7 food swaps you can make in your diet to increase your health

Ask the Expert

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – As people across the nation are spending a lot more time at home, it’s especially important to remember to eat meals that are good for your overall health and provide a boost to your immune system.

Registered Dietitian Alyssa Bransley recommended 7 easy swaps you can make when choosing which foods to eat.

1. When it comes to breads, pastas and starches, Bransley recommended choosing whole grains over white grains and aiming for at least 6 servings a day.

“They just help with heart health, reduce risk of diabetes (and provide) us with essential vitamins and minerals we don’t always get in a lot of our other foods,” she said. “Instead of just regular white rice, choosing rice or quinoa would be easy swaps.”

2. For flavor, Bransley said to reduce sodium and incorporate salt free spices instead.

3. For protein, she said to replace red meat with lean meats, fish and vegetables.

“Things such as beans, lentils, chicken or turkey are going to be great options, we just want to go skinless to reduce the saturated fats.”

4. When it comes to sides during meals, she said to make sure half of your plate is fruits or vegetables.

“The recommendation is we get 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. 90 percent of adults do not meet these requirements. Each color is providing different nutrients, so for example carrots are really beneficial for our eye health. Purple vegetables or fruits are high in anti-oxidants.”

5. To curb appetites, she suggested buying snacks in small packages rather than large ones.

“You want it to be providing protein. We want to aim to get 3 ounces of nuts or seeds a week.”

6. When it comes to beverages, Bransley recommends replacing sugary drinks with water.

“Water infusion is a great option. You can add fruits, vegetables or spices in your water for added flavor.”

7. When cooking your meals, she said to use less butter or margarine and more heart healthy oil.

“We want to avoid coconut oil or palm oil,” she said. “It actually has high saturated fat content.”

For any other health topics you’d like for us to explore, visit our website, click here.

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