It’s National Nutrition Month! To celebrate, Sheila Mulhern, RD, an outpatient dietitian at Adventist HealthCare shares four easy food swaps that can help you eat healthier.

Portion sizes are a common nutrition pitfall when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight and controlling blood sugar levels. And good nutrition is vital to keeping a healthy weight and reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

For some foods, the recommended portion is much smaller than what you would typically eat. Try these creative alternatives to shakeup your diet when portion control gets tough! They can help with overall health and reaching nutrition goals.

Vanilla extract or cinnamon for sugar

Sweetened beverages and coffee drinks can be filled with calories and sugar. This cuts down on the carbohydrates you can consume during meals to keep a healthy diet. Using natural ingredients like cinnamon or vanilla extract, instead of sugar, can sweeten your latte while leaving room in your diet for fruit and nuts in your morning oatmeal!

“Spiralized” zucchini or spaghetti squash for white pasta

The amount of pasta on the typical American’s plate is often double the recommended serving – leading to over-consumption of carbs. Carbs are a necessary part of our diet, but eating too much carb-heavy food can lead to weight gain.

Replacing pasta with “spiralized” zucchini noodles (zoodles) or spaghetti squash serves as a healthy alternative to fill more of your plate. You can find inexpensive kitchen gadgets like handheld spiralizers at home-goods stores or pre-prepared “zoodles” at many grocery stores.

Riced cauliflower or broccoli for plain white rice

Swapping out the rice for riced cauliflower is a great way to increase your serving size while saving on carbs and calories. You can prepare riced cauliflower using a food processor or blender. This swap can help for weight management or make more room for another healthy carbohydrate source. Cauliflower is also full of vitamin C, vitamin B-6, magnesium and calcium.

Plain Greek yogurt for sour cream

Using Greek yogurt can lend itself as a healthy replacement of sour cream in a variety of ways. It boosts protein intake while lowering overall calories and fat. This is a great sour cream substitute from burritos and bake potatoes to baked goods and dips. Two tablespoons of regular sour cream has 60 calories and 5 grams of fat, while two tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt has only 25 calories and 1.1 grams of fat!

Want more advice from a registered dietitian? Call 301-891-6105 to make an appointment.

A healthy diet is one way to reduce diabetes risk! For National Nutrition Month, find out if you’re at risk by taking our fast, FREE online diabetes health risk assessment.

Sheila Mulhern, RD

Sheila Mulhern, RD

Outpatient Registered Dietitian

Sheila is a registered dietitian for Adventist HealthCare’s Outpatient Nutrition & Diabetes program.

Experiencing symptoms of diabetes or have risk factors? Calculate your risk of developing the disease.