By Liz Applegate, Ph.D.
1.SWAP IN Dark beer SWAP OUT Light beer
Darker brews may have a few more calories per bottle than lighter versions, but in general they have far more antioxidants from the wheat and other grains used to make them. Limit your consumption to one or two servings per occasion.
2.SWAP IN: Omega-3 eggs SWAP OUT: Standard eggs
The Omega-3 fats in these enhanced eggs boost immunity, protect against Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, and cancer, and may lessen symptoms of depression.
3.SWAP IN: Olive-oil dressing SWAP OUT: Creamy dressing
Top your salad with an olive-oil dressing instead of creamy blue cheese or ranch and save about 90 calories per two tablespoons. A reduced-fat olive-oil dressing saves a whopping 120 calories per serving.
4.SWAP IN: Mustard, low-sodium soy sauce, salsa SWAP OUT: Ketchup and mayonnaise: Condiments like mayonnaise and ketchup add unwanted calories and sodium to your foods. Minimize calories while adding flavor and nutrition with mustard (ground style) and salsa, which contain antioxidants, and low-sodium soy sauce.
5.SWAP IN: Organic fat-free milk SWAP OUT: 2% milk
Eight ounces of fat-free milk saves you more than 30 calories and four grams of fat over two percent milk. Organic milk can help you avoid trace amounts of chemicals and hormones.
6.SWAP IN: Kefir SWAP OUT: Yogurt
Yogurt is a great source of calcium but often comes with lots of sugar and without healthy live bacteria. Try Kefir, a low-fat liquid yogurt with extra live cultures to boost immunity.
7.SWAP IN: Pomegranate or cranberry juice and club soda SWAP OUT: Sugary fruit drinks: Try club soda mixed 1:1 with a 100-percent fruit juice like pomegranate or cranberry—both of which are loaded with the powerful cancer fighters anthocyanidins—to save 50 calories per serving over a sugary fruit drink.
8.SWAP IN: Natural peanut butter and fruit spread SWAP OUT: Standard peanut butter and jelly: Look for a "natural-style" peanut butter that has ground peanuts, salt, and nothing more. Pair it with a real fruit spread that lists fruit as the first ingredient with no added sugar (corn syrup, sucrose, or high-fructose corn syrup).
9.SWAP IN: Roasted chicken SWAP OUT: Deli meats
Buy a roasted chicken or turkey breast from the deli (without the skin) and use it instead of high fat pastrami, salami, and other deli meats. If you store it in the meat/cheese drawer, it will stay fresh for one week.
10.SWAP IN: Part-skim mozzarella or feta cheese SWAP OUT: Brie or cheddar
Brie and cheddar are loaded with saturated fat and calories. Make the switch to feta cheese or part-skim mozzarella and save about 30 calories and five grams of fat per ounce.
11.SWAP IN: Trans-fat-free spread SWAP OUT: Butter
Butter has seven grams of saturated fat per tablespoon, while margarine contains trans fats. Still, use a trans-fat-free spread sparingly since it has some fat and calories.
12.SWAP IN: Sweet potatoes or red-skin potatoes SWAP OUT: White potatoes
Potatoes with colorful flesh and skins contain more antioxidants than their pale counterparts. Select small potatoes to control portion size, and eat the skin for extra fiber.
13.SWAP IN: Whole-grain pasta SWAP OUT: Refined pasta
Fresh whole-grain pasta contains more health-boosting antioxidants and fiber (to fill you up) than refined versions.
14.SWAP IN: Berries, kiwi, melon SWAP OUT: Green grapes
All fruits are great, but when you're watching your weight it pays to eat fruits that are lower in calories and higher in fiber.
15.SWAP IN: Canadian bacon SWAP OUT: Bacon
Compared with traditional bacon, Canadian bacon has twice the protein and half the fat per serving.
16.SWAP IN: Ground turkey SWAP OUT: Ground beef
Cut 10 to 20 grams of fat per three-ounce serving by substituting ground turkey (white meat) for ground beef.
17.SWAP IN: Baby romaine lettuce and spinach SWAP OUT: Iceberg lettuce
Iceberg lettuce offers little nutrition, while young romaine and spinach leaves are rich in carotenes and other phytochemicals.
18.SWAP IN: Snow peas, peppers, radishes SWAP OUT: Carrots and celery
Carrots and celery are a good start, but add peppers for vitamin C, snow peas for the electrolyte potassium, and radishes, which contain compounds that protect muscles.
19.SWAP IN: Whole-grain bread SWAP OUT: White bread
Whole-grain has more antioxidants and fiber (three to four grams per one-ounce slice) than its white counterpart.
20.SWAP IN: Low-carb tortillas SWAP OUT: White-flour tortillas
White-flour tortillas pack 150 calories and zero fiber. Low-carb versions offer eight grams of fiber for just 90 calories.