Calories in Food

Calories: Healthy Food Swaps


Weight loss is more than just “calories in- calories out.” The types of calories you consume are metabolized differently and provide varying amounts of nutrients (i.e. 200 calories of nuts provides healthy fats, fiber and protein to keep you satisfied through the morning much more than 200 calories of potato chips, which provide unhealthy fats, carbohydrates and little else).

For healthy weight maintenance and overall health, we do need to be mindful about what we’re putting into our bodies.

Here are some easy, healthy swaps:

  • Instead of mayo in your chicken salad or sour cream on your taco, use plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt. This skips the saturated fat and adds protein and calcium. Plain, unsweetened coconut milk works as a dairy free option. It doesn’t have as much protein, but it does provide calcium and eliminates unhealthy fats.
  • Instead of whole wheat pasta, chose lentil or black bean pasta. Rather than 4g of fiber and 7.5g protein, you’ll get 12g of fiber and 25 g of plant-based protein. Talk about a satisfying vegetarian option!
  • Instead of potatoes in your potato salad, stew, mashed potatoes, etc, swap half of the potatoes for rutabaga or celery root (celeriac). Boiling the rutabaga takes away the bitter flavor and celery root has a natural mildly sweet flavor. Both, when peeled, cut, and boiled, yield the same texture with far fewer carbohydrates and more fiber.
  • Calories and Food!

    Calories and Food!

    Instead of turning baked goods into “gut-bombs,” swap half the amount of butter with mashed avocado ( ½ cup butter = 813 calories but ½ cup avocado = 184 calories). Avocado yields a moist, silky end-product high in Vitamin E and healthy fats. It also works as a decadent butter substitute in frosting recipes

All of these save you, “empty calories” and add nutritional value to your meal without compromising the flavor or texture.

Healthy-eating doesn’t have to be boring!


Danielle Sikorski

Danielle is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Personal Trainer residing in Anchorage, Alaska. She received her B.S. in Nutrition, Dietetics and Foods Science from California State University at Northridge. As an athlete, Danielle was initially drawn to Nutrition because she desired to learn how to best fuel her body for optimal performance. However, after becoming a Dietitian, her focus has broadened. After a Lyme and autoimmune disease diagnosis, she has learned the role that food can play in healing the body. She now works with clients with a variety of goals ranging from sports performance, Food Intolerance, Autoimmune, to Weight loss.




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