As the world continues to battle the innumerable effects of the pandemic, the importance of paying closer attention to the food that we eat grows tenfold, and it’s easy to see why. By changing up your diet and consuming more whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and legumes, and less red meat, refined carbohydrates, and highly processed food, you can significantly improve your physical and mental well-being. Doing so can also take the pressure off of health systems and reduce the effects of the potential second wave of the pandemic, at large.
Shifting to a healthier diet is hard, but there are simpler and easier ways to go about it without being harsh on yourself. For instance, you can begin by turning to healthier alternatives for some of the common foods that you consume. To help you out a bit, here are three food substitutes for a healthier life:
White rice is a staple in many households due to its improved taste, extended shelf life, enhanced cooking properties, and deep connection to a lot of cultures. However, since it is stripped of its bran and germ, it has a lower fiber and nutrient content. If you want to lead a healthier life, this write-up mentioned that you can start by substituting white rice with brown rice, as it has far more nutrients and fiber and a lower glycaemic index. Since brown rice is a tad bit harder to cook compared to white rice because it requires more water and a longer cooking time, it would be best to prepare this healthier alternative using a reliable rice cooker.
This article lists some of the best rice cookers out there, most of which have a variety of cooking settings for when you're making white rice, brown rice, sushi rice, or porridge. This is all on top of the basic ones such as automatic keep warm, extended keep warm, induction heating, and a delay timer.
The negative effects of regular sugar on our health have long been established, and yet most of the commercially available foods out there are filled with them. This is the reason why it is ideal for many to go for alternatives that have far more value to us nutritionally. A great example of an alternative that has a number of benefits is stevia. Studies have shown how this healthier alternative can reduce blood pressure and improve the function of insulin, thereby helping lower blood sugar levels. Stevia is also noted to have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and immunomodulatory properties, although they require further studies on humans. Aside from Stevia, there are many other alternatives to regular sugar out there. If you want to learn more, you can read more here.
Like white rice, a lot of people also prefer white bread because of the enhancements it has undergone. Not only do white bread smell and taste better, they are also a lot more affordable and readily available than whole wheat ones. Still, there is no harm in spending a few extra pounds for better bread, especially if you can get more protein, fiber, B vitamins, and antioxidants. To make your switch to whole wheat bread easier, avoid eating it plain. This review of the best toaster in 2020 shows how you can take the bitter taste of whole wheat bread away by using a kitchen gadget that can evenly toast your bread and give it that satisfying crunch. Once you are done toasting you can then top it off with some scrambled eggs or low-fat greek yogurt and berries. You can check out this article that tallies some of the healthiest toast toppings you can try.
Switching to a healthier diet is a slow and long process that takes a lot of commitment, effort, and time. That said, don't be pressured to make huge changes all at once. Instead, start small and slowly replace some of the foods that you are used to with healthier substitutes.
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