What is YOUR definition of a healthy food? Have you ever eaten a food that you thought was healthy, only to find out it wasn’t?
Even though the USDA guidelines are widely accepted as a standard for eating healthy food, why is it so difficult to eat to maintain a healthy food diet?
The great news is there are many easy ways to easily transform an “unhealthy food,” into a very healthy food diet.
Before and After Healthy Food Diet Makeovers:
The following is a list of foods that can be transformed into a healthy food diet with a few minor adjustments.
1. Peanut Butter Sandwich with White Bread, Sugary Jelly and Peanut butter That Uses Partially Hydrogenated Oils:
- Make a peanut butter sandwich with natural almond butter, cashew butter, pecan butter, and/or natural peanut butter.
- Use a jelly that does NOT contain sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup and is instead naturally sweetened with the fruit. (You can not taste the difference and it is a healthy food!)
- Add raw honey to your nut butter sandwich instead of jelly.
With some simple tricks, you can transform so many foods into foods that fuel our body to make us feel great!
2. Muffins Made From White Flour and Refined White Sugar That Has Little Fiber and Nutrients:
- Bake your own healthy muffins using whole grains and natural sweeteners that are filled with fiber, nutrients, vitamins and minerals. A wonderful part of a healthy food diet.
- Muffins can be very nutritious and delicious. They are portable, make great snacks, or healthy desserts.
- #3. Cream Sauces Made With Heavy Cream:
#4. Frosting With Food Coloring, Butter and Powdered Sugar:
- I LOVE cream sauces. Replace heavy cream with “unsweetened condensed milk” to make a delicious cream sauce. Thicken it with a starch like arrow root.
- You can also use coconut milk, and/or coconut milk powder for a delicious creamy sauce.
#5. A Fast Food Hamburger With High Fructose Catchup and a White Bun That Has No Fiber or Nutrients:
- Put home made whipping cream on cakes, versus “frosting.”
- To make whipping cream, beat whipping cream with 2 tablespoons of raw honey and vanilla. I also put in cinnamon, nutmeg and other spices.
- You can also make chocolate whipping cream by adding a few tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder.
- Make chocolate frosting with raw cocoa and agave sweetener.
#6. Processed Ice cream That Has List of Chemicals A Mile Long:
- Most people would not consider a hamburger as being a healthy food diet, however it can be.
- Buy lean hamburger meat; organic is best. (Ground hamburger has the biggest concern of problems with beef.)
- When eating a hamburger at home, buy ketchup and mayo that don’t have high fructose corn syrup in it. (Yes! Most ketchup and mayo has HFCS in it, which makes you want to eat MORE ketchup!)
- Add vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and cucumbers to your hamburger.
- Buy whole wheat and/or whole grain hamburger buns instead of white bread buns.
#7. Salad Dressing Filled With Sugar, Fillers and Food Dyes:
- For a delicious treat that kids love, make home made ice cream with fresh pureed fruit and unsweetened non fat plain yogurt. (Yogurt is a very healthy food with probiotics that adds healthy bacteria to your system. Pureeing healthy fruit in the ice cream makes it even healthier.
- Try making Tangerine Home Made Ice Cream with Yogurt
- If you buy ice cream, look at the ingredients. Some brands and flavors only have a few ingredients like Breyers vanilla, while other brands may have 20 ingredients of chemicals in them.
#8. Pop corn With Unhealthy Fats, Chemicals, Fake Butter and Salt:
- Make home made salad dressing in 3 minutes. (Balsamic vinegar and olive oil are really healthy foods)
- To make home made dressing, combine a few tablespoons of olive oil with 1 1/2 cups of balsamic vinegar, raw honey (2 tablespoons), garlic, 4 tablespoons of orange juice, salt, pepper and spices like tarragon and rosemary.
#9. Processed Cereal Loaded with Renamed Sugar Ingredients and Nothing Substantial to Satisfy Your Hunger Throughout The Morning:
- Did you know that pop corn is considered to be a whole grain and healthy? Why it traditionally is not considered to a good food choice is due to the salt, fake butter, chemicals and processing.
- To turn into a healthy food, air pop pop the corn kernels, (poppers can be $19.99) and put some sea salt on it, versus buying chemical laden popcorn.
- Add Parmesan cheese to your pop corn for a cheesy taste.
#10. Cookies With A List of Chemicals, Food Dyes and Chemicals:
- Make home made granola cereal versus buying processed cereal in the store.
- Look on the label of the cereal that you eat that you believe is a healthy food. How many ingredients are there on the list, is there sugar in it? Food coloring? You will be AMAZED!
- Make cereal in bulk and freeze it. You will save money and it is healthier too!
#11. Eating A Large Piece of Beef Every Night Is Not Part of a Healthy Food Diet.
- Transform any type of cookie into a healthy food.
- Instead of eating a processed cookie that is made with chemicals, partially hydrogenated oils, white flour and white sugar, bake home made healthy cookies using whole grains and natural sweeteners.
#12. Pre-flavored Yogurt That Has Cane Sugar and Dyes in Them:
- When eating beef, have a smaller portion of beef, and eat more salad, vegetables and fruit. Have a little beef with your vegetables versus the other way around.
- Buy organic grass fed beef when you can, and look for sales at your local stores.
- Try and only eat beef 1-2 times a week and replace the other nights with fish, salad and chicken.
#13. White Flour Pancakes With Fake Maple Syrup That Doesn’t Satisfy Hunger or Provide Nutrients:
- When eating yogurt, buy unsweetened non fat organic yogurt and mix it together with raw honey, bananas and any fruit of your choice. This is a wonderful healthy food.
- Many moms give their kids yogurt in the small containers and really believe that it is a healthy food. The reality is that a lot of yogurts have food coloring in them, high fructose corn syrup/sugar, and loads of chemicals making them not healthy at all.
#14. Vegetables In A Bag Already Cut Up That Have Lost Their Nutritional Value:
- When eating pancakes, bake whole grain pancakes, and/or at least substitute 1/2 of the flour for whole wheat or other delicious flours such as Quinoa, coconut flour, almond flour, oat flour, millet flour, barley flour or Amaranth flour.
- Make buckwheat pancakes some mornings and freeze them for easy access.
- Use 100% real maple syrup versus processed maple syrup that is actually just HFCS.
- There are a lot of wonderful gluten free pancake mixes that combine multiple unrefined flours to make a very healthy food. For recipe ideas go to: healthy breakfast
#15. Bright Cheese That Has Orange Dye and Loads of Unhealthy Fillers:
- When eating vegetables, cut up your own veggies versus buying the bags of “cut up veggies.” (Cut up vegetables have chemicals on them to make them preserve. Also you loose a lot of the vitamins and minerals after they are cut and stored) You may notice that they feel dry and don’t even taste the same.
- Eat frozen vegetables.
- Start each meal with some cut up veggies and dip them in something delicious.
#16. White Bread With Sugar and Almost No Nutritional Value:
- When eating cheese, slice your own cheese versus buying pre-sliced cheeses. (Chemicals are put in this cheese. You will notice a difference in taste when you start grating your own.)
- Grate your own cheese in a food processor. You will be able to tell the difference in taste between cheese you grate yourself, and the bags that contain chemicals in them that are already grated.
- Avoid any processed cheese like Velveeta or American cheese and buy real cheese instead which is a much more healthy food.
#17. Crackers Made From White Flour:
- When buying whole wheat bread, don’t buy bread that says…”Enriched whole wheat. This is just another term for white bread.
- Buy whole grain bread, and/or gluten free bread.
- Bake your own bread and explore dessert breads like banana bread.
18. “Fake Fruit Drinks” Loaded With Sugar, Preservatives and Colors:
- When eating crackers and cheese, buy whole grain crackers with reduced salt.
- There are some wonderful healthy foods that are gluten free crackers also.
#19. Frying Chicken in Butter Which Isn’t Heart Healthy:
- When drinking fruit juice, make sure it is actually 100% juice.
- Juice yourself whenever you can. (Many fruit juice has sugar added to it)
- Go to farmers markets and buy fresh squeezed juice. (It is not as fresh as you can do, but much better than manufactured products)
- You don’t need to drink a lot of juice, and you can easily drink too much. If you juice an orange, you are getting all of the vitamins and minerals that are lost from bottling.
- Fill 1/2 the cup with water so you don’t get as much sugar.
#20. Baked Potatoes With Loads of Butter, and Sour Cream:
- When frying chicken, fry it in olive oil versus butter for a heart healthy chicken dish.
#21. Baking Only With White Flour, Butter and White Sugar:
- Replace some of the baked potatoes in your diet with sweet potatoes.
- Sweet potatoes are a healthy food that kids love. It is easy to microwave a sweet potato and then serve it as a side dish without anything on it!
- Try using olive oil on your baked potato instead of butter. It adds moisture and is really tasty.
- Grate cheese on your potato and use yogurt.
- Parmesan cheese, broccoli and cauliflower taste great with potatoes.
#22. Honey That Has Corn Syrup In It:
- Replace 1/2 of the fat that is called for in baking recipes with apple sauce. (It doesn’t work for everything, but most recipes it does)
- Use grape seed oil or olive oil in any recipe instead of butter or shortening. (This doesn’t work if the recipe calls for creaming the butter)
- Use a large variety of whole grain flours, versus white flour. (Even if you substitute 1/4 to a 1/2 cup of your recipe with whole grains, you will be making a big difference.) There are so many wonderful flours that are now available that make all of your treats taste different, versus the same old taste of white flour.
- If you use white flour, buy UNBLEACHED white flour.
#23. White Sugar That Spikes Blood Sugar, Contributes to Weight Gain and Promotes Cravings:
- When using honey, make sure to use raw honey; as many processed honey is actually filled with sugar. Can you imagine spoiling real honey with additives that are not needed!
#24. White Flour That Only Has One Taste To It With Almost No Nutrients or Fiber:
- Replace white processed refined sugar when baking with healthy food sweeteners like coconut sugar, Sucanat, raw honey , date sugar or Agave.
- For a healthy food diet, use a combination of different whole grain flours and gluten free flours when baking versus white flour like coconut flour, whole wheat flour, amaranth flour, almond flour, quinoa flour or brown rice flour.
#25. French Fries That Are Deep Fried In Unhealthy Oils:
- If you want to use white flour in baking, add 4 tablespoons of wheat germ, wheat bran or oat bran and decrease the white flour. (It adds some health benefits)
- Another option if you want to use white flour is to replace 1/3 of the recipe with some type of whole grain flour like whole wheat flour.
#26. Spaghetti Made From White Flour or Durum Flour:
- Make sweet potato fries that are a wonderful part of a healthy food diet and bake them in the oven. Delicious, heart healthy and lower in calories.
#27. Egg Omelets With Cheese and Bacon That Have Nitrates In Them:
- Use spinach or whole wheat spaghetti noodles instead of white flour noodles. They are delicious and have many more nutrients and fiber. You won’t need to eat as much either to feel full; a helpful aid to maintaining weight.
#28. Dried Fruit With Sulfates and Sugar:
- Buy bacon that does not have nitrates from your butcher. (This bacon is amazingly good too!)
- Add spinach, or avocado to your omelets.
- Use a little olive oil versus butter before you put the eggs in the pan.
- Use 1 egg and 1 egg white.
- Add a little cauliflower puree into the eggs. (You can not tell the difference!) I got this idea for the cookbook that Jessica Seinfeld wrote called Deceptively Delicious! (A great cookbook!)
- If you eat bacon have 1-2 slices versus 5. Fry the whole package and freeze what you don’t use.
#29. Salted Roasted Nuts Which Are Believed To Be Carcinogenic
- Most people don’t realize that a lot of dried fruit has sugar and sulfates in them.
- Eat unsweetened dried fruit without these ingredients. (At health food stores or online)
- You can also buy your own fruit dryer and EASILY make dried fruit. (It is a lot of fun to do also!)
#30. Bacon With Chemicals:
- Eat a variety of different types of raw, unsalted nuts; part of a wonderful healthy food diet.
- Store all nuts in the refrigerator, as they can easily become rancid. (Most people do not know this)
#31. Sandwich meat With Preservatives (Look at the ingredients!)
- Eat bacon without sulfates. You can buy this at most health food stores and it is delicious!
- Freeze the bacon until the day before you want to use it; as it doesn’t have the preservatives to last a long time like regular bacon does.
- Use left over chicken, fish and beef as sandwich meat, versus buying pre-sliced sandwich meat with sulfates.
- Bake chicken breast and slice the meet for sandwiches. Store in the freezer for future use.
- Make a turkey every other month and carve all of the meat to be used for sandwiches.
- Use 100% pure maple syrup on your pancakes and waffles, versus imitation maple syrup that is loaded with high fructose syrup and chemicals. For more information go to: Maple Syrup
- Maple syrup has many nutrients in it that are much better for our bodies.
#33. White Bread Loaded With Butter:
- Instead of eating white bread and butter, try eating whole grain bread how the Europeans do!
- Each whole grain bread dipped in olive oil and garlic. It is DELICIOUS!
What Is A Healthy Food?
Some foods that you think are good for you, are not a healthy food. This could be due to how it was manufactured, cooked or put together. For example, you can buy an “organic” product thinking you are buying a healthy food, but it could be loaded with sugar and white flour and not be healthy at all!The good news is that you can literally transform any real food from unhealthy to healthy with a bit of knowledge including ketchup, maple syrup, muffins, hamburgers, fries, potatoes, meat, desserts, sandwiches, and/or muffins.
- Most doctors, nutritionists and health experts would agree that the top healthy foods are whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, lean meats, chicken, beans and, fish.
- Also according to the 2010 dietary guidelines from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), it is recommended to have a diet that is low in trans fats, saturated fats, cholesterol, and sugar.
- However, even with the dietary guidelines being agreed upon by almost everyone, there is still lot of “grey” factors trying to eat healthy. It isn’t always easy to eat a healthy food diet.