In life, we are always in the pursuit of gain; except for one thing, and we fight equally hard to lose that! We are talking about weight loss. It is the most searched about, discussed, thought about and written about a topic. But, you know what, it does not have to be as hard as you make it out to be. Weight loss is all about making smart food choices and smarter food swaps.
Yes, you need to stay on track, stay dedicated and work hard, especially when you dine out and temptation stares right back at you. Oooh! I feel that when my daughter orders a gooey chocolate cake with ice-cream after a sumptuous meal and I have to settle with an extra-strong coffee, to subjugate my sweet cravings! Ahh, pure misery! Before you wallow in self-pity, let’s get this straight, if you wanna lose that extra weight you can’t have that sinful ice cream; you can opt for a fruit smoothie instead. If you still want an ice cream, how about making one with peanut butter, avocado, banana, and dark chocolate? Trust me on this one, I forget about the real deal when I make this at home. So, all you need is a good deal of preparation, tweaking your meals and making healthy food swaps. This will help you save hundreds of hidden calories and help you melt those stubborn pounds that refused to budge earlier.
Small tweaks produce big results. We all have sugar and salt cravings, so we must prepare beforehand to get a healthy swap on board before the cravings hit the roof. These swaps are waistline-friendly and help you on the right track towards health and fitness. So, if you have a bad salt craving for potato chips, settle for a more nutrient-dense makhana. Light roasting in ghee and spices gives it an awesome flavor. So, basically, you stock your pantry with all things healthy. Even if you feel hungry, you don’t end up reaching out for unhealthy snacks.
Depriving yourself isn’t a great idea, as the cravings come back with a vengeance and you end up cheating more often than not. Even if you are running on the treadmill without fail and cutting out cheat meals, it will basically lead up to a failure. So, try out these awesome healthy food substitutions and sit back to eat your cake and enjoy it too without a modicum of guilt!
As we set out to reach our health goals, it is important to stick to a sustainable plan, something you can stick to and not give it up after a while. This is exactly where the healthy substitutes come in. Check out the healthy food options we tried ourselves. And guess what, they worked great! A few pounds lighter and a few inches down, these healthy hacks are pure love!
Chicken burger Vs Chicken sandwich
Are your friends munching on juicy burgers on a friend’s day out while you are considering a plate of salad in distress? Don’t worry there is a better alternative to chicken burgers. A chicken sandwich! A chicken sandwich is a great combination of the right nutrients, the right carbs, fats, and proteins. You can opt for a healthier version of white bread, a multigrain bread or sprouted bread (sourdough). Go through the menu to study the options. Choose for healthier dressings, a yogurt-based dressing instead of mayonnaise. Pack in the veggies and don’t fear the butter! Good fats are incredibly good for your health. A food replacement hack done right!
1 piece of chicken burger contains 400 calories 37 grams carbs, 22 grams protein, and 18 grams fat. 1 piece of chicken sandwich contains 340 calories, 46 grams carbs, 22 grams protein, and 8 grams fat. There you go, you save 60 calories by doing a smart swap.
Chicken Biryani Vs. Rice and a bowl of chicken curry
An aromatic plate of biryani is super tempting! But is it good for your weight loss goals? We don’t think so! Well, the rice is not the villain here, because rice is nice and contains resistant starch which is good for your gut health. Well, you can get the best out of your rice by having it with chicken curry. Still yum! And good for your health. Get a calorific breakdown here,
1 cup of chicken biryani contains 400 calories where the carb content is 52 grams, protein 16 grams, and carb 13 grams, whereas the rice and a bowl of chicken curry measures, 346 calories where the carb content is around 56 grams, protein is around 17 grams and the fat content is around five.
Mutton korma Vs. Mutton curry
Eat the mutton curry! This way you don’t have to stop eating red meat, even though red meat has got a bad rap in recent times. But as we say moderation is the key, red meat is a great source of protein and a great way of replenishing your b12 levels, which helps make DNA and helps keep your nerve and red blood cells healthy. The zinc boosts your immune system too!
1 cup of mutton korma contains 350 calories, in which the carb content is 9.3 grams, the protein content is 15 gram and fat 29 grams, whereas the mutton curry measures up 310 gram in the calorie meter, 7 grams of fat, 19 grams of protein and 22 grams of fat!
Margherita pizza Vs. Chicken tikka
Margherita pizza is love, yeah we know that! But consider the smart swap here, you are choosing chicken tikka, which is not bad either. In fact, it tantalizes your taste buds in varied ways. The thought of chunks of tangy grilled chicken blanketed in a sea of spicy, creamy tomato sauce makes me think that counting your calories isn’t so bad after all! Get a lowdown on the calorie count here.
1 piece of pizza contains 377 calories, in which there are 4 grams of carb, 40 grams of protein and 21 grams of fat, whereas 1 cup of chicken tikka contains 353 calories, in which there are 9 grams of carbs, 33 grams of protein and 20 grams of fat.
Pasta in Cheese Sauce Vs. Whole wheat masala tomato pasta
Pasta is difficult to resist! But instead of dipping the pasta in cheesy sauce, choose something healthier. Whole wheat pasta works as good, especially when you add the extra veggies and drizzle the olive oil on it. We have no problems of you enjoying a plate of pasta as long as you do it in moderation and increase the fiber content in the form of veggies and the good fats content in the form of the olive oil. What’s not to love about this food swap? Find out all about the calorific lowdown,
1 cup of pasta in cheese sauce measures 255 calories with 22.5 gram of carbs, 6 gram of protein and 15.5 gram of fat, whereas 1 cup of the whole wheat masala tomato pasta contains 210 calories, in which 32 grams of carbs, 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fat.
Tortilla chips/nachos Vs. Khakhra
And you thought you were doing yourself a great service in having nachos instead of potato chips! Khakhra is not glamorized enough perhaps, but it is a nutritional powerhouse. It is a great store of B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, iron, and fiber. Khakra is ideal for those afternoon cravings. We are not telling you to give up on your love for snacking, just telling you to snack on something nutritive such as this crispy cream-colored thin cracker. Check out the calorific lowdown, and know why you should go on a khakra hunt.
1 cup (30 g) of tortilla chips or nachos contains 144 calories, of which there are 17.3 grams of carbs, 2.3 protein, and 7.3 fat whereas 2 big khakras contain 167 calories, 22-gram carbs, 4 grams protein and 7 grams fat.
Egg fried rice Vs. Egg Brown Rice Pulav
When you are making healthy swaps, the first thing you mull over is trying to think which one is better, white rice or brown rice? Both has its own benefits, but if you are trying to lose weight brown rice should be your go-to. What whole-grain is to wheat, brown rice is to rice, it has the germ and the bran intact. But, the point is, are you able to assimilate the nutrients of the rice? Brown rice contains phytic acid which hinders in nutrient absorption, but it does have a lower GI level (50) in comparison to white rice (72). It also contains lignans that reduce fat in the blood and lowers blood pressure. Don’t write off white rice just yet, it contains resistant starch and is easily digestible, the reason body-builders prefer it to brown rice. Here is the calorific lowdown of egg fried rice and egg brown rice pulav.
1 cup of egg fried rice contains 285 calories, with 40 grams of carbs, 8 grams of protein and 10 grams of fat whereas egg brown rice pulav contains 262 calories of which carb content is 28 grams, protein content is 15 grams and fat content is 10 grams.
Fried Fish Vs. Grilled Fish
Imagine how much of calories you will end up saving just by skipping the deep frying bit. When food is fried, the calorific value increases as the food absorbs the fat from the oils. Experts say that eating lots of fat-laden foods raises blood pressure and spikes cholesterol levels, which also causes heart disease. Grill the fish instead, believe you me it tastes divine with the right seasonings and the right oil.
1 fried fish clocks in 199 calories, 7 grams of carbs, 16 grams of protein and 12 grams of fat, comparatively, 2 pieces of grilled fish has only 168 calories of which there is 0 carb content, 34 grams of protein and 2.4 grams of fat
Fish cutlet Vs. Fish curry
Fish is indeed healthy till you start having it the wrong way! Though fish cutlets are yum, they are deep fried and aid in piling on the kilos. Instead, if you make a fish curry at home, you can eliminate the extra oil and make it delicious by adding the right herbs and spices. Have it with a bit of rice, and a side dish of colorful veggies and you will be able to make a healthy meal out of it. Compare the calorific values and include the same into your daily diet. Adding greens and microgreens to your regular meals helps in the bio-availability of valuable nutrients. Check out the calorific measurements.
1 piece of fish cutlet contains 311 calories of which there are 23 grams of carbs, 22 grams of protein and 15 grams of fat. 1 cup of fish curry, on the other hand, contains 270 calories of which there are 12 grams of carbs, 12 grams of carbs, 18 grams of protein and 17 grams of fat.
Butter chicken Vs. Chicken Curry with Chapatti
While having butter chicken once in a while won’t do you any harm, don’t make it a regular affair. It packs in a lot of calories. And that’s just the dish when you have it with carbs, the calorie count doubles as it contains butter, ghee, cream, and sugar. Make a healthy chicken curry at home and enjoy it with chapatti. I am not in favor of leaving out nutrients, this makes it easier for you to cheat if you aren’t satisfied with your meal. Check out the calorific breakdown of both butter chicken and chicken curry with roti. Also, if your craving for butter chicken is really strong, make it a healthier version of it at home.
A cup of butter chicken contains 438 calories of which there are 14 grams of carbs, 30 grams of protein and 28 grams of fat. 1 cup of chicken curry with chapathi contains 459 calories of which there are 71 grams of carbs, 18 grams of protein and 12 grams of fat.
Chicken korma Vs. Achari chicken
Chicken korma from an Indian takeaway contains about 3.2g more saturated fat than you should eat in a whole day! With its fill of cream and coconut, you can expect a chicken korma to beat all cholesterol raising standards. Also, if you are thinking of dipping into temptation with naan bread, it can notch the value to a mammoth 1300-1400 calories! So is there a suitable alternative which is as tasty and yet does not affect your health in the long run? Achari chicken is a sumptuous chicken recipe flavored with pickle spices. You can have it either alone as a starter or as a main course. It is tangy and appetizing, and a healthier alternative to chicken korma.
1 cup of chicken korma contains 332 calories, of which there are 10 grams of carbs, 28 grams of protein and 20 grams of fat, compare this to achari chicken, 1 cup of which contains 284 calories, of which there are 10 grams of carbs, 43 grams of protein and 8 grams of fat.
Crispy chicken drumstick Vs. tandoori chicken
There are two ways of eating chicken, either in a healthy way or in an unhealthy way. The crispy chicken drumstick is a classic case of good food cooked badly. Restaurant available chicken drumsticks are fried twice and contain obscene amounts of fat! So, should you give up on eating your fried delight? Well, you can turn it around and make it healthier. And you know what, there are actual chicken dishes that taste fried but are actually grilled! The beauty of tandoori chicken lies in its seasoning, you marinate it for hours and lends it the distinctive taste and flavor. Can there be anything better than a succulent piece of tasty chicken? Still not convinced? Check out the calorie breakdown.
1 piece of crispy chicken drumstick contains 160 calories of which there are 4 grams of carbs, 14 grams of protein and 9 grams of fat. Whereas 1 piece of tandoori chicken contains 132 calories in which the carb content is 3 grams, protein content is 16 grams and fat is only 6.1 grams.
Vegetable korma Vs. Indian dal vegetable curry
Well looks like you have to break up with korma forever! Even vegetable korma isn’t quite good for your cholesterol levels. Especially when you buy the same in restaurants. The very sight of oily, vegetable korma clogs my artery! Wish I had a strainer and strain the extra fat out of the korma. Cooked in refined oil it just about kills all the nutrients there is in the veggies. If you love the curry and the veggies, concoct a delectable fare in the form an Indian dal vegetable curry. Lentils are a powerhouse of nutrients. They are rich in complex carbohydrates, (this helps boost your metabolism and burns the extra fat). They are a great source of fiber too and thus help in reducing cholesterol levels. Lentils are a pretty neat source of folate and magnesium. Add veggies to this nutritional powerhouse and you are looking at a full-blown nutritious dinner! Check out the nutritional lowdown.
1 cup of vegetable korma contains 294 calories, of which there are 46 grams of carbs, 8 grams of protein and 9 grams of fat. 1 cup of Indian dal vegetable curry contains 235 calories of which there are 35 grams of carbs, 14 grams of protein and 5.7 grams of fat. Now do the math!
Pav bhaji Vs. Pav bhaji sandwich
The sight of yellow butter melting on hot pav is a sight to behold! But looks like this melt-in-the-mouth delectable dish isn’t too great for your waistline. Eating pav bhaji on the sly? It will soon show as fat on all the wrong places of your body like a sneaky little kid. So what to do? Just swap it up! Make a sandwich out of pav bhaji. Get whole wheat bread. Fill it up with vegetables flavored with pav bhaji masala and enjoy it completely guilt-free. These flavorful sandwiches are love.
1 cup of pav bhaji contains 195 calories, of which there are 31.5 grams of carb, 6 grams of protein and 5.5 grams of fat. 1 piece of pav bhaji sandwich, on the other hand, contains 160 calories of which there are 32 grams of carbs, 3 grams of protein and 2 grams of fat.
Paneer bhurji vs. paneer tomato curry
The best way to lose weight is adding more protein to your diet, and paneer helps you in this regard. It takes longer to digest and you feel satiated for a longer period. Paneer is an excellent food option for vegetarians, weight watchers and diabetics as it is a low carb food. It also consists of the good kind of fats. Just the right food to add in your food basket, if you are trying to lose weight. Paneer also curbs the hunger-causing hormones such as ghrelin. If you are already adding paneer bhurji to your daily diet, then great! You are doing it right, but are you cooking it the right way? If you are frying em’ then you are adding unnecessary extra calories. Ditch the oil and make paneer healthy by making a curry out of it. You can make it healthier still by adding more veggies. Here is why you can choose paneer tomato curry over paneer bhurji.
½ cup of paneer bhurji has 202 calories, 6 grams of carbs, 10 grams of protein and 15 grams of fat. The paneer and 1 cup of tomato curry contain 220 calories, of which there are 27 grams of carbs, 10 grams of protein and 8 grams of fat.
Kadai Chicken Vs. Grilled Chicken Breast
Is kadai chicken as healthy as it is flavorful? It blends in spices and flavors making it a delicious option to choose at restaurants. Sadly, it isn’t too healthy, thanks to the extra oil content in the dish. Foods are not unhealthy, what makes it unhealthy is the way you cook it. Yes, it’s true you are adding spices, cream, and butter to the chicken, it definitely adds flavor to the dish but it reduces the nutrient value. The ideal way to reap the benefits of chicken is either grilling it or roasting it. The tender meat offers great energy. You can even make it a part of your daily diet as it is a terrific protein source, but yes cook it the right way. Here is why you should choose grilled chicken over kadai chicken.
1 cup of kadai chicken contains 238 calories of which there are 9.8 grams of carbs, 9.8 grams of carbs, 21 grams of protein and 12.6 grams of fat whereas 1 piece of grilled chicken breast contains 201 calories of which there are 0 grams carbs, 39 grams of protein and 4.5 grams of fat.
Fish finger Vs. Tomato fish curry
Restaurant food always means digging into a sumptuous spread of finger-licking food. And you begin with high on fat, fried stuff such as a fish finger. They are high in fats and carbohydrates. Skip the oil-laced food and opt for something that is healthier. Add tomato fish curry to your menu, this rich omega-3 enriched food protein-rich food is high on satiety as well. Combine this with rice and you will have one of the most fulfilling dishes on earth. Before you dig into a plate of tomato fish curry check out the nutrient contents.
1 piece of fish finger contains 158 calories of which there are 12 grams of carbs, 6.3 grams protein and 9.3 grams of fat. The tomato fish curry contains 154 calories of which there are 3 grams of carbs, 18 grams of protein and 7.5 grams of fat.
Bisi Bele bath Vs. Chana pulav
Before you go nom-nom on Bisi bele bath, there is a healthier version you can have! I know it is comfort food for most of us. The combination of rice and lentils weaves dietary magic and the seasoning on the top gives its rich texture and flavor. But if you are watching your carb intake this dish could be labeled as too carb-centric. Get chana pulav on board. Chana is an excellent source of protein. It is also low in fat and high in dietary fiber. Full of vitamins and minerals too, it is an indeed a healthier substitute. You can rustle up this dish in real quick time and make yourself a protein-rich meal.
1 cup of Bisi bele bath contains 200 calories of which there are 32 grams of carbs, 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat. 1 cup of Chana pulav, on the other hand, contains 196 calories, 33 grams of carbs, 11 grams of protein and only 2 grams of fat.
Dal dhokli vs. peas and spinach curry
The Gujratis love it and I love it, there is something about the culmination of spices, flavors, and aroma that spells comfort food from the word go. Its savory wholesomeness is almost addictive but is too carb-rich, so can we do better on the nutritional front? Yes of course, the peas and spinach curry are high on nutrition and high on taste as well. Peas are one of the best protein sources when it comes to vegetable sources. Add to that, the iron-rich spinach that helps restore energy also increases vitality and helps improve the blood quality. No wonder, Popeye loved it and drew his strength from this super versatile leafy wonder. Learn why it is has a better nutritional profile than spinach curry.
1 cup of dal dhokli contains 186 calories of which there are 28 grams of carbs, 6.8 grams of protein and 5.6 grams of fat. Whereas 1 cup of peas and spinach curry contains 144 calories, of which there are 19 grams of carbs, 9 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat.
Masala dosa vs. pesarattu
Masala dosa is an absolute breakfast favorite. But it’s high on carbs! Thanks to the yummy potato filling inside and the masala dosa made out of rice and lentil flour. If you are watching your carb intake, a pesarattu is a great substitute. It is a moong dal pancake for all those who aren’t aware of the term pesarattu. Moong dal is a perfect food combination as it is a culmination of protein, vitamins and dietary fiber. It is low in sodium, saturated fat and cholesterol, so people who are suffering from metabolic disorders such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, can try this nutrition-packed delicious snack. Young kids will love it too!
1 piece of masala dosa contains 168 calories, of which there 29 grams of carbs, 3.9 grams of protein and 3.7 grams of fat. 1 piece of pesarattu contains 145 calories of which there is 20.5 carbs, 7.6 grams of protein and 3.6 grams of fat.
Chicken 65 Vs. Barbecue chicken wings
The hardest part of eating clean is when you are eating out, I mean everything looks so yum and everything is so anti-eating healthy. Also when your friends or acquaintances are eating chicken 65, you cannot think of eating a less-carb, more protein and less fat (more good fats) kind of diet. You have to eat something that satiates your soul! In comes barbecued chicken wings to the rescue of your taste buds. When it comes to your protein needs, chicken figures somewhere in the top. Full of vitamins and minerals, provided you select the right one. Barbecue chicken wings score over chicken 65, ‘cause they are not deep fried, check out the nutritional quotient here.
½ cup of chicken 65, contains 120 calories, of which there are 4 grams of carbs, 12 grams of protein and 6 grams of fat. 1 piece of Barbecue chicken wings, on the other hand, contains 94 calories, of which there are 3 grams of carbs, 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat.
Roomali roti Vs. Ragi roti
I know roomali roti and chicken masala is a combination made in the gastronomical heaven. Those soft, fluffy rotis are kinda melt-in-the-mouth, but unfortunately, they are made up of refined flour which spikes your blood sugar levels and causes a host of chronic diseases. So, what should be the ideal substitute? Whole-wheat, such as ragi. Ragi is high in fiber and rich in a host of vitamins and minerals and is also easy on the pocket, unlike other healthy foods. It’s a versatile grain as you can make it into dosa, kanji, vermicelli, ragi balls and so on. Check out the nutritional benefits of roomali roti and ragi roti.
2 pieces of roomali roti contain a whopping 200 grams of calories, of which 32 grams of fat and 9 grams of protein and 4 grams of fat, whereas 3 pieces of ragi roti contain 210 calories, of which there are 37 calories of carbs, 5 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat.
Naan Vs. Tandoori Roti
There is something irresistible about the much-loved Indian flatbread. When you watch the butter melting into the smooth texture of the naan and you tear off a hot piece dipping it into a meat delicacy, ahh it’s pure heaven. But, like all good things, there’s a con. It is made with refined flour, much like the ever-popular pita bread. The best part of the naan is it is cooked in an open clay oven when it’s hot it’s all soft and buttery, but it becomes inedible when it turns cold, as you literally have a tough time tearing it into pieces. I know you adore naan but how about finding a healthier Jodi for your dinner? We say tandoori roti, minus the frills and fancies, yet successfully tantalizing our taste buds. Check out why we think so,
1 piece of naan contains 262 calories of which there are 45 grams of carbs, 8.7 grams of protein and 5.1 grams of fat, whereas 2 pieces of tandoori roti clock 240 calories where there are 46 grams of carbs, 7 grams of protein and 2 grams of fat.
Poori Vs Phulka
Now this one is a no-brainer, you should avoid pooris the very reason you love them! Ufff poori and aloo bhaji just remind me of childhood when I stuffed up pooris like no tomorrow and even had a poori gorging competition with my sister. She used to beat me every time and then adulthood happened and I had to forget my first love. Not my sister, pooris. Sigh! Hey! but I make do with my phulkas and trust me it tastes yum with a lightly roasted sweet potato! Now, don’t look at me with those, ‘you-poor-girl’ kinda look. Check out why this switchover is so much better for your cholesterol levels.
1 piece of poori contains 141 calories of which there are 12 grams of carbs, 2.3 grams of protein and 9.8 grams of fat whereas 2 pieces of phulka contain 101 calories, 16 grams of carbs, 4 grams of protein and only 2 grams of fat.
Pakoras Vs. Oats tikkis
I know when it is pelting with rain outside nothing tastes as good as pakoras and a steaming cup of chai! Sadly it also piles on the unnecessary kilos. Looking for a grain that loves you right back? Zero in on oats, it keeps all the chronic diseases at bay and surprisingly tastes pretty good, well if you put it to good use. It’s full of insoluble fiber, the one that keeps you satiated and stops you from going on binging sprees. Tikkis are also not deep-fried and hence perfect for your weight loss goals. Ideal for your 4 pm snack-athon sessions!
1 piece of pakora contains 80 calories of which there is 8 gram of carbs, 1 gram of protein and 5 grams of fat. 1 piece of oats tikka contains 60 calories of which there are 9 grams of carbs, 3 grams of protein and 2 grams of fat.
Strawberry jam Vs. dates syrup
I know you have done the exact same thing that I have done during childhood, smeared dollops of strawberry jam on both sides of your toast. But, now can’t have it anymore, there’s just too much of sugar! Have you read labels of jams? The first ingredient is sugar instead of fruit pulp. Well, in today’s day and times you just can’t add so much of sugar into your body. Jams are sugar bombs! Much as you love them you’ve gotta steer clear of them. Well, you can ditch sugar but you don’t have to ditch sweetness, date syrup can be your bae for smoothies, homemade sweetmeats, cakes and the works. It also has a higher nutrient quotient than refined sugar.
1 tablespoon of strawberry jam contains 56 calories, of which there are 14 grams of carbs, .1 gram of protein and 0 gram fat. 1 tablespoon of date’s syrup contains 1 tablespoon of 59 calories of which there are 16 grams of grams carbs, .5 grams of protein and .1 grams of fat.
Margarine Vs. ghee
Low fat is passé! And can we say Thank God for that! Life was miserable without adding that dollop of ghee on the rotis, or that white butter in your dals. Well, if you have been avoiding ghee all along, give it a royal welcome into your kitchen. This golden liquid works its magic on almost all Indian foods and did you know this? Adding the essential fats into your diet helps in vitamin D assimilation. Vitamin D is the ‘it’ vitamin the deficiency of which is linked to most chronic diseases. So ghee, we love you and people are finding novel ways of adding it to their coffee and whatnot, but I prefer ghee in my dal and rotis and some subjis. But, wasn’t margarine the fat-of-choice sometime back? Well, things have changed in the nutritional world. Check out the nutritional differences.
1 tablespoon of margarine contains 102 calories of which there are .1 grams of carbs, 0 grams protein and 11 grams of fat. 1 tablespoon of ghee there is 112 grams of calories, 0-gram of carbs, and 13 grams of fat.
Chocolate Pudding Vs. Fruit Custard
Chocolate pudding has lots of sugar, though everything tastes good with chocolate. But a natural sweetener always works, especially when you have a sweetener in the form of fruits. They are full of natural fiber, vitamins, and minerals. This is also quick to rustle up and you can make it healthy by adding as many fruits as you can. You can also add dry fruits to it to add to its already-high health quotient. This is a perfect option to satiate your sweet craving. Compare the nutrient quotient of both these popular desserts.
1 cup of chocolate pudding contains 142 calories, of which there are 23 grams of carbs, 2.1 grams of protein and 4.6 grams of fat. ½ a cup of fruit custard contains 113 calories of which there are 21 grams of carbs, 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fat.
Icecream Vs. strawberry smoothie
I know you are thinking, a strawberry smoothie isn’t a match for everybody’s favorite ice-cream. But, the point is, there are more bad things than good things in an ice-cream and we will like to change that, right? It contains all the bad kinds of fat (the one you should avoid like the plague) way too much of sugar and the artificial flavoring and additives that messes up your hormones big time. A strawberry smoothie, on the other hand, is high on all the protein, essential fats and fiber. It’s what you can call a complete meal in a glass.
1 cup of ice cream contains 273 calories of which there are 31 grams of carbs, 4.6 grams of protein and 15 grams of fat. 1 cup of strawberry smoothie, on the other hand, contains 280 grams calories, of which, 56 grams of carbs, 13 grams of protein and 2 grams of fat.
Cream cheese Vs. Peanut butter
Thank God for something that tastes delicious and is healthy too! Well, we are talking about peanut butter. As I said I can have peanut butter in literally everything. This is the food replacement hack I swear by. But you know what, my love for cream cheese is equally strong, so what should I do? Regular cream cheese packs in a lot of fat, especially the ones that are bad for you, you know the kind that blocks your arteries, the works! Also, the fat-free versions aren’t any good, they contain a lot of preservatives and when I say a lot, I mean a lot. But all fats aren’t created equal and hence select the good fat, and in this peanut butter is the clear winner.
1 tablespoon of cream cheese contains 51 calories of which there are 0.8 grams of carbs, 0.9 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat. On the other hand, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter contains 94 calories of which there are 3.9 grams of carbs, 3.5 grams of protein and 8 grams of fat.
Jalebi Vs. Paneer cake
I don’t think my eyes dance so much at the sight of any other sweets as they do at the sight of jalebis. The warm, sticky, quaintly-shaped, geometrically-patterned sweetmeat manages to warm the cockles of my heart every single time! But then as with all sugary delights, this one is laced with cons galore. I just put on weight looking at this delicious thing, forget looking even smelling this tasty wonder. So, when I have jalebi pangs (yes, there is such a thing) I quietly make a paneer cake and reminiscence better times! Okay, just kidding it’s not so bad, in fact, it’s tasty and filling. It’s baked, full of protein and great for your health. Desserts should be like that, great to taste and great for health as well.
1 piece of jalebi contains 150 calories, of which there are 29 grams of carbs, 1.3 grams of protein and 3.5 grams of fat, 1 piece of paneer cake contains 100 calories of which there are 3.5 calories of carbs, 4.1 calories of protein and 8 grams of fat.
Coconut barfi Vs. Dry fruit laddoo
Our festivities aren’t complete without the ubiquitous coconut barfi! There is something about coconut blended with ghee and nuts that weaves fascinating culinary stories. But you know what they say, ‘a moment on the lips lies forever on the hips.’ So smart healthy food replacements are the only way to go about things. So, settle for the perfect and oh-so-delicious dry fruit laddoo. Officially, they are my go-to’s when I have a dessert-attack!
1 piece of coconut barfi contains 182 calories, of which there are 29 grams of carbs, 1.6 grams of protein and 7.7 grams of fat. 2 pieces of dry fruit laddoos packs in 177 calories of which there are 17.2 grams of carbs, 6 grams of protein and 9.3 grams of fat.
Rasmalai Vs. Sweet Curd
But if you still must indulge, choose something that is wholesome, and nutrient-rich. Like if you have a sweet craving it is better you have a dry fruit laddoo instead of a candy, which has just empty calories. Similarly, the sweet curd is still sweet but, it has healthy doses of probiotics, it enriches your gut bacteria. Also, the curd is protein-rich and perfect for catering to your protein needs. It helps that it tastes swell as well.
1 piece of rasmalai contains 160 calories, 16 grams of carbs, 9 grams of protein and 7 grams of fat. 1 cup of sweet curd contains 170 calories, 17 grams of carbs, 8 grams of protein and 8 grams of fat.
Mysore Pak Vs. Oats and nuts Laddoo
Mysore Pak reminds me of my childhood and Diwali. My grandfather ensured that he stocked his pantry with this special delicacy, for me and my sibling. Well, I am still enamored by this rich sweet meat, the taste of ghee and gram flour leaves a lingering sweet after-taste on your mouth. But, it still isn’t what you can say great for your insulin levels. The only way you can lose weight is by keeping your insulin levels under tight control. So, I made a switch from Mysore pak to a healthier oasts and nuts laddoo. Oats, as they say, is ‘health in a bowl.’ And you can use it in myriad ways, one of them is making it into a laddoo, adding plenty of nuts to the concoction. This makes it more protein-rich, fiber-enhanced and satiating!
1 piece of Mysore pak contains 168 calories, 4.95 grams of carbs, 0.39 grams of protein and 16.35 grams of fat. 2 pieces of oats and nuts laddoo contains 210 calories, 24 grams of carbs, 6 grams of protein and 10 grams of fat.
Petha Vs. Peanut barfi
The ‘Agrey ka petha’ is just too sweet and another melt-in-the-mouth delicacy that gives a tough competition to the monument-of-love from the same place. That’s right, the Taj Mahal! The translucent piece of sweet is actually made from ash gourd. However, it is hardly what you will call healthy, thanks to its sweetness. Peanut barfi works as an ideal food swap. Peanuts are rich in Vitamin E, zinc and magnesium and you know what, this easy-on-your-pockets healthy nut acts as a double-edged sword to slay the bacteria-causing acne.
1 piece of petha contains 74 calories, 18.5 grams of carbs, 0 grams of protein and 0 grams of fat. 1 piece of peanut barfi contains 79 calories, 9.7 grams of carbs, 2.1 grams of protein and 3.9 grams of fat.
Rice kheer Vs. Dry fruits and nuts milkshake
Birthdays aren’t complete without a big bowl of cold and creamy rice kheer. And we ask you to have that, totally but only on birthdays. For the rest of the days when you want to have rice kheer, settle for something like dry fruits and a nuts milkshake. Well, rice kheer isn’t bad, but it has the potential of containing a whole day’s worth of calories. So, skip it and have a calcium and protein-rich milkshake instead, the dry fruits act as a natural sweetener, especially when you use dates and raisins. Believe you me this can act like a complete meal in itself with all the essential nutrients packed in all its wholesome glory.
1 cup of rice kheer contains 262 calories, 34 grams of carbs, 8.4 grams of protein, and 10.6 grams of fat. 1 cup of dry fruits and nuts milkshake contain 229 calories, 18.1 grams of carb, 6.3 grams of protein and 13 grams of fats.
Cakes Vs. Dark chocolate
I know all cake-lovers are going to start a hate brigade against me! What, you won’t let us have our choco lava cake? Or brownies with ice cream? Or red velvet cakes? And the list goes on! I know my love and respect for cake goes beyond all nutritional science. Cakes have this permanent look about it, you know the kind, ‘eat-me-otherwise-someone-else-will’ and you need a herculean self-control to say no to a piece offered to you. Cake, why do you have to be so tasty? But hey, we have something for you which is closer to a real thing. Dark chocolate. Don’t make faces, I know it has got an acquired taste, but it is nutritious. First things first, it takes care of your brain and your heart. The two vital organs that make you, you! Also, it is loaded with antioxidants. But only go for the ones which contain 80% or more dark chocolate and are not-too-sweet. Get a nutritional lowdown on the same and I rest my case.
1 slice of cake contains 149.5 calories, 17 grams of carbs, 2.4 grams of protein, and 8.5 grams of fat. 1 piece of dark chocolate, on the other hand, contains 155 calories, 17 grams of carbs, 1.4 grams of protein and 8.9 grams of fat.
Butter cookies Vs. Threptin biscuits
Packaged foods are bad for your health. So, no more biscuits. Those added sugar, preservatives and the works have evil designs on you, well I know all that but what am I going to have with my evening chai? Well, you can have threptin biscuits, which aren’t too bad for you and ensure you have a good lipid profile report in the impending months as it is cholesterol and trans-fat-free. It is also beneficial for diabetics and obese patients. Take a close look at the nutritional lowdown.
1 small piece of butter cookie contains 70 calories, 10.5 grams of carbs, 0.9 grams of protein and 2.8 grams of fat. 3 pieces of Threptin biscuits, on the other hand, contain 75 calories, 8 grams of carbs, 5 grams of protein and 2.3 grams of fat.
Paneer butter masala Vs. Palak Paneer
I have a confession to make, I love everything that has butter masala added to it and includes chicken, paneer, the works. But it is laden with all the things we should keep away from. It is decadent, rich and creamy; but it is too creamy for you. So, what should you do, make it more protein-packed and iron-packed with palak paneer? With palak paneer, you have a wholesome, healthy and low-fat dish. It is spicy and full of flavor. Check out the nutritional lowdown.
1 cup of paneer butter masala contains 201 calories, 6.9 grams of carbs, 8.2 grams of protein, 16 grams of fat. 1 cup of palak paneer contains 182 calories, 5 grams of carbs, 7.6 grams of protein and 15.2 grams of fat.
Chole bhature Vs. Sprouts poha
Who swaps chole bhature with sprouts poha? We do! There cannot be something as spicy and as tasty as a piping hot plate of chole bhature. But we also know what will happen when we begin to have too much of this on regular basis. So, you bring on board sprouts poha. Poha is a great source of eleven essential minerals and vitamins, including iron. It is also rich in vitamin B1 and helps stabilize blood sugar. Sprouts make it fiber-filled and protein-rich.
1 cup of chole contains 255.5 calories, 29.5 grams of carbs, 6.5 gram of protein and 13.5 gram of fat. 1 bowl of sprouts poha contains 260 calories, 50 grams of carbs, 9 grams of protein and 2 grams of fat.
Gobi parantha Vs. Ajwain wheat paratha
You can make a paratha either healthy or unhealthy. If you are using refined flour and deep frying it with hydrogenated oils, then you are doing it all wrong. The trick is to not to give up on your parathas, just make it healthy, by making it with whole wheat and adding a whole lot of essential, anti-inflammatory spices. You can add your favorite veggies to whole wheat paratha and enrich it with essential fiber. Are we forgetting something? Don’t forget to add a spoonful of ghee or white butter on the paratha and watch it melt! Can there be a more delicious sight?
1 piece of gobi paratha contains 184 calories, 24 grams of carbs, 5 grams of protein and 7 grams of fat. 2 pieces of ajwain wheat paratha contains 150 calories, 22.5 grams of carbs, 2.5 grams of protein and 5.5 grams of fat.
Well, we concocted this exhaustive food substitutions list just for you. Tell us, whether this worked for you and helped you reach your fitness goals or if you have a list of your own that works for you. We would love to know more if you have something to share. Let us know in the comments section below. Till the next time, stay fit and stay healthy, amigos!
Devi Gajendran is a Post Graduate in Nutrition (University of Madras, Tamil Nadu) and has tons of experience in Fitness and Nutrition. She is the chief advisor and full time contributor at the Fit Indian and has the final say on all the segments under the Fit Indian paradigm, such as beauty, fitness, home remedies, diseases, diet tips, weight loss, weight gain and so on. A foodie herself, she believes in the Hippocrates quote,” Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” A fitness enthusiast, she believes that the combination of diet and exercise can work wonders. When she is not sharing her valuable knowledge about food and fitness, she likes to spend quality time with her family members, do some healthy baking and listen to soft soulful music.