The Health Hub: Food Substituting is the New Dieting


Haleigh Cadd, Staff writer


Summer is on its glorious way, and with its arrival may come a greater desire for students to stay fit. After all, bathing suit weather is in the air and students are no longer restricted by the cafeteria food! With that said, below is a basic list of food substitutes that may help achieve summer fitness goals.

When striving to be healthy and fit, one does not need to think of his/her newly adapted lifestyle as a ‘diet’. Actually, that will just make the novice feel miserable and deprived. The key mindset should not revolve around fasting, either, but rather switching up habits for a healthier body. For instance, you do not have to wholly give up chocolate. It’s actually recommended that you eat at most two small squares of dark chocolate per day. Nor does one need to give up their precious peanut butter and banana sandwich.

1.) PB2 is the new Peanut Butter

While peanut butter should be a major food in some opinions, it isn’t exactly weight loss friendly if you eat more than two tablespoons per day (Teta, 2011). Not to worry, though! This powdered, delicious version of peanut butter has only one eighth of the fat in actual peanut butter. It is suggested to throw about three tablespoons into chocolate protein smoothies, or if an individual is missing the whole eating-the-entire-jar-with-a-spoon thing, they should mix the powder with vanilla Greek yogurt. As a result, you will have a peanut butter ice cream type concoction that you won’t get enough of!

(Found at Walmart, Lowes Foods, as well as online stores)

2.) Milk schmilk.

Not only does almond milk have 50 percent more calcium than regular cow milk, but it has so much more flavor and a thicker consistency, resulting in a silkier texture. Also, cow’s milk has been linked to triggering type one diabetes (Center for Nutrition Studies), which is another reason why almond milk is so popular in the healthy world. Most people prefer to get the unsweetened variety, because it has less carbohydrates, but if an individual can swing the switch to just regular almond milk, then they would be doing their health a huge favor.

(Found nearly at any grocery store)





Almond milk barely impacts blood sugar, contains no lactose, and aids in digestion. Substitutes such as this have the potential to make this coming summer the healthiest yet!
Haleigh Cadd
Almond milk barely impacts blood sugar, contains no lactose, and aids in digestion. Substitutes such as this have the potential to make this coming summer the healthiest yet!


3.) A spoon full of xylitol makes the medicine go down

The last thing that anyone wants to hear is that they shouldn’t put any sweetener in their coffee or tea. Thankfully, one doesn’t have to! Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar, and unlike some of its cousins, it’s a lot easier for the body to digest. Putting a half a packet of this stuff into your beverage is actually healthier than putting a spoonful of honey in (Teta, 2011), just because it results in less sugar input (it goes a long way!).

(Found at Walmart, Target, Lowes foods, Food Lion, as well as online)

4.) Kick Clif Bars over the edge and Luna to the moon

Yes, they are wonderful. Full of protein and fiber, they seem to have a lot going for them. However, if you look at the fine print, their true colors will show.

First of all, the soy content greatly hinders muscle gain (thus, it hinders weight loss). The reason being is that when soy is digested, it acts like the chemical estrogen, which then counteracts the testosterone levels needed to gain muscle and burn calories. Also, it is said to cause acne. Overall, soy is just not a good idea. The unfortunate sugar and chocolate content of these bars and their impact on weight loss seem pretty self-explanatory, but just in case, know this: processed sugar promotes fat gain and messes with your metabolism.

Hence, a substitution is needed! If you eat these snack bars because they are quick fixes to squash hunger then another option, which is worth considering, is dispersing about 1 cup of walnuts/pecans, xylitol, cinnamon and vanilla extract into multiple plastic baggies and keeping them in your pantry. That way, when you come home from school, starving, and all you want is some sweet, comfort food, just grab a nut bag! Nuts have a solid amount of protein, and much less calories (without that wretched soy)!

(Nuts, vanilla extract and sweetener are found at nearly any grocery store)

5.) The All-American Meal: Cheeseburger and French Fries

Mm. While this in itself is not horrible, the small details of this meal are vastly detrimental to fat loss. One reason is the sodium and fat-laden meat and French fries (and possibly the cheese). Another reason for this meal being extremely unhealthy is the weak ratio of fiber to sugar. Therefore, some mindless substitutions for all of the elements of this American meal would be the following:

*Beef: Opt for the highest percentage of lean meat (it will say it on the package) and add low-sodium seasoning.

*Bread: A high-fiber brand of wheat bread and lightly toasting it before placing the patty between the sandwiches will make the healthy-hamburger pig-out guilt-free!

*Toppings: Most condiments are low sodium, so there is really no reason to substitute! However, when it comes to cheese, make sure it is exactly that: low sodium. Then, load on extra tomato, lettuce and pickle. The higher the fiber, the better!

*French fries: Reader, meet sweet potato fries. Sweet potato fries, meet your reader. Both of you will get along very well, because this incredibly nutritious substitution is also incredibly easy to make! Just chop up the sweet potatoes into shards, place them on a pan slicked with olive oil, sprinkle pepper and cinnamon, cook on 350 degrees for about 15 minutes and then their done!

(Any of these foods are found at nearly any grocery store)

Thus, it is not about sacrificing your favorite foods, but compromising the nutrition content and the taste.