Woman Post Healthier Swaps For Popular Foods (26 Pics)


Most of us don’t really think too much about what we put in our mouths. After all, with all the on-and-off quarantines savaging the world, food has acquired a whole new meaning, giving us a sense of normality and boosting those much-needed endorphins.


But what if our beloved foods, aside from their taste, don’t give us much nutrition at all? Well, American author and food industry critic Vani Hari, better known as Food Babe, has set out on a mission to educate people with their daily choices.


Previously, she compared the same products in various countries and came to very interesting conclusions. Read more about it right here. And this time, Vani is showing us healthy food swaps for widely popular products like granola, candy, and ketchup.


Of course, there are people who don’t necessarily agree that a package of Pringles gives you the same boost of taste and happiness, even if temporary, as its healthy veggie chip alternative. But hey, being open to new things won’t do any harm!


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#1 Granola Swap


Instead of buying granola full of refined white sugar, fake flavors, unhealthy canola oil, and conventional grains treated with pesticides, it’s so easy to make your own. My organic granola is one the easiest recipes ever and tastes WAYYY better than anything store-bought! You just toss the ingredients together, spread out on a cookie sheet and bake. My version is super healthy and sweetened with a bit of honey and dried fruit. It will keep for up to two weeks, although it never lasts that long in my house! You’ll also find the recipe inside Food Babe Kitchen on page 75. What have you made from the cookbook? Tell me in the comments below! Food Babe’s Easy Granola Cereal(Makes 4 cups)Ingredients:3 cups rolled oats2 cups raw nuts of your choice, chopped3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut3 tablespoons chia seeds1 tablespoon vanilla extract1/4 cup coconut oil, melted1/3 cup raw honey3/4 teaspoon sea salt2 teaspoons ground cinnamon3/4 cup dried goji berriesDirections:1. Preheat the oven to 250°F.2. Combine all the ingredients except for the goji berries and mix well.3. Place the mixture on a parchment-lined baking sheet.4. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.5. Remove the granola from the oven and let cool. Stir in the goji berries.6. The granola can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.


Image credits: thefoodbabe


#2 Snack Swap


If you thought pretzels were a healthy snack… this may be a surprise. Rold Gold Pretzels are made with GMO corn syrup and refined white flour. When you eat a grain that’s refined, your body quickly metabolizes it like a sugar, which causes your insulin to spike. This can make you gain weight and contributes to type 2 diabetes and inflammation. This is why I don’t like to buy snacks that are full of white flour...especially when they’re combined with corn syrup. Instead, it’s healthier to choose snacks made from whole grains - and even better sprouted! Sprouted grains are much more easily digested than starchy refined flour, and naturally contain more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Phytic acid is destroyed when a grain sprouts, so your body is able to absorb the nutrients in these grains – which makes them that much better for you!


Image credits: thefoodbabe


#3 Topping Swap


What are you topping your holiday pies with?

Popular whipped cream brands like Reddi Wip are filled with factory farmed milk, mono-and diglycerides (hidden trans fat), carrageenan (linked to gut inflammation and cancer), and some also contain cellulose (linked to inflammation and digestion problems). Cool Whip is even worse made with high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and a concoction of chemicals ranging from artificial flavors to numerous synthetic emulsifiers. Yikes.

Instead, you can use Organic Coconut Cream to make homemade whipped cream.


Image credits: thefoodbabe


#4 Sweeteners Swap


Let’s talk about how to sweeten your food...
.
❌ Artificial sweeteners have no calories but have been shown to contribute to weight gain by encouraging sugar cravings. They are also linked to health risks. Splenda (sucralose) is an artificial sweetener made by chlorinating sugar and independent research links it to leukemia and other blood cancers. Equal (aspartame) is linked to increased risk of brain tumors, lymphomas, leukemia, and heart disease.

❌ Refined white sugar has zero nutritional value. It’s addictive; it makes you fat, tired, depressed, and age faster; dulls your skin; weakens immunity; and when consumed in excess, causes all sorts of diseases.

❌ Most stevia sweetener products on the market are not pure stevia and contain mostly erythritol (a sugar alcohol made from corn). Truvia (Coca-Cola’s branded stevia product) goes through about 40 steps to process the extract from the stevia leaf, relying on chemicals that are known carcinogens (substances that cause cancer).

So what to use instead?

You can easily replace white sugar in any recipe with organic coconut sugar. It’s a perfect 1 to 1 substitute for regular old sugar. Coconut sugar is completely unrefined and not bleached, which helps to preserve all of its vitamins and minerals. Other good natural sweeteners include raw honey, maple syrup, fresh fruit, and dried fruit.


Image credits: thefoodbabe


#5 Cooking Oil Swap


What cooking oils do you use in your kitchen? Popular cooking oils (canola, corn, soybean, vegetable) are made from GMOs and go through an insane amount of processing with chemical solvents, steamers, neutralizers, de-waxers, bleach and deodorizers before they end up in the bottle. The “solvent” that is most often used to extract the oil is the neurotoxin hexane – and it’s literally bathed in it.

They're also full of omega-6 fatty acids, which promotes inflammation in your body. This puts you at greater risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and autoimmune diseases.

Instead - choose cold-pressed organic oils that are unrefined. GMOs and hexane extraction are prohibited in organic oil production, so you can avoid those simply by choosing organic oils. I primarily like to use organic virgin coconut oil and organic extra-virgin olive oil in my cooking at home.


Image credits: thefoodbabe


#6 Valentine's Candy Swap


There are a couple big reasons why I’d much rather eat the organic chocolates on the right…1. They contain actual raspberries and aren’t pumped full of fake flavors and colored to make it look like real berries. If you look closely, you’ll see that Hershey’s Strawberry Crème Hearts have no real strawberries. It’s totally fake.2. Organic dark chocolate is healthier for you. Not only does it contain less sugar, but this one is dairy-free. Even though I eat dairy on occasion, I don’t eat conventional dairy like what’s in Hershey’s Milk Chocolate. Non-organic dairy comes from cows that have been conventionally raised with GMOs, antibiotics, and possibly synthetic hormones. Luckily for us not all chocolate is made with horrible ingredients. There are many choices available that are delicious and actually nutritious!


Image credits: thefoodbabe


#7 Snack Swap


Why in the world are they adding “Natural Flavors” to dried apricots? This is crazy. Here’s a recap of why I avoid natural flavors in my food:✔️Flavor manufacturers engineer them to be addicting. This is contributing to what David Kessler (former head of the FDA) calls a “food carnival” in your mouth. The inability to stop eating because the flavors they have synthesized trick your mind into wanting more and more.✔️Flavor companies own these proprietary formulas, making it near impossible to find out what’s in them. ✔️Flavors have to be preserved and stabilized and have agents added to help them mix well into a product. They contain upwards of 100 ingredients like propylene glycol, polysorbate 80, BHT, BHA…all considered “incidental additives” not required to be labeled by the FDA. ✔️The FDA doesn’t require companies to tell you the ingredients in the flavors they use. It’s a complete mystery ingredient.✔️An independent agency doesn’t approve or oversee the safety of flavor ingredients. Instead, a flavor industry trade group, the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA), has assembled their own panel of scientists who review and approve new flavors to go in our food. These scientists are paid by the FEMA trade group (who ultimately get their funding from flavor companies).When looking at your food, as yourself: Did someone engineer this to be delicious or did nature engineer this to be delicious?


Image credits: thefoodbabe


#8 Ketchup Swap


When I shared the ingredients in Heinz Ketchup from France last week, it went viral…

It’s shocking that Heinz makes a completely different ketchup with MUCH better ingredients in other countries.

It’s not just France. They make better ketchup in Canada and all over Europe.

It doesn’t matter that they also make organic and “simply” versions here in the U.S. because their original ketchup is the one served at nearly every restaurant in America and it’s the one that most people are buying. They should make the same ketchup without high fructose corn syrup and natural flavors EVERYWHERE. Don’t you agree?


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#9 Fruit Snack Swap


“Fruit snacks” like Mott’s and Fruit Gushers are no healthier than CANDY. The main ingredient in most fruit snacks is sugar or corn syrup, and many brands add artificial colors and flavors - and are so heavily processed that they do not resemble real fruit at all. Isn’t it a shame they fool people into believing they are “real fruit”?Even organic fruit snacks usually contain a ton of added sugar and are basically candy. Organic fruit snacks may be slightly better because they won’t contain artificial colors...but it’s not a healthy snack. A healthy swap is organic dried fruit. I absolutely love the organic unsweetened dried cherries made by Food To Live. They taste like delicious cherry candy, but are just 100% organic bing cherries. I also love various dried berries and other organic fruits by Nativas and Made In Nature brands. And, Looney Pruney prunes are great too!


Image credits: thefoodbabe


#10 Pasta Swap


Most pasta is made with refined flour and is DEAD FOOD with zero nutrition. Even some brands that look healthy are really tricking you. Ronzoni SmartTaste and Barilla Veggie Pasta are both mostly heavily processed semolina flour. Barilla Gluten-Free Pasta is mostly processed corn and white rice flour with some hidden trans fat (mono & diglycerides). There are much healthier options on the market nowadays that are made with 100% organic chickpeas and lentils. Give them a try and I think you’ll be amazed at how delicious they are, with the same texture as regular pasta. You can also make homemade zucchini noodles at home with a spiralizer!


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#11 Healthy Baking Swap


?FLOUR: All-Purpose Flour can be treated with any of the 60 different chemicals – including chemical bleach. The industrial processing destroys nutrients, such as Vitamin E and fiber. It has no nutritional value and is essentially DEAD, so they “enrich” it with synthetic vitamins that are not from nature. Non-organic wheat is often treated with Roundup weed killer - a chemical linked to cancer. Choosing organic whole white wheat flour (not bleached) is a good alternative because it has a light texture for holiday baking. Sprouted flour is much more easily digested than starchy flour, and contains more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

?POWDERED SUGAR: Any sugar that is NOT organic could have been sprayed with Roundup weed killer (linked to cancer). Powdered sugars often contain non-organic corn starch, which may come from GMO corn. Choosing an organic version will ensure that it’s not made with GMO sugar beets or laced with synthetic weed killers and GMO corn.

?SUGAR: Refined white sugar has zero nutritional value. It’s addictive, makes you fat, tired, depressed, age faster, makes your skin dull, weakens immunity and when consumed in excess causes all sorts of diseases. Unless a sugar says it is “cane sugar” it is probably made from GMO beets. Any non-organic sugar was likely sprayed with Roundup. You can replace white sugar with organic coconut sugar. It’s a perfect 1-to-1 substitute for any recipe that calls for regular sugar. It’s completely unrefined and not bleached, helping to preserve all of its vitamins and minerals.

?BROWN SUGAR: Brown sugar is simply white sugar with molasses added to it. So, it’s like all other types of sugar (see above). It’s best to either choose an organic brown sugar, or better yet, use organic coconut sugar as a replacement. The flavor of coconut sugar is richer than white sugar, so it works well as a replacement for brown sugar.

Raw Honey and real Maple Syrup also make great swaps for refined sugar in many recipes and drinks.


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#12 Savory Snack Swap


Now you can stop buying the Cheez-its made with TBHQ and Goldfish Crackers full of addicting additives. Here are some better store-bought snacks to try, made with real food!You can stash these alternative snacks in your bag or car, or wherever you go and you’ll always have a snack handy that is non-white flour and non-white sugar:* Barnana Organic Plantain Chips* Hu Organic Grain-Free Crackers* Lesser Evil Organic Popcorn* Rhythm Organic Cauliflower Bites* Brad’s Organic Veggie Chips* Simple Mills CrackersIt’s time to stop getting hooked on nutrition-less dead food! Big food has done enough damage to our health. Let’s break their control together.


Image credits: thefoodbabe


#13 Tea Swap


Did you know that most tea is not washed before it is put into bags? That means if the tea was sprayed with cancer-causing pesticides, those pesticides go directly into your cup. This is a good reason to always choose certified organic tea.

Many popular tea brands get away with using “natural flavors” which just covers up the inferior taste and low quality of their tea. Additionally, tea companies add maltodextrin and soy lecithin to their tea (additives likely made from GMO corn and soy). If their tea is quality, why would they be adding ingredients?

I drink tea every single day. It’s sacred at my house – I even have a whole drawer devoted to it! I drink it because it is amazing for your health. Some of my favorite organic brands are Numi, Rishi, Yogi (without flavors), and Traditional Medicinals.


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#14 Oat Milk Swap


When buying oat milk, look for organic versions that don’t contain unneeded ingredients such as natural flavors, sugar, gums, dipotassium phosphate, and sunflower oil.The ingredients should be simple, but most importantly ORGANIC. That’s because conventional oats (non-organic) are commonly sprayed with Roundup weedkiller as a drying agent before harvest. Organic oats are not (it’s prohibited). The cancer arm of the World Health Organization considers the active ingredient in Roundup (glyphosate) to be a probable carcinogen - a substance that causes cancer. The maker, Bayer, is paying out billions $$$ in cancer case settlements. So you don’t want that in your food! Tests have found glyphosate residues in many popular oatmeals and granola bars, and it’s highly possible that oat milks are contaminated too. That’s why it’s safest to look for oat products that are certified organic, and ideally, that have been certified by a third-party to be free of glyphosate.We reached out to Silk and they told us they do not test their oat milk for glyphosate. Thankfully, there are better alternatives that do. Malk’s oat milk is tested by a 3rd party and is certified Glyphosate-Residue Free. It’s organic, which means synthetic pesticides aren’t used. It also has a basic ingredient list - oats, water, and himalayan salt. Win, Win! Other brands that are Glyphosate-Residue Free include Oatly, Chobani, and Planet Oat. But you still need to read the ingredient list.


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#15 Dressing Swap


If you have salad dressing in your fridge, check the ingredient list right now! Is there soybean oil in it? I almost always make my own salad dressing and don’t even bother with store-bought. That’s because you’ll usually find them made with soybean oil, instead of healthier oils like extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, or avocado oil. This is true even with organic brands! Soybean oil is an unhealthy oil because it is too high in omega-6 fatty acids, which increases the risk of obesity, inflammation, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and autoimmune diseases. Unless organic, it also comes from GMO soybeans and is extracted with the neurotoxin hexane. It’s much healthier to make your own dressings - and it tastes way better too! If you don’t know where to start, you can simply whisk a good organic balsamic vinegar with extra virgin olive oil. Use about 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. Add in some herbs if you want. combined.2. Store in an airtight glass container to use throughout the week. Shake well or whisk again each day before using. Enjoy!


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#16 Granola Bar Swap


In 2018, the Environmental Working Group tested oatmeal products for glyphosate residues (the main ingredient in Roundup weedkiller) and they found up to 340ppb in Nature Valley Crunchy Bars. The cancer arm of the World Health Organization considers glyphosate to be a probable carcinogen - a substance that causes cancer. So you don’t want that in your food!Conventional oats (non-organic) are commonly sprayed with Roundup weedkiller as a drying agent before harvest. Organic oats are not (it’s prohibited). That’s why it’s safest to look for oat products that are certified organic. I’m not really a “bar” person, but when I reach for a snack bar, I always look for one that is certified organic, has no refined sugar, and is made with nutritious ingredients like nuts and seeds.


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#17 Ketchup Swap


Instead of Heinz Ketchup, there are some better organic brands to try.


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#18 Nut Butter Swap


One of the most popular questions I get is what brand of nut butter I use...and these are some of my favorites on the right! Here are three steps to finding the healthiest nut butter:1. Only contains nuts (and perhaps sea salt)2. Is certified organic. Look for the USDA organic seal on the label.3. The nuts and seeds are raw (not roasted), with the exception of peanut butter. It will say specifically on the jar that it is “raw”.


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#19 Pantry Swap



When I first started my clean-eating journey, one of the best things I did was go through my cabinets and get rid of all the additive-filled junk. I donated it all and I haven’t looked back. That includes things like baking powder with aluminum that I could have continued to use for another year or two. I made the decision that I could afford to do better.

It may seem like a waste of money to dispose of food that isn’t expired, but I’d rather spend money on healthy food versus anything else. This is why I prefer to buy organic food to cook at home and why I eat at the best farm-to-table restaurants, which I know serve the highest-quality ingredients. This is why when I travel, I pack pricey travel-size foods including green powders, raw almond butter, and chia seeds. This is why it doesn’t bother me to shop at the best natural-food grocery stores, even if their prices tend to be a bit higher than conventional stores. But this is also why I will save an eighth of an organic red onion. I am crazy about not wasting good food, too!


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#20 Doritos Swap


My husband created a homemade version of Doritos because he is addicted to chips. I was so excited to see him making his own cheesy tortilla chips in the kitchen because these are so much better for you than the ones sold in stores that are fried in unhealthy oils and covered in dyes and MSG—bleh!


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#21 Hot Cocoa Swap


There are two ways to make hot cocoa... with man-made chemicals or REAL FOOD.

Hot chocolate from Starbucks is very processed with added flavors, preservatives, white sugar, trans fat, and carrageenan (a thickener that is linked to cancer).


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#22 Healthy Baking Swap


I wish I knew how to shop for these ingredients years ago, as it would have made my life so much easier.?VANILLA: Avoid “imitation” vanilla extracts that are made with vanillin, as this is typically sourced from petrochemicals and wood pulp. It also doesn’t contain the antioxidants found in real vanilla extract that are good for the body. Many of these fake vanilla extracts are filled with controversial additives like caramel color (linked to cancer) and propylene glycol as well. Choose real vanilla extract, such as Simply Organic brand.?FOOD COLORING: Those colors by McCormick and Betty Crocker are artificial dyes made from petroleum (Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1). These can disrupt the immune system and are linked to several health issues, including allergies and hyperactivity in children. Dyes may also be contaminated with carcinogens. Europe requires any food containing dyes to carry the warning label, “May Have an Adverse Effect on Activity and Attention in Children.” McCormick’s colors are suspended in a solution made with propylene glycol and preserved with parabens – endocrine-disrupting chemicals linked to breast cancer and reproductive problems. There are natural coloring kits available made from real food like beets, spirulina, and turmeric, such as the Supernatural brand.?CINNAMON: Most of the non-organic spices we find on the shelves are treated with chemicals and pesticides before they end up in the bottle. Organic spices aren’t treated with synthetic chemicals and cannot have GMOs, artificial colors, preservatives, and other synthetic anti-caking agents. Try Frontier or Simply Organic brands.?BAKING POWDER: Most baking powders contain aluminum, which is linked to alzheimer’s. The popular Clabber Girl brand is also made with GMO ingredients.


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#23 Healthy Baking Swap


?BUTTER: Conventional non-organic butter comes from cows fed almost entirely genetically engineered or GMO feed. Conventionally raised cows are most commonly fed GMO corn and soy, however, some farmers fatten up their feed with additional sugar from GMO sugar beets and even candy! Harmful pesticides used on GMOs (like glyphosate) is also eaten by these cows and can end up in their milk – and thereby, butter. In the alternative, grass-fed pasture raised cows produce more nutritious milk than cows raised with GMO grains. With more beneficial CLA and Omega 3 fatty acids. Also grass-fed cows produce butter with up to 50% more vitamin A and E and 400% more beta carotene.

?MARGARINE: Blue Bonnet is made with inflammatory soybean oil that is most surely GMO. It also contains hidden trans fat additives (mono and diglycerides), artificial ingredients made from petroleum and unnecessary preservatives. Try coconut oil instead!

?SHORTENING: Crisco used to be made with partially hydrogenated oils and since they revamped their recipe to make it with “0 Grams of Trans Fat” it’s more toxic than ever. It’s primary ingredient is now soybean oil – one of the most unhealthy oils which increases the risk of obesity, inflammation, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and autoimmune diseases. Crisco is also filled with fully hydrogenated oil, hidden trans fat additives, and is preserved with TBHQ (linked to increased risk of food allergies).

?EGGS: Conventional eggs are raised indoors on GMO feed and antibiotics. Ideally, you’ll want to source your eggs from local farmers who raise the chickens on pasture and never use unnecessary antibiotics or drugs. Look for Organic and Certified Humane on the label. You can also make a “Flax Egg” as a good vegan option that works well in most baking recipes. Simply mix together 1 tablespoon organic ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons water per egg. Let it sit for 15 minutes to thicken before using.


Image credits: thefoodbabe


#24 Butter Swap


If you’ve ever eaten pastured butter, you’ll notice how much richer the color is. That’s because it’s more nutritious because the cows are fed naturally on a pasture. Remember, whatever the cows are eating (GMOs, harmful pesticides) residues of these end up in their butter too. That’s why it’s healthiest to choose organic pastured butter whenever you get the chance.


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#25 Valentines Candy Swap


It’s AWFUL that most candy for children is made with artificial colors. This is one ingredient that I won’t compromise on. Ever. This may sound extreme – but there are so many reasons why we shouldn’t eat artificial colors, especially children.Artificial colors…❌ Can disrupt the immune system. Research has found that “The molecules of synthetic colorants are small, and the immune system finds it difficult to defend the body against them.❌ They can also bond to food or body proteins and, thus, are able to act in stealth mode to circumvent and disrupt the immune system.” ❌ Are man-made in a lab with chemicals derived from petroleum (a crude oil product, which also happens to be used in gasoline, diesel fuel, asphalt, and tar).❌ Require a warning label in other countries outside the US.❌ Have been banned in countries like Norway and Austria (and hardly ever used in the UK and the rest of Europe).❌ Are contaminated with known carcinogens (a.k.a. an agent directly involved in causing cancer).❌ Cause an increase in hyperactivity in children.❌ Have a negative impact on children’s ability to learn.❌ Have been linked to long-term health problems such as asthma, skin rashes, and migraines.❌ Add absolutely no nutritional value to the foods we are eating and are solely used for aesthetic purposes only.While no candy out there is going to be perfect, there are now much better organic brands available in stores that won’t contain artificial colors.


Image credits: thefoodbabe


#26 Sugar Swap


What brand of sugar are you using?

While popular sugar brands like Domino and C&H are cane sugar (instead of GMO sugar beet sugar), any sugar that is NOT organic could have been sprayed with Roundup weed killer pre-harvest (a chemical strongly linked to cancer). While sugar is not a healthy ingredient by any means, most holiday recipes call for sugar and choosing an organic version will ensure that it is not made with GMO sugar beets or laced with synthetic weed killers.

Instead of cane sugar, I like to substitute organic coconut sugar in most recipes. It’s a perfect 1 to 1 substitute for any recipe that calls for regular old sugar. It’s completely unrefined and not bleached, helping to preserve all of its vitamins and minerals.

Popular powdered sugars also contain non-organic corn starch, which may come from GMO corn. A good alternative is Wholesome Organic Powdered Sugar.


Image credits: thefoodbabe