Clean Up Your Diet with These Healthy Substitutions

Change can be challenging. But a few small diet tweaks can go a long way and get you that much closer to your nutritional goals. Minor changes will help cut out added sugar, fat and calories, and add in more fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Whether your goal is to lose a few pounds, look better in your favorite pants or just feel better about yourself, the following small nutritional changes will help you on your way.

Swap Fruit-Filled, Flavored Yogurt for Non-Fat, Plain Yogurt with Fresh Fruit

The benefit: Make this swap, and you'll have a snack containing less sugar and more fiber. The fresh fruit will also provide additional vitamins and minerals. For example, the strawberries add potassium and additional calcium. The possibilities are endless as far as the variety of fruits you can try in your yogurt. Added bonus: You can eat more of it for approximately the same amount of calories, but far more health benefits.

The comparison:

 

Strawberry Non-fat
Greek Yogurt
(5.3 oz.)

Plain Non-fat Greek Yogurt + 1/2 Cup Fresh Strawberries (6 oz.)

Calories

120

124

Sugar (g)

16

10.5

Protein (g)

13

18

Fiber (g)

0

1.5

More: 18 Energy-Boosting Fruits

Swap Pretzels for Whole-Grain Crackers

The benefit: Swap a handful of pretzels for whole grain crackers for a more fiber-filled, lower-sodium snack. Dietary fiber will help fill you up and stay full longer, aiding in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. Dietary fiber also helps to maintain bowel health, lower cholesterol levels, and control blood sugars, according to the Mayo Clinic. Add a tablespoon of natural peanut butter for a great snack that includes protein and healthy fats.

The comparison:

 

Pretzels (1 oz.)

100% Whole Wheat Crackers (1 oz.)

Calories

108

115

Sodium (mg)

385

140

Protein (g)

2.9

5

Fiber (g)

0.9

4

More: 3 Post-Workout Snacks That Lower Inflammation

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About the Author

Michelle Ulrich

Michelle Ulrich, MS, RD, CNSC, works as a clinical dietitian at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, California. She's also the sports dietitian for ETA Coach, an endurance coaching company. She has a passion for food, nutrition and sports.

Michelle Ulrich, MS, RD, CNSC, works as a clinical dietitian at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, California. She's also the sports dietitian for ETA Coach, an endurance coaching company. She has a passion for food, nutrition and sports.

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