Giant Eagle

  2. Facebook
  3. Twitter
  4. Youtube

Healthy Food Swaps for 2014

A fresh new year calls for an equally fresh look at healthy eating. However, Giant Eagle understands that eating a fat-free or low-fat version of a favorite food can be unappealing. So here’s a list of healthy foods you can swap in for others that are nutritious and tasty.

Download a graphic of the most common food swaps here!

Original Ingredient Ingredient Swap Reason
Granola Oatmeal You’ll cut way down on the calories. Try stirring cooked oatmeal into yogurt
Sour Cream Plain Greek Yogurt You’ll save on calories, and the rich, creamy yogurt still adds tang and texture similar to sour cream. It’s perfect for baked potatoes, burritos and black bean soup.
Mashed Potatoes Mashed
Not only does this “skinny starch” deliver fewer calories than potatoes, and 1 cup of cooked cauliflower provides 70% of the daily value of vitamin C.
Pasta Spaghetti squash
or zucchini ribbons
Using these instead of pasta will cut the calories (and carbs) way down. Just remove the strands from cooked spaghetti squash or simply sauté the zucchini ribbons.
Croutons Toasted Walnuts Walnuts not only cut down on the carbohydrates croutons have, they’re also the best plant source of Omega-3 fatty acids (2.5 grams per ¼ cup serving) – a good heart-healthy fat.
Salad Dressing Balsamic vinegar or
Lemon juice
Drizzling either of these over your salad offers the best option for a tasty dressing. They’re both low in calories and contain no fat.
Ground Beef Lean Ground
Ground turkey contains half the saturated fat of 85% lean ground beef and can be substituted easily for beef in most recipes.
Rice Quinoa Quinoa contains fewer carbohydrates and more protein than a comparable amount of brown rice. Plus, it offers up more fiber, which can help you stay full longer.
Potato Hash Browns Summer Squash
Hash Browns
Not only is summer squash a lower calorie substitute for potatoes, it’s also a solid source of magnesium and antioxidant vitamin C, per 1 cup serving. 
Tortilla Leaf Lettuce Great as wraps for burritos or shells for tacos, 1 outer leaf of red- or green-leafed lettuce has only 5 calories and is a good source of vitamin A.
Flour Black bean puree It’s a great way to cut gluten while boosting protein and fiber in your brownie recipes. Swap out 1 cup of flour for 1 cup of black bean puree (15 oz. can, drained and rinsed).
Oil or butter Unsweetened
Applesauce provides the same consistency and adds a hint of sweetness without the fat, which works well with any sweet bread or muffin recipe – even with boxed mixes.
Sugar Stevia Stevia is a sugar substitute and comes in liquid, granular and blended (with sugar) varieties, with different levels of sweetness. Experiment with amounts and check individual brands for swap amounts.
Bread crumbs Crushed flaxseed
or fiber cereal
With a similar consistency, these fiber packed swaps can be a tasty alternative to breadcrumbs. Try mixing them with fresh herbs and seasoning to use as breading in recipes.
Bacon Prosciutto or
Opting for a few slices of prosciutto or pancetta in savory dishes that call for bacon can help reduce both calories and fat.
Mayo Avocado mash Mashed avocado is creamy and rich, and it has a unique nutty flavor. Plus, it contains heart-healthy unsaturated fats.
Heavy cream Evaporated
skim milk
Swap 1 cup of cream for 1 cup of evaporated skim milk in most soup recipes – you’ll save 80 grams of fat for the entire recipe.
Butter Banana mash The consistency is similar to butter with the added benefit of potassium, fiber and vitamin B6. Start by using half the butter and replacing the other half with mashed bananas in baked good recipes.
Frosting Marshmallow Fluff With zero grams of fat per serving, marshmallow fluff can be a tasty alternative to regular icing. Just remember to practice portion control – “fat free” does not equal calorie-free.
Eggs Chia seeds
mixed with water
For those who are cholesterol-conscious, combine 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let sit for 15 minutes. This provides a 1-to-1 egg substitute for baking.