We’ve already explored 23 insanely easy ways to eat healthier every day. Here, we offer 12 additional healthy tricks you can put up your sleeve. With even more nutrition wisdom in your arsenal, you’ll stave off weight gain and slash calories, sodium and sugar from your diet without even noticing it.
Instead of: Syrup
Try: Protein glaze
This favorite pancake topper is loaded with sugar, and even the “lite” or “sugar-free” versions are packed with artificial sweeteners. Swap the sugar for protein by making your own delicious glaze using chocolate- or vanilla-flavored protein powder (see this recipe for inspiration). Best of all, this glaze will taste great on plenty of other food besides pancake.
Instead of: Sriracha
Try: Cayenne pepper
Unfortunately, the hottest condiment of the minute is pretty high in sodium and added sugar (the same is true for other hot sauces). If you’re trying to manage your sriracha addiction or cut down on hot sauce in general, swap out the sauce for cayenne pepper.
Instead of: Tartar sauce
Try: Tzatziki sauce
While it may taste great with fish, tartar sauce isn’t doing anything good for your waistline, as it is high in calories and fat. Substitute tzatziki or cucumber sauce, or make your own tartar sauce using plain nonfat Greek yogurt as a base.
Instead of: Mustard
Try: Homemade mustard
Out of all the condiments, you could do worse than mustard since it’s low in calories and fat. However, it does have a lot of sodium, so if you’re trying to cut down on your sodium intake, try making your own healthy mustard or adding a little turmeric to your dishes.
Instead of: Non-dairy coffee creamer
It’s easy to throw some powdered creamer in your morning mug of Joe or grab the little creamer cups sitting on the counter of the office kitchen without thinking. However, these non-dairy creamers are chemical cocktails made of partially hydrogenated oils and sugars or artificial sugars. Reach for half-and-half instead, or try coconut or soy milk.
Instead of: Store-bought Marinade
Try: Lemon juice
Depending on the brand, bottled marinades can be quite high in sodium, and they’re often made with artificial chemicals. Marinate meat in lemon juice, orange juice, or even wine before cooking, or try a spice rub to add the flavor you crave.
Instead of: Soy sauce
Try: Coconut aminos
Soy sauce is ridiculously high in sodium — a single tablespoon can contain more than a third of the recommended daily value. Replace it with coconut aminos or try making your own at-home soy sauce if the aminos aren’t in your food budget.
Instead of: Horseradish sauce
Try: Real wasabi paste
On its own, the root horseradish isn’t actually bad for you at all. However, horseradish sauce is loaded with other ingredients that make it pretty high in fat and sodium. Switch it out for real wasabi paste, another super-popular condiment originating in Japan.
Instead of: Store-bought BBQ sauce
Try: Homemade BBQ sauce
A staple of the summer cookout condiment table, barbecue sauce is high in sodium and added sugar. Since many like to douse their burgers and sandwiches in the sauce, so you’d be well advised to replace it with a healthy homemade version, such as this recipe here.
Instead of: Salt
Try: Various spices
Salt has been used since the beginning of time to flavor and preserve food. Sadly, a single teaspoon of salt contains more than 2,300 mg of sodium — almost 100% of the daily recommended value. Check out the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s complete guide to different spices and seasonings that can be substituted for salt.
Instead of: Sugar
Try: Raw honey
We all know that sugar is terrible for us despite its wonderful taste, and that artificial sweeteners are even worse thanks to all the fake chemicals they’re made with. To still get that sweet flavor, swap out sugar and artificial sweeteners for raw honey, or try non-GMO stevia brands.
Instead of: Regular relish
Try: Lacto-fermented relish
Ordinary store-bought relish tends to be high in sodium and sugar thanks to a vinegar-based pickling process. Exchange it for a lacto-fermented relish such as Bubbies, which will give you an extra probiotic boost thanks to the fermentation.