Yes, These 8 Healthy Food Swaps Are Actually Achievable

You know you should eat better, but turning good intentions into sustainable healthy habits can be tough in practice. Between juggling a career, relationships, and family, making smart choices for your health and well-being can quickly drop on your priority list. So what separates a temporary diet from a sustainable healthy eating plan?

According to Patricia Bannan, registered dietician and author of Eat Right When Time Is Tight, the key is making micro, rather than macro changes. Instead of depriving yourself of the food you love, she recommends focusing on a few small swaps. By ditching key ingredients that are devoid of nutrients and replacing them with healthier alternatives, you can quickly improve your favorite dishes without making drastic changes. 

Forget fad diets: These small food swaps are just as effective, says a dietitian. 

Ditch: Iceberg Lettuce
Try: Kale

Granted, salads are often a healthy option, but Bannan says there’s a way to add even more nutrients into your favorite bowl: Go darker. Surprisingly, not all salad greens are nutritionally equal, and Bannan says color provides clues about their health score. “While iceberg lettuce is sort of green, it doesn’t offer much in the way of nutrition,” she says.

Instead, “Choose darker greens like spinach or kale, which provide iron, magnesium, folate, and vitamins A and C.” Tired of ubiquitous kale? Toss mustard greens and Swiss chard into your dish to experiment with a different flavor profile.

Try it tonight: Autumn Kale Salad With Fennel, Honeycrisp, and Goat Cheese

Have you tried any of these healthy food swaps? Tell us if you’ve been able to sustain it!