Eight Healthy and Savory Food Swaps

Want to save some calories the easy way? Try these simple food substitutions the next time you whip up a meal.
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Get creative with your crudité. Celery and carrot sticks are healthy on-the-go snacks, but you can bump up your nutrient intake and flavor by swapping in red bell pepper slices. “One cup of red bell peppers has only 20 calories and 120 percent of your daily supply of vitamin C,” says Forberg. They’re also loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants and offer up a sweet, refreshing crunch.

Change up your chili. “Forget the meat in your next batch of chili and kick up the taste with roasted peppers and herbs and spices such as cumin, ground coriander, cilantro, chipotle and oregano,” suggests Forberg. Use a variety of different beans (black, pinto, white or navy) to add plenty of protein and texture.

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Get devilishly creative. The devil is in the details and it’s the details in deviled eggs that make them so unhealthy. Instead of filling them with traditional creamy yolk and mayonnaise filling, drop in a spoonful of hummus. “Two traditional deviled egg halves weigh in at about 125 calories and 11 grams fat while the hummus-stuffed variety has only 95 calories and 2 fat grams,” says Forberg.

Hide the cheese. Swap out cheese to save on calories. “Miso paste is a fermented soybean paste that has a salty, buttery taste,” says Wolfson. “It can give certain dishes a cheesy flavor with less fat while giving you vitamin K, amino acids, good bacteria and B vitamins.” Instead of the Parmesan in your pesto recipe or salad dressing, add one tablespoon of yellow or white miso paste (available at health food stores) to a batch of pesto or one cup of dressing. “You will never know the difference,” adds Wolfson.

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