Healthy food swaps that'll make you feel good about eating your favourite meals

Nutritional therapist Hailey Thomson shares the delicious and fresh substitutes we can use to indulge in hearty dishes that help boost our vitality.

Making drastic changes to your diet can be overwhelming and, at times, unrealistic.

If you're looking to eat more healthily, my advice is to take small steps towards your goals to make them easier to achieve.

Doing so will also help you adapt to a change in habits slowly which will make the transition to healthy eating a smoother one.

As a health coach, I hear all the time that though people do want to eat a better diet, it seems too difficult.

But healthy eating can be very easy – in fact, at times it can be as simple as swapping some really basic ingredients for another option that contains more nutrients.

What’s more, you’ll probably prefer the change as it will be make you feel lighter, less bloated, and full of energy.

Here are my top five simple swap suggestions that can make a huge difference to your healthy eating regime.

1. Ditch cereal for porridge

Cereals can be highly processed, low in nutrients and high in sugar which can spike blood sugar levels leaving you feeling ravenous by 10am.

Oats on the other hand are a fantastic whole food and a great source of soluble fibre. They’re not only good for digestion but also a fantastic slow energy-releasing carbohydrate that will keep you going all morning. Starting your day right by feeding yourself well will make a big difference to how you feel in the hours ahead.

2. Swap fruit-flavoured yogurt for Greek yogurt and berries

The fruit flavouring in yogurts will most likely be made up of more sugar than natural fruit and will often contain other preservatives and additives. For a more natural fruit and yogurt combination, try Greek yogurt with fresh fruit such as blueberries or strawberries. Plain Greek yogurt is high in protein, is a fantastic probiotic, and the addition of fresh fruit gives that added nutrient injection too.

3. Use mashed ripe avocado instead of mayonnaise

This amazing green fruit is incredibly healthy and full of vitamins and minerals such as potassium, vitamin E, B vitamins, and folic acid. It’s also a fantastic source of Omega 3 fats, needed to help keep your body healthy and functioning properly. Mix mashed avocado with tuna or egg and you’ll get the same great taste but it’ll be lighter and healthier.

4. Fill your salads with spinach rather than iceberg lettuce

Not all salad leaves are created equal. Although iceberg lettuce is green it contains few nutrients compared to the mighty spinach, which is full of iron, magnesium, folate, and vitamins A and C, all of which are needed for optimum health.

5. Swap white spaghetti for spiralised vegetables

By instantly upping the vegetable content of your meal, you’ve automatically upped the nutrient level too. Not only will you be getting all those essential vitamins and minerals, there’s also the extra fibre that will help aid healthy digestion.

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