Eating healthy and learning to make better food choices is easier than ever, with the internet at our fingertips giving us boundless wisdom and guidance. Fresh fruits and vegetables are easily found at every grocery and corner store, but it’s not always easy, nor does everyone know where to start. Sometimes “swapping” one thing out for something similar is the easiest way to eat healthier.
These simple kitchen swaps will not only help your blood sugars, but can help with weight loss (or maintenance) and heart health as well, without sacrificing on flavor. By reducing your calorie intake only 50 calories per day, you can lose up to 5 pounds a year! Check out these swaps and see if anything may work for you!
Opt for Fresh Fruit over Dried
Instead of eating 100 grams (around 3.5 ounces) of craisins, try opting for 100 grams of grapes instead. The craisins will cost you 325 calories, whereas the grapes, only 69. This saves you a whopping 256 calories! Additionally, fresh fruit’s high water content more easily will fill you up, and you won’t be as likely to overeat, as opposed to dry fruit.
Sweeten Your Coffee with Cinnamon
Everyone loves a little sweet coffee or tea in the morning, but it doesn’t have to cost you calories. Adding cinnamon (1 tsp) to your brew instead of sugar or honey (1 tsp), will not only save you 10 calories per serving, but will embolden your morning blend with metabolism-boosting polyphenols, and the powerful antioxidants in cinnamon that help curb insulin resistance. One study showed that participants who ate cinnamon daily lowered their blood sugars between 18-29%.
Go Popped Instead of Crisped
Watching a movie with friends? Try opting for popcorn instead of chips. While one cup (28 grams) of chips is 150 calories, a full six cups of popcorn (27 grams) is only 100 calories. Top it with nutritional yeast for a vitamin-packed snack: one tablespoon contains 2 grams of protein, and 30–180% of the recommended daily intake of B vitamins. It is especially rich in thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12.
Go EVOO Instead of Butter
High-quality extra virgin olive oil (EVVO) is a great substitute for melted butter in both cooking and baking. Olive oil is lower in saturated fat than butter and contains beneficial antioxidants. Eating extra virgin olive oil can also help with insulin resistance and prevent type 2 diabetes. A large analysis found that including olive oil in one’s diet could reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 13%. In comparison to a low-fat diet, a diet high in olive oil was also found to help normalize blood glucose in people who already had type 2 diabetes. One study found that a mostly Mediterranean diet enhanced with extra virgin olive oil decreased the risk of type 2 diabetes by more than 50%.
Have a Healthier Breakfast
Swapping out sugary granola for high fiber oatmeal or cereal will undoubtedly save you many calories, carbohydrates, and grams of added sugar. Eating only 1/3 of a cup (50 grams) of Gypsy Crunch Roasted Granola has over 260 calories, and 28 grams of carbohydrates (and most people will easily eat 1 full cup as a serving), whereas 1 cup of unsweetened oatmeal only has an average of 166 calories per serving, and 27 grams of carbohydrates. Additionally, oatmeal does not have any added honey, artificial sweeteners, butter, or emulsifiers that can quickly turn a healthy breakfast into more of a dessert.
By making these easy and quick swaps, you can save hundreds of calories per day, and more easily meet not only any weight-loss goals you may have, but also HbA1c goals as well! What easy swaps have you found to be helpful in your diabetes journey? Share this post and comment below; we’d love to hear from you!
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Read more about A1c, healthy eating, insulin, Intensive management.