Think about the number of food decisions you make in a day, from using cream or almond milk in your morning coffee to cooking a chicken or meatloaf for dinner. Each choice comes with a math equation regarding calories, grams of fat, and ultimately, time on the treadmill.
That’s a lot of mental calculation, but making the better, healthier choice can improve our heart health, weight, cholesterol level, and blood pressure.
This infographic has tips on easy food swaps you can make for maximum nutritional benefits.
Lanette Kovachi, MS, RDN, corporate dietitian at Subway®, suggests swapping white bread for whole wheat, which has more fiber, B vitamins, and vitamin E. You won’t get the nutritional body benefits of whole grains, including disease-prevention, heart health, and digestive regularity, from white bread. And you won’t get vitamin E’s immune-boosting benefits and virus-fighting power, either.
When it comes to vegetables, minor changes can make a big difference. “Adding a quarter ounce of spinach and onions, and three slices of tomato to your sandwich gives you 15 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin A and 10 percent of vitamin C,” Kovachi says. Vitamin A is important for vision and the immune system. And vitamin C, also important to the immune system, protects the body against disease and helps wounds heal.
Portion sizes and smart calorie allowances factor into healthy decision-making, too. “Swap your breakfast bagel with cream cheese for an egg sandwich on whole grain with cheese, and you get protein and fiber that you wouldn’t have had otherwise. You’re starting your day off with better nutrition and it’s the same number of calories,” Kovachi says.