It’s January, and you know what that means, time to dust off the cliche “new year, new me” mantra. Fitness related goals are the most common resolution in America. A recent survey stated that about 46 percent of Americans (116,337,153 people) made new year resolutions about health.

Instead of fad diets or a rigorous eating schedule, try a different approach. Find a healthy alternative for unhealthy food you eat regularly. While similar in flavor, these swaps make a difference nutritionally. The purpose of food swaps is to be mindful of what you eat. As well as, look for ways to incorporate healthy food without sacrificing what you enjoy.

Whether the goal is to lose weight, cut sugar, or portion control, these simple food swaps will move you one step closer to crushing goals.

Swap mayo for hummus

While mayo makes a great addition to any sandwich, it is not great for your health. One tablespoon on average is 94 calories- with 93 of those calories from fat. The total fat content is 10 grams making up 15 percent of your daily value. The main issue with mayo is that it lacks nutritional value because it is mainly fat. So, swap mayo on your sandwich for hummus or avocado. Hummus has a fatty flavor but still adds nutritional value. It's packed with fiber and protein from its chickpea base. 

Swap store-bought trail mix for homemade trail mix

Trail mix is the perfect snack when you are on the go or can’t decide what to eat. Most store-bought trail mixes have nuts and fruit. But, they also usually include sweetened cereal or candied chocolate. This adds loads of sugar and saturated fat. Making your trail mix allows you to customize it to what you like and have healthy ingredients. Try dark chocolate, raw pumpkin seeds, walnuts, cashews or popcorn in your combination!

Swap a large coffee for a small coffee

No need to sacrifice your daily coffee routine; change the portion. Order a small sized coffee instead of a large one. By doing so, you cut down the calories and sugar content while keeping the same flavor. This is a simple swap that in the long run carries you toward more mindful eating habits.

Swap chips for popcorn

Popcorn gives the same saltiness and crunch as chips but fewer calories and fat. Healthline states, “With 31 calories per cup, air-popped popcorn contains much fewer calories than many popular snack foods. One study compared feelings of fullness after eating popcorn and potato chips. They found that 15 calories of popcorn were as filling as 150 calories of potato chips ( 16 ).” One thing to note, reach for air-popped rather than oil-popped popcorn. Air-popped popcorn contains 0.4 grams of total fat per cup. Oil-popped popcorn has 2.3 grams of fat per cup. Love the million flavors chips come in? You don't have to sacrifice, popcorn also comes in many flavors like white cheddar or sweet and salty. 

These ideas are just a few of many. Swap milk chocolate for dark chocolate, store bought dressing for homemade, the options are endless! Explore and research what would work best for your goals and lifestyle. 

@colant_juliana

jc079419@ohio.edu