sourdoughWholemeal bread contains more fibre to feed the gut bacteria, help keep you regular and to keep you fuller for longer. It also has more vitamins and minerals in. Real sourdough is made with a traditional slow fermentation and for many this means it is easier to digest.
White pastaWholemeal pasta or veggie noodles, for example courgetti (thin ribbons of courgette) or boodles (noodles made from butternut squash) - you just need a noodle peeler or a spiraliser. A noodle peeler is the cheapest optionWholemeal pasta contains more fibre to feed the gut bacteria, help keep you regular and to keep you fuller for longer. It also has more B vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in. Swapping pasta for veg noodles in some meals is an easy way to up for veg intake.
Brown, wild rice or black rice or cauli-riceBrown, wild rice or black rice contains more fibre to feed the gut bacteria, help keep you regular and to keep you fuller for longer. It also has more vitamins and minerals in. Wild and black rice contain dark pigments called polyphenols, which help feed the friendly gut bacteria. If you’ve never tried cauli-rice this is an option to up your veg intake.
Processed cereal and ready oatsPorridge, overnight oats *See recipe link below tableMany processed cereals have lots of sugar in and because the grain has been processed it has a high glycemic load, this means it raises blood sugar levels quickly. The lack of fibre means it probably won’t fill you up for long and especially as the food manufacturers’ recommended portion sizes to keep within reasonable sugar and salt levels are tiny! Ready oats are often loaded with sugar and even the plain version is highly refined Using wholegrain oats to make porridge or overnight oats means you are getting more fibre, B vitamins and minerals like zinc and magnesium.
Ice creamFrozen bio-live yoghurt blended with fruit (fresh or frozen) *See recipe link below tableIce cream is very high in sugar and saturated fats. It is also incredibly moreish so it’s hard to eat just a small portion! Using a bio-live yoghurt provides probiotics and adding fruit to flavour means your upping your antioxidant and vitamin intake
Flavoured yoghurtBio-live plain yoghurt and add fruit / a pinch of cinnamon / a tsp of local honeySome flavoured yoghurts have as much sugar in as a portion of ice cream! Beware low-fat options as food manufacturers often replace the fat with either sugar or sweeteners
Crisps, Crisp like snacks and PopcornOlives. Kale crisps. Roasted beetroot slices. Veg sticks and a dip like hummus or guacamole.Crisps and other snack foods are high in salt and heat-damaged fats and have no vitamins or minerals in. They have a high glycemic load which means they can spike blood sugar levels and can leave us craving more so it is easy to eat too many. Many varieties are also loaded with flavourings and colourings. Alternatives given provide nutrients, healthy fats and fibre.
Sodas and cordialsFizzy water flavoured with a slice of lemon, lime or orange or some fresh root ginger or a handful of berries. Kombucha – This is a fermented, very slightly alcoholic, lightly effervescent and tangy tea drink. You can buy lots of different varieties, some with fruit juice or spices added. Its low sugar because the sugar added has been fermented and it’s great for gut health and full of antioxidants.Sodas and cordials are either full of sugar or sweeteners. Sugary drinks damage teeth enamel and provide empty calories. Some research shows that sweeteners and artificial flavours have a negative effect on our friendly gut bacteria and they perpetuate a sweet tooth. Because they taste so sweet, they send powerful signals to the body that sugar is on the way, and this can result in strong food cravings.
Whole fruitWhile fruit juice does contain some nutrients like vitamin C, all the fibre and much of the goodness has been stripped away. Eating the whole fruit also has less impact on blood sugar levels. If you do enjoy fruit juice limit yourself to a small glass with a main meal.
Energy drinksCoffee or teaEnergy drinks are high in sugar and caffeine and are really only ever ok if you are running a marathon or other extreme endurance event! If you need a pick me up coffee and tea, in moderation, provide antioxidants as well as caffeine. Just be aware that caffeine can disrupt sleep so if you have trouble falling asleep or wake in the night and can’t get back to sleep limit your caffeine intake to 1 cup in the morning or try decaffeinated. There are also plenty of delicious herbal teas you can drink throughout the day.
Shop bought salad dressings, salad cream and mayonnaisesEasy homemade salad dressing *See recipe link below tableMany shop-bought dressings are laden with sugar, salt and processed fat. It is easy to make a simple salad dressing that tastes delicious and will keep in the fridge in an airtight container – ideally use glass.