Skip the Diet- 10 Alternatives That Can Keep You Healthy

by Michael Scivoli

Before the tears flow, we aren’t asking you to diet.  The following is a list of simple tweaks you can incorporate into your daily eating habits.  These changes can not only contribute positively to your health, but may help you shed a few pounds too.

1. Going out for Chinese food or sushi?  Choose brown rice over white rice.  Both are the same, but white rice goes through long processing and the bran is removed.  In brown rice, the bran is not removed.  It’s simple, brown rice has almost 5 times the amount of fiber as white rice.

2. The next time you make a salad, go with romaine lettuce over iceberg lettuce.  Romaine lettuce has almost 4 times the amount of folate as iceberg lettuce.  Folate makes for healthier cells and tissues in the body.  As an added bonus, the proper amount of folic acid can help prevent birth defects in women who are pregnant.

3. Instead of white potatoes, try sweet potatoes.  Even though both have similar starch properties, sweet potatoes are a rich source of vitamin A and beta-carotene.  White potatoes cannot hold a candle to sweet potatoes in this regard.

4. Are you an avid coffee drinker?  Drop the Splenda or white sugar.  Next time, choose raw sugar to sweeten your cup of Joe.  Raw sugar isn’t really more nutritious than refined sugar, but it’s natural and not processed- go for it (sugar has very little nutritional properties to begin with).  Do a Google search on Splenda, the information is shocking.  As always, limit your sugar intake either way.

5. Buttering your toast in the morning?  Reach for almond butter first.  Almond butter is not only a source of protein, but contains monounsaturated fat (fat that your body needs). 

6. Thirsty?  Forget soda, drink some water (preferably spring water).  If you need to hydrate yourself or your kids- choose water.  If you just simply can’t abide by this one, stay away from 0 calorie soda or diet sodas (they are loaded with chemicals).  Just take a peek at the ingredient list.  If soda is left on car paint too long, the acid it contains can actually eat through and ruin the paint.

7.  If you need a snack or something small to take with your lunch, leave the junk food on the shelves.  Go for fruits and veggies.  Try some broccoli or grapefruit.  Broccoli is a great source of vitamin C.

8. If you’re home watching a movie, homemade popcorn is a healthy alternative to chips and dip.  Homemade popcorn has antioxidants and a decent amount of fiber.  This does not include those jumbo-sized buckets of butter you buy at the movie theater.

9. Grill your meat this Labor Day, don’t fry.  Frying increases the amount of fat and can raise cholesterol levels in the blood.  When grilling, fat trickles off the meat as you cook.

10. Choose whole wheat over white bread.  Go a step further, stick to bread which comes from your local bakeries.  Freshly baked bread doesn’t contain preservatives.  Many breads bought in your local grocery stores contain too many preservatives.  Don’t go by the marks on the packaging, look at the ingredients listed: for example, wheat germ and enriched flour do not constitute whole grains.

These simple lifestyle changes can help make a difference in your well-being and physicality.  Just choose better alternatives and you can skip the diet.

Have anything else to add?  Feel free to drop us a line with your suggestions.

About the Author/s

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Michael is the Editor-in-Chief of New Jersey Digest, COO of X Factor Media, and an avid writer. Growing up in Bergen County, he discovered his passion for words while in Friday detention. Michael loves kayaking, a fat glass of Nebbiolo, and over-editing.

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1 comment

Lauren August 28, 2013 - 1:15 pm

Dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. Heart healthy too!


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