5 Healthy Substitutes for Unhealthy Foods

By Marina Krivonossova on March 10, 2021

Eating healthy has always been incredibly important, but COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized that practice even more. The food we eat has a direct impact on our physical well-being, mental health, and so much more. But we’re only human, so we often can’t help but feel drawn to foods that aren’t necessarily the healthiest for our bodies. That’s why I embarked on a mission to find healthy substitutes for unhealthy foods — ones that are good for you, all while still absolutely delicious. If you’re on a journey to eat better while still enjoying premium flavors, check out the list below for some healthy cooking and baking inspiration. I want to share with you the five healthy substitutes for unhealthy foods that changed the way I dine at home. There’s even some recipe links are included for your convenience!

(Image via pexels.com)

1. Lasagna. Typical beef lasagna is made with refined pasta, canned tomato sauce, greasy beef, and way too much cheese. It’s delicious, I know — but your body won’t thank you for it. Luckily, there’s some ways to make lasagna healthier. You can use whole grain pasta, homemade tomato sauce, lean ground beef or chicken, and cut down on the amount of cheese.  Or, you can step it up a level to maximize health benefits by making an alternative lasagna which doesn’t include flour or meat ingredients.

Healthier Meaty Lasagna

Healthiest Lentil and Eggplant Lasagna

2. Pizza. Who doesn’t love a good, cheesy, greasy pizza? The problem is that most pizza is loaded with excess carbs, sodium, and a ridiculous amount of preservatives. The best way to ensure the pizza you consume is healthy is by preparing it at home from scratch. Use whole wheat flour for the crust (and keep the crust thin), create some homemade tomato sauce, minimize cheese use, and top that bad boy with healthy veggies and proteins. Avoid products that are processed, fried, etc. You can also kick it up a notch by adding even more veggies to your pizza and making it with a cauliflower crust. It tastes almost the same as regular crust, but it’s so much healthier!

Healthier Homemade Pizza

Healthiest Cauliflower Crust Pizza

(Image via pexels.com)

3. Brownies. I love chocolate, and I could honestly eat more brownies in one sitting than I’d like to admit. But most brownies are loaded with sugar and butter, making them not the most health-conscious of snacks. So, I did some research, and it turns out there’s a ton of ways to make brownies way healthier than usual! You can use coconut oil instead of butter, dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate, dates instead of sugar, and so much more. When it comes to brownies, the hacks are endless, and they’ll vary depending on your personal tastes. That’s why when it comes to brownies, I’ll share with you a website that offers 13 diverse brownie recipes that vary based on your personal preferences. Check them out below and fall in love with brownies all over again.

Healthy Brownies

4. Ice cream. Nothing is better on a warm, summer day than some rich, flavorful ice cream. Honestly, ice cream is just as good on a cold, winter day. Ice cream is just amazing all-around. The only problem is that it’s usually made with a crazy amount of unhealthy fats and sugars. Fortunately, there’s plenty of healthier ways to make your own ice cream, both with and without dairy. Depending on your personal preferences, check out the recipes below and see what appeals to you.

Healthy dairy ice cream

Healthy non-dairy ice cream

(Image via pexels.com)

5. French toast. A classic American brunch food, French toast will forever be a people pleaser. But, just like the other foods mentioned above, it’s not quite the best choice if you want to take care of your mind and body. If you’re trying to make your own French toast at home while trying to be mindful of your health, consider making it with olive oil instead of butter, whole grain bread instead of white bread, and fresh fruits instead of sugary, artificial toppings. And, if you’re short on inspiration, check out the recipe links down below to get you started on your healthy French toast adventure.

Healthy classic French toast

Healthy overnight French toast

One last thing to remember: while it’s important to eat right to take care of your mind and body, there’s nothing wrong with occasionally indulging in your favorite guilty pleasure foods. And if you’re not ready to commit to major culinary changes right off the bat, start by making minor substitutions in your food to maximize health benefits. I’ll even share a guide to get you started. Bon appétit!

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