Expert advice: 5 food substitutes for a better health (by Annie Ferland from Science & Fourchette)
My two best tips for eating well are cooking at home more and eating less processed foods. Otherwise, a simple way to improve your diet is to reduce the amount of added sugar, salt or fat by replacing some ingredients with healthier options. Here are my five favourite (and tested many times) food alternatives!
1. Replacing refined sugar with date puree
To sweeten recipes, I suggest replacing refined sugar with date puree. In addition to being a natural sweetener, dates contain fibres, vitamins and minerals. Puréed dates are very easy to make: just heat them up with a little bit of hot water, crush with a fork, and voila!
2. Replacing salt with a salt-free spice blend
It’s no surprise that the secret of a good salt substitute lies in the perfect blend of spices. Garlic powder and onion powder are two obvious choices for salty recipes. Another way to add flavour to your dishes is to use smoked paprika, reminiscent of that BBQ taste!
3. Replacing sour cream with Greek yogurt
The texture of sour cream is so similar to that of Greek yogurt that both can be used interchangeably in dips and sauce recipes. Even better, Greek yogurt is rich in protein and low in fat, not to mention that many brands make yogurt that tolerates heat and cooking. Try it out!
4. Replacing commercial dips with ricotta
The best way to replace ultra-processed dips is to make them at home. To do so, simply mix ricotta cheese with some spices and fresh herbs. In addition to being tasty, this option contains more protein and is more satiating.
5. Replacing ground meat with TVP
Also known as textured vegetable protein, TVP is a source of protein made with soy flour. Its benefits: it has a high fibre content, a low fat content and is much less expensive than animal-based protein. It can be used to completely or partially substitute ground meat in most recipes.