Substitutes for Better Health
By now most Americans know in order to live a longer, more productive life they need to exercise regularly and make healthy food choices. Those who have been diagnosed with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) especially should make these changes. However, most find that knowing what they are supposed to do and implementing those changes are two very different things.
One easy way to make better food choices is to substitute healthier ingredients into the recipes you already use. Items like avocado, applesauce, and prune puree can be substituted for fats such as butter, margarine, or shortening. And if you don’t like the flavor with a complete substitution, try substituting half of the original ingredient. This way you are still reducing the amount of saturated or trans fats you are consuming and increasing your intake of nutrients and good fats.
But fats are not the only things you can substitute in a recipe. Another easy substitution to make your meals healthier is to substitute whole grain bread and pasta for white bread and pasta. Substitute natural peanut butter (with ingredients of only peanuts and sometimes salt) for peanut butter that has added sugar, corn syrup, and trans fats. Creamy salad dressings can be substituted with olive oil and vinegar, flavored vinegar, or fat-free versions of the original.
This recipe for Avocado Chicken Salad is one example of how you can make a couple of small changes to your everyday recipe in order to make it a healthier choice:
- ½ pound rotisserie chicken
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 medium granny smith apple, chopped
- 1 medium avocado, mashed
- ½ cup plain fat-free yogurt
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
Mix all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to eat. This makes approximately 6 servings and if you eat it on whole grain bread with a side of fruit you have a delicious and healthy lunch.
As you can see, this recipe substitutes a combination of fat-free yogurt and avocado for mayonnaise. If you are an adventurous spirit, experiment with different substitutions. You may create a new family favorite that is healthier than the original.
Making healthy choices isn’t always easy, however, with the help of your vascular health provider and the guidance of a registered dietitian you will find the support you need to live a healthier life.