12 Food Swaps For Lower Calories

12 Food Swaps For Lower Calories

Swap That for This !

Swap that -> for THIS!

Everything comes at a cost, so does food! Apart from a price tag, food comes at a calorie tag. Just like Euro/USD/GBP, the monetary unit is in Calories. A Calorie is a unit of energy that a food or drink provides.

Losing weight is a simple logical mathematical system;

Calorie surplus = weight gain Calorie deficit = weight loss

Simply swapping foods that are costing you too many calories, with something at a lower caloric cost, will automatically minimise your daily calorie intake. The overall aim is to avoid being in a surplus on a daily basis, preventing weight gain.

Apart from calories, sugar similarly merits a watchful eye, primarily because high sugar consumption leads to an increase in the process called lipogenesis - this is the pathway by which excess sugar in our bodies is turned into and stored as fat (adipose tissue/ liver fat). So even in the event of containing equal amounts of calories, if one has less sugar than the other, opt for the food item containing the least amount. Excess sugar will be stored as fat and provide only empty calories that won’t keep your satiety happy for long. WHO recommends keeping your daily sugar consumption to 25gr or less.

Here are my 12 recommendations for healthier food swaps;

1. Crisps -> Homemade Popcorn


Crisps Homemade popped popcorn
487 kcal/100gr 376 kcal/100gr

2. Softdrinks -> Infused Water


Softdrinks Infused Water
48 kcal/100ml 0 kcal/100ml
12gr sugar/100ml 0gr sugar/100ml

3. Crackers -> Carrot Sticks


Crackers Carrot Sticks
497 kcal/100gr 34 kcal/100gr

4. Icecream -> Frozen Yoghurt


Icecream Frozen Yoghurt
267 kcal/100ml 126 kcal/100ml
22gr sugar/100ml 2.5gr sugar/100ml

5. Breakfast Cereal -> Oats


Breakfast Cereal Oats
376 kcal/100gr 374 kcal/100gr
25gr sugar/100gr 0.3gr sugar/100gr

6. Cocktails -> Wine


Cocktail on Avg. Wine Red/White
250 kcal/100ml 75 kcal/100ml
22gr sugar/100ml 0.5gr sugar/100ml

7. Beef Mince -> Turkey Mince


Beef mince Turkey mince
225 kcal/100gr 130 kcal/100gr

8. Mayo/Store-bought Dips -> Hummus


Mayo/ Store-bought Dips on Avg. Hummus
687 kcal/100gr 198 kcal/100gr

9. Butter -> Applesauce


Swap butter in your cake batter with applesauce. As a bonus, applesauce not only comes with fewer calories but also natural sweetnees allowing you to reduce the amount of sugar that needs to be added to your batter.

Butter Applesauce
745kcal/100gr 81/kcal/100gr

10. Doughnut -> Protein Bar


Doughnut Protein bar
322 kcal/100gr 328 kcal/100gr
20gr sugar/100gr 3.4gr sugar/100gr

My favourite protein bar is from the Grenade range. It does not only hold the best macro ratio with a whooping 20gr of protein per bar but also tastes great just like a regular chocolate-caramel bar!

Check out this link to get yours Amazon UK/Amazon DE/Amazon IT

11. Juices -> Fresh Fruit


Store-bought fruit juice Freshly squeezed fruit juice
47 kcal/100ml 34 kcal/100ml
9.2gr sugar/100ml 7.9gr sugar/100ml

12. Chocolate Candy Bar -> 85% Dark Chocolate


Regular chocolate candy bar 85% dark chocolate
505 kcal/100gr 610 kcal/100gr
44gr sugar/100gr 14gr sugar/100gr

Although the swap points towards a higher calorie option, bear in mind that you are more likely to consume a whole chocolate candy bar (approx. 60gr) as opposed to dark chocolate, where one is more likely to have a small square, thus still cosuming far fewer calories. Also notice the huge difference in sugar content, with the chocolate candy bar having 3 times as much sugar when compared to the same amount of dark chocolate.

Go ahead, try these swaps and let me know how it went through my contact page! Would love to hear your feedback!

Rebecca Micallef Dalli
Rebecca Micallef Dalli Member of the British Dietetic Association (SENR Registered), MSc. in Exercise and Nutrition Science. SENR Graduate Registrant
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