Healthy substitutes to improve your heart

A healthy diet doesn’t have to involve eliminating your favourite food completely - instead try your beloved recipes using these healthy substitutes.

You don’t have to stop eating your favourite food to maintain a diet that is good for the long-term health of your heart. All you have to do is swap a handful of ingredients for healthier ones.

Below are some options that will greatly help you maintain heart health. Or if you’re looking for substitutions simply because you’ve run out of a few ingredients, try this handy ingredient substitution list.

Salt

Large intakes of salt can be extremely damaging to your cardiovascular system and lead to heart disease. Most doctors will recommend an intake of less than one tablespoon per day. If you love adding salt to your food, try a splash of vinegar or a squeeze of fresh lemon instead.

Eggs

Eggs are a great source of protein but unfortunately the yolks contain high levels of cholesterol. An easy fix is to remove the yolks and consume only the whites. You can also make an egg substitution by mixing six egg whites with half a cup of nonfat milk, one teaspoon of canola oil, and four drops of yellow food colouring. You won’t know the difference.

Ground beef

Ground beef is used for making everything from burger patties to sausages and spaghetti bolognaise. All of these foods can be made healthier by swapping ground beef for lean ground turkey breast.

Chocolate

Ditch the white and milk chocolate for much healthier dark chocolate. Be sure to check that the dark chocolate is at least 70 percent cocoa to guarantee it is a healthier option.

Sour cream

You can easily make a sour cream substitute to improve your heart health by combining low fat cottage cheese and nonfat yogurt. Throw these ingredients in the blender, with some freshly chopped chives for extra flavour.

Butter

A number of butter substitutes are available, but the best choice will depend on the end use. Avocado, for example, is a healthy fat and has a very similar consistency to butter at room temperature. The subtle flavour and creaminess of avocado lends itself to a great butter substitute for baking recipes or on sandwiches and toast.

Pasta

Removing the carbs from your favourite pasta dish is easier than it sounds. Zucchini, when sliced into ribbons, works well with pasta-based favourites, including lasagna. Alternatively spaghetti squash, when roasted and pulled apart, also works as a tasty pasta substitute.

Using a healthier substitute in the recipe might not always achieve the desired result immediately. But with practice, you could be making new healthier versions of your favourite foods that your heart will thank you for.