Enjoy Your Rice and Burger Without The Guilt: 6 Healthy Food Alternatives That Taste Just As Great
Indulge without sacrificing nutrients by adding these healthy food substitutes to your meals.
Having a balanced diet benefits your overall health, thus, if you want a healthier lifestyle, choosing well the food you eat is as important as a regular exercise routine or getting enough sleep. Incorporating healthy substitutes to your daily meal preparations is a great first step towards the path to improved health.
Going for healthier options? It will change your life, in more ways than one. For instance, some may worry that using nutritious food substitutes may alter the flavor, but many say they don’t even notice as the taste isn’t compromised. Food alternatives contain less fat, less sugar, and fewer calories, and eventually, you will notice that your body feels healthier. Doing this regularly and adapting to this lifestyle may also help prevent certain medical conditions.
Czarina, who works as a media analyst, turned vegan six years ago after she saw a video of how animals – rabbits, in particular -- are treated cruelly as part of the meat trade. As a rabbit mom of three, she was so heartbroken that she decided to go vegan overnight.
Czarina’s usual pantry staples include canned vegetarian meat, dehydrated vegetable meat, powdered soy milk, and chia seeds, among others. “It’s cheaper, easier to buy in bulk, and could last me for months,” she says.
The 26-year-old shares that even without resorting to second-hand sources like meat and animal by-products, she gets enough protein and essential vitamins in her diet. “I would always prefer non-meat as it’s one less animal slaughtered,” she adds.
If you are rethinking your lifestyle and want to do your body a favor in 2021, don’t be overwhelmed. You don’t have to do it drastically. You can get to your goal one healthy step at a time! Take a look at this list of ingredients and try to mix them up with your daily food prep for a nutritious boost.
Love burgers? Go for plant-based patties.
A well-loved comfort food by many people is burgers, which use ground beef or pork as the primary ingredient. However, most burger patties are made using saturated fat from meat trimmings, which can raise your cholesterol level and increase your risk for heart disease when you eat it too often.
A great meat substitute is Beyond Burger Patties, made from protein sources like mung beans, peas, and rice, without any soy and gluten content. This product contains 20 grams of plant protein and has 35% less saturated fat than a regular meat burger, while still tasting like one. Beyond Burger Patties, available for Php 195 per piece (3 oz.), Php 295 per piece (4 0z.), and Php 580 for 2 pieces (4 oz.) at The Vegan Grocer.
A similar product is the Ancient Mighty Planty Burger, made from plant-based choplets of cassava, garbanzos, wheat protein, beetroot, potatoes, oats, and spices. It’s rich in vitamins A, B6, B9, and C, and is also a great source of carbohydrates, proteins, and minerals. Each burger patty contains 12 grams of plant protein. Ancient Mighty Planty Burger, available for Php 160 for 4 pieces at The Superfood Grocer.
Can’t give up rice? Opt for organic dry rice.
In Asian culture, white rice is a major food staple and often, no meal is complete without it. By adding in a few ingredients, it can also be enjoyed as a dish, like egg fried rice. But often, white rice is highly processed and lacks the vitamins and minerals your body needs.
Replace your usual white grains with the 7Grains Dry Skinny Rice, which is rich in fiber, has a low calorie content at 3%, and has only 3 grams of total carbohydrates. Made primarily from shirataki or flour from the konjac herb, tapioca starch, and water, this alternative has the same features, texture, and taste as that of real rice, but healthier. It is also gluten-free and keto-friendly. 7Grains Dry Skinny Rice, available for Php 175 per 80-gram pack at 7grains.com.ph.
Pasta lover? Try organic noodles.
Most store-bought dried noodles are made from refined flour and have a high carbohydrate content, which can be bad for your health if you eat it frequently. But there’s still a way for you to enjoy your favorite pasta dish without worrying about your health.
Healthy Rich Instant Veggie Noodles is a nutritious alternative to pasta. It’s made from whole wheat flour, powdered vegetables, soybean, water, and salt, and contains only 70 calories per serving. It comes in six flavors: saluyot, soybean, spinach, malunggay, carrot, and squash. Healthy Rich Instant Veggie Noodles, available for Php 52 per 90-gram pack at The Vegan Grocer.
If you want a protein substitute instead, opt for the 7Grains Yellow Soybean Protein Pasta. Made from organic yellow soybeans which are rich in fiber, calcium, and iron, yellow soybean pasta can be used for stir-fried dishes or soups. 7Grains Yellow Soybean Protein Pasta, available for Php 160 per 200-gram pack at 7grains.com.ph.
Like milk? Give oat milk a try.
Milk is known to help strengthen teeth and bones, and whether you drink it as it is or use it for cooking, your body will surely benefit from it. A healthier option for regular cow’s milk is Oatly Oat Milk, which is made from 100% pure gluten-free oats and is packed with calcium. It also contains soluble fiber from oats and is naturally low in saturated fat. Oatly Oat Milk, available for Php 350 (1 liter) at The Superfood Grocer.
Fond of cooking with condiments? You might like this all-purpose seasoning.
Soy sauce, which is used to enhance the flavor of many Southeast Asian dishes, is made from fermented wheat, mold, water, and soybeans. However, it also has a remarkably high sodium content.
A great alternative to soy sauce and other common condiments, Skinny Seasoning is free from artificial flavorings, preservatives, and MSG. It’s naturally preserved to achieve that umami taste and only has 1.16 calories per serving. The Skinny Seasoning also uniquely contains oligosaccharides which help in the growth of good bacteria in your digestive system for better nutrient absorption and immune functions. Skinny Seasoning, available for Php 120 (300ml) and Php 160 (450ml) at 7grains.com.ph.
Can’t get enough of cheese? You’ll love nutritional yeast.
Did you know that there’s a better way to enjoy the taste of cheese without the calories? Enjoy your mac n’ cheese, soups, or dipping sauce even if you can’t take dairy with this alternative ingredient.
Plant-based Nutritional Yeast comes from a deactivated source of yeast found in molasses. It has a subtle taste, and it is commonly used in recipes as a dairy-free alternative so you still get the cheese flavor minus the animal fat. This plant-based product is a great source of vitamins such as B6, folic acid, and B16, which is vital for proper brain functions. The Superfood Grocer Plant-based Nutritional Yeast, available for Php 280 per 100-gram pack at The Superfood Grocer.
Living a healthy lifestyle begins with choosing the right food and drink every single day. With these helpful substitutes, you can achieve a balanced diet and live your life to the fullest.