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Nutrition

8 Quick Swaps to Improve Your Diet

Small changes can make a big difference.

This article first appeared on Triathlete.

One of the simplest changes you can make to any diet is to reduce reliance on processed, packaged foods— even the “healthy” ones. Here are some other quick suggestions for swapping common foods with smarter options.

Swap starchy vegetables with leafy greens

Iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, vitamins K, A, E, C and B, plus phytonutrients make leafy greens some of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat. Try kale, collards, spinach, mustard greens, bok choy, choy sum and seaweed.

Swap sliced supermarket-bought bread with real sourdough

Real sourdough is naturally leavened through the process of fermentation rather than by adding commercial yeasts. This produces beneficial bacteria and breaks down gluten and starches for easier digestion.

Swap low-fat flavored yogurt with plain Greek

More protein, less sugar, fewer ingredients and friendly bacteria.

Swap frozen yogurt with ice cream

Frozen yogurt doesn’t contain any of yogurt’s healthful probiotics. While it’s low in fat, it’s usually crammed full of sugar. Look for natural ice cream with fewer ingredients.

Swap egg white scramble with whole egg

All the nutrients are in the yolk, so why toss it and lose the extra flavor?

Swap raw tomato with cooked

Raw tomatoes are fantastic and nutrient-dense. But cooked tomatoes actually contain more lycopene, offering cancer-fighting properties and UV skin protection.

Swap diet soda with mineral water

Artificial ingredients add nothing to your diet except potential toxins. They also trick your taste buds into thinking you are receiving calories. Try mineral water, with a lime wedge or fresh mint to spruce it up.

Swap packaged salad dressing with make-your-own

Even the most “natural” dressings have additives. Simply combine a good olive oil with balsamic vinegar, sea salt and pepper. Add honey, mustard or chopped herbs for added flavor.