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4 Innovative Food Hacks That Will Simplify Your Life

Written by S.O.

Posted on May 3, 2015 at 1:23 am

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When we think about “food hacks,” a couple of approaches come to mind: on one hand, we think about little tips and tricks for preparing food, for reducing messes, for keeping things fresh, etc. – on the other, we may think of special foods that have incredible health benefits, out of the ordinary dishes that are supposed to work wonders…

Today, however, we’re looking at some “hacks” somewhere in the middle. Instead of showcasing some superfood that your local grocer might not have, or rehashing the tips for chopping or storage that are scattered across the internet, we’re talking about a simple way to change your diet for the better – and make the foods you eat really work for you. These “food hacks” are all about replacement.

By simply replacing some of the foods you already eat with healthier alternatives, you can make positive changes to your diet without disrupting too much of your normal routine:

1. Veggie Pasta

Photo by Robert

It’s pretty common knowledge that most pasta is carbohydrate-laden and not particularly healthy. It’s also a staple food that is a part of many dishes, pleases many palates, and ties together tons of meals.

With a simple replacement, though, pasta can take on whole new health benefits. Instead of regular old noodles, try noodles made from vegetables like zucchini, squash, cucumber, eggplant, or carrots!

There are some fancy pieces of kitchen equipment (like “spiralizers”) that can help you make your own, you can find veggie noodles at the store, or you can simply cut fine slices with a peeler! You can eat veggie noodles raw, lightly fried, or in a variety of other ways. Search for some veggie noodle recipes, and you’ll find no shortage of ideas.

2. Natural Sweetener

Honey

When it comes to eating sweets, it can be tough to avoid refined sugars and high-fructose corn syrup. Most of the processed candies and treats out there are going to contain these teeth-damaging, not-so-healthy sweeteners, and for many people, refined sugars are also a staple of cooking – or they have a habit of adding a spoonful to coffee, tea, cereal, etc.

A much, much healthier alternative, however, comes in the form of naturally sweet substances like raw honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, and plenty of others! By simply using one of these natural alternatives, you can shave off calories, reduce the negative impact of refined sugars, and even gain some other nutritional value from the natural sweetener of your choice. Honey is known for its antioxidants, maple syrup can promote heart health, and agave extract can help bolster the immune system!

These added benefits make natural sweeteners a no brainer. The alternative, refined and processed sugars, just don’t do anything for you!

3. Better Fats

NUTS

Fat is actually an important part of a healthy diet. Far too many people simply think of fat as “bad” – and try to cut it out of their daily intake without realizing the health impact of different types of fats.

Generally speaking, saturated fats are bad, and monounsaturated/polyunsaturated fats are good. If you’re making an effort to cut out those saturated fats out of your diet, it’s a good idea to find other sources of healthy fat to keep your body healthy. If you’re avoiding red meat, consider adding more nuts, fish, or beans to your diet. Removing the skin from poultry can also drastically reduce the amount of saturated fats in a given meal.

Cutting fat out of your diet entirely isn’t the healthiest choice. Know the difference between the fats you consume, and replace the bad with the good!

4. Better Snacks

fruit compote lunch
Photo by heyjojomojo

Snacks are great! Having a little something to hold you over between meals helps keep your metabolism moving, can be a nice little break in the day, and can help you regulate portion control.

The problem, though, is that so many of the readily available snacks are terrible for you! It might be easier to grab a candy bar or a bag of chips, or just snag something out of a vending machine – but the vast majority of the time, those snacks are going to be terribly unhealthy.

With some preparation, however, you can make snack time just as healthy as mealtime. Snacks like hard boiled eggs, unsalted nuts, fresh fruit, or even vegetables like snap peas or baby carrots are much, much better alternatives to processed snacks. Not only do they meet the same requirements for a midday break between meals, they’ll also help you feel more energetic, promote better overall health, and stave off hunger much better than the processed junk in the vending machine!

Consider taking the extra time to pack these kinds of snacks at the beginning of your day.

As you can see, not all improvements to your diet have to be major overhauls or totally new concepts. By simply replacing a few key ingredients or changing a single habit, you can make great strides toward a healthier lifestyle, a better diet, and above all, feeling better!

Tags: dietfoodfruithealthy livinglife hacksnutspasta

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