Healthy Swaps for Common Foods

Updated:Feb 2,2015

teenagers cooking healthy in kitchenHealthy home cooking and smart shopping puts you in control of what goes into your recipes and your body.

Follow these healthy guidelines to update your eating style and improve your nutrition profile.

  • Cut down on saturated and trans fats by choosing nontropical vegetable oils instead of foods rich in saturated fat or trans fat for cooking. These oils contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Check the Nutrition Facts label and avoid foods with hydrogenated oils.
     
  • Buy low-sodium versions of common canned recipe ingredients like tuna, beans, tomatoes and other vegetables. If you can’t find low-sodium or “no salt added,” rinse the contents in a colander under water to wash away some of the salt.
     
  • Choose canned fruits packed in juice rather than syrup.
     
  • Use nonstick cooking spray instead of greasing bakeware with butter or shortening. And use it in skillets instead of butter for cooking.
     
  • Make your own salad dressings by mixing healthier kitchen oils (such as olive oil) with vinegar and herbs. You can also make healthier version of your favorite creamy dressings by blending low-fat sour cream or cottage cheese and low-fat buttermilk and adding fresh herbs like dill, tarragon or chives.
     
  • Look for whole grains and lower sodium when you buy things like bread, crackers, and snacks.
      
  • Choose poultry and fish and limit red meat. Always look for leaner pieces and trim away skin and visible fat before cooking.

Article copyright © 2015 American Heart Association. This recipe is brought to you by the American Heart Association's Simple Cooking with Heart © Program. For more articles and simple, quick and affordable recipes, visit heart.org/simplecooking.

 

Last reviewed 1/2015