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Easy Dietary Swaps That Are Healthy and Will Help You Live Longer

Updated on May 31, 2011
Bought by the gallon, real maple syrup isn't that much more than the fake stuff found in stores.
Bought by the gallon, real maple syrup isn't that much more than the fake stuff found in stores.

Eating a healthy diet doesn't have to be difficult. Some might think it is a tedious, boring chore, but it is doesn't have to be any different than the way you currently eat. Food will not taste horrible or bland just because it is healthy. I have some super easy dietary swaps you can make in your diet that will lead to a healthier you and allow you to live a longer life. I promise they are easy!

  1. Use real maple syrup. Fake syrup is loaded with high fructose corn syrup and lots of artificial ingredients. Real maple syrup, while not as nutritious as a fruit or vegetable, is actually good for you. The amazing taste is a nice bonus too.
  2. Bake with unbleached, whole wheat flour rather than bleached white flour. Bleached white flour has zero nutritional value. Whole wheat is extremely good for you. The swap requires you to do nothing different except buy a different bag of flour than what you were originally planning on buying.
  3. Eat frozen vegetables. The most nutritious type of vegetable is a frozen one. This might seem odd, but fresh vegetables frequently travel thousands of miles to get to your grocery store. This means they were picked before they were truly ripe and transported by truck to your store. This can take a week or more. They are not as nutritious as veggies allowed to ripen on the vine and each day that goes past before eating the vegetables lose much of their vitamins and minerals. Frozen veggies are typically picked when at the peak of ripeness and frozen within a few hours.
  4. Eat dark chocolate. This one is almost too easy! Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants that our bodies need. Don't deny your sweet tooth, just eat dark chocolate.
  5. Eat real fruit instead of canned fruit or processed fruit items. "Fruit snacks" are not real fruit. Many packages say "made with real fruit" and maybe they have a hint of it, but if you read the ingredients it is mostly fake foods and sugar products. Canned fruit is swimming in sugar, which is something we all need less of. Eat a real piece of fruit and you get more vitamins, minerals and fiber in your diet.
  6. Use brown rice instead of white rice. Foods that are white (sugar, flour, rice, bread, etc) have no nutritional value. Yes they are cheap and filling, but they do nothing for us. Brown rice might take a little longer to cook and some getting used to, but for the nutritional value it will be worth it.
  7. Stick with real butter. We aren't living in the 1970's anymore. Butter is not the cause of heart disease (in fact margarine is!). Margarine is nothing but fake ingredients. Butter is a real food that has many benefits (vitamins A, D, E and K as well as calcium and protein). If you can get some from local grass fed cows, even better.
  8. Use sucanat instead of sugar. Sucanat is dehydrated cane sugar juice. Cane sugar does have some nutritional value and the processing required to get sucanat leaves most of this nutritional value intact.
  9. Eat whole wheat bread instead of white bread. Have you ever heard the saying "The whiter the bread, the quicker you're dead."? Opt for a longer life and eat whole wheat bread.
  10. Drink water instead of soda. Soda is nothing but fake ingredients that have so much sugar and caffeine in them that we become addicted and dependent. Our bodies are 2/3s water and we need to stay constantly hydrated with water to keep it healthy.


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    • Rebecca2904 profile image

      Rebecca 5 years ago

      Really great hub! I'm always looking for ways to eat more healthily, so it's great when people post such easy (and cheap) tips! Definitely going to try some of these!

    • chrissieklinger profile image

      chrissieklinger 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      We do many of these and I no longer feel like I am hurting my children with the food I give them. I'm glad many other parents are starting to change what they feed their children as well!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      Terrific advice and love learning more and more about good food.

    • tebo profile image

      tebo 6 years ago from New Zealand

      Very good. I have trouble buying frozen vegetables but I know what you say makes sense. I must splash out on the real maple syrup one of these days. Brown rice is good in fried rice as you don't really need to dry it out before stir frying because it doesn't go gluggy like wet white rice.

    • LifeMeansChange profile image

      LifeMeansChange 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      This is really useful! Thanks so much Jennifer!

    • C-Bless profile image

      C-Bless 6 years ago from Canada

      I'm 8 out of 10; I do not like dark chocolate, and I've not heard of sucanat but my grandfather used to make cane sugar. Your hub was an enjoyable read. Thank you for sharing...

    • Jennifer profile image

      Jennifer 6 years ago

      Earth Angel, Good catch! something must have gone missing when I edited the article. It is fixed now, thanks!

      Lily Rose - I have never used stevia. Sucanat is used exactly like white sugar with the measurements not changing a bit. This makes it a very easy switch because you don't have to adapt the recipe at all.

    • profile image

      Ashlea B 6 years ago

      Agree, agree, agree.... ten times over. Such simple changes and so much better for you!

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 6 years ago

      GREAT Hub Jennifer!

      I agree with all of your points! Except one: Did you really mean to write "it is a tedious, boring chore" as your second sentence!

      For me it is a delightful choice! I think it is for you as well!

      Blessings always, Earth Angel!

    • Lily Rose profile image

      Lily Rose 6 years ago from East Coast

      Great advice, and I'm happy to say that I follow almost all of them! I never considered switching the flour I use (I rarely use flour, though) but I most certainly will. Do you know how sucanat compares to Stevia?

    • Darknlovely3436 profile image

      Annie 6 years ago from NewYork

      very informative hub, my children love they Aunt Jemima brand of syrup, i must indeed say that i am guilty, i love my slice ofmy white bread , I must indeed say that you have some useful infor for us to maintain healthy diet. however, there is only one thing i dislike, imitation sugar the saccharin is the worse thing i ever taste.. the after taste, for me is not suitable for human to consume.