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Better-For-You Food Swaps for 2016

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 better-for-you 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 will cut way down on the calories. Try stirring oats 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, 1 cup of cooked cauliflower provides 90% of the daily value of vitamin C.
Pasta Spaghetti Squash
or Zucchini Ribbons
Using these instead of pasta will reduce the calories and carboydrates significantly. Just remove the strands from cooked spaghetti squash or simply sauté the zucchini ribbons.
Croutons Toasted Walnuts Walnuts not only have less carbohydrates compared to croutons, they’re also the best plant source of Omega-3 fatty acids, a good-for-you, heart-healthy fat (2.5 grams per ¼ cup serving)
Salad Dressing Balsamic Vinegar or
Lemon Juice
Drizzling either or both 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
Turkey Breast
Ground turkey breast contains less saturated fat than 85% lean ground beef and can be substituted easily for beef in most recipes.
Rice Quinoa Quinoa contains less carbohydrates and more protein than a comparable amount of brown rice. Plus, it offers up more fiber, which can help you stay full longer.
Tortilla Leaf Lettuce Great as wraps for burritos or shells for tacos, 1 outer leaf of red or green leafed lettuce is an excellent source of vitamin A.
Flour Black Bean Puree It’s a great way to boost protein and fiber in your brownie recipes. Swap out 1 cup of flour for 1 cup of black bean puree (approximately one 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.