THIS OR THAT: Healthy Food Substitutions

The best way to start your journey to eating healthier is to make small changes that impact your diet in big ways. Below we listed some of our favorite ways to modify recipes to make sure they fit into our diet goals & still taste yummy!


Cauliflower Rice is the perfect substitute for rice! It is a low calorie option, provides lots of nutritional value & is versatile. PRO TIP: Cook some turkey meatballs and pair it with cauliflower rice & marinara for a healthier version of spaghetti and meatballs!

Calorie difference:
1 cup White Rice= 206 calories
1 cup Cauliflower Rice= 25 calories


Zucchini Noodles, also known as “zoodles” is a common substitute for pasta noodles. Zoodles are a great way to sneak in some extra vegetables into your diet and eliminate all those extra carbs!

1 cup cooked pasta = 221 calories & 43g carbs
1 cup Zoodles = 25 calories & 4.6g carbs


Lettuce wraps are becoming more popular! Most restaurants offer this substitution which allows you to have a lower calorie option for your sandwiches & wraps. Regular buns can leave you feeling too full and personally, I think buns overpower the sandwich sometimes! Let’s face it, you already put lettuce on your burger so it’s not THAT weird!

1 Standard Hamburger Bun = 200 calories & 50g carbs
1 Lettuce Wrap= 10 calories & 3g Carbs


Shoutout to our fitness center staff member, Susan, for coming up with this substitution! Egg this are keto, paleo, dairy, gluten & grain free! They contain 0g carbs, are only 8 calories per thin & have various flavors such as regular, cauliflower and sweet potato.

1 Flour Tortilla = 200 calories & 35g carbs
1 Crepini Egg Thin = 8 calories & 0g Carbs

Check out their website to view some awesome crepini recipes!


Unsweetened applesauce checks in at just 102 calories per cup, while the same amount of sugar measures at 774 calories. Substituting sugar for applesauce can help to drastically cut your sugar content & calories out of your favorite sweet treats. One thing to note: baking is a science so it may take some trial & error to establish the perfect amount of applesauce to create the consistency you desire.

Use in quick breads, muffins, and brownies — anything that’s thicker and more cakey. Avoid in cookies, especially recipes where you want a crunch. Sub an equal amount of applesauce for sugar, but dial back other wet ingredients — for example, use a little less water or milk, if the recipe calls for it. You can also use applesauce instead of oil to reduce fat — use the same 1:1 ratio.

If your first experiment isn’t entirely successful, don’t be discouraged. Try replacing just half of the sugar in a recipe, leaving the rest to play its usual role. Cutting even 1/2 cup of sugar saves over 300 calories and if that works, you can try a little more applesauce the next time. You’ll soon find the “sweet spot,” where the recipe still works but you’ve replaced all the sugar you can.

1 cup Sugar= 773 calories
1 cup Unsweetened Applesauce= 102 calories


Almond Flour, also known as almond meal, is made out of ….. *drum roll*….. ALMONDS! We all know that almonds provide many nutrients such as healthy fatty acids, protein, vitamins, antioxidants & minerals. Almond flour is a more nutrient dense option and the flavor is outstanding! One thing to note: calories for almond flour tend to be the same if not a little more than breadcrumbs, but the nutritional value of the almond flour far exceeds that of the traditional breadcrumbs. Not to mention the carb count is a huge difference!

1/4 cup of Almond Flour = 180 total calories & 3 grams of net carbs
1/4 cup of Breadcrumbs = 120 calories & 20.5 grams of carbs


Spaghetti squash is a very low calorie substitute to pasta noodles. It provides many nutrients such as fiber, vitamin C, manganese, and vitamin B6. The texture is similar to traditional pasta noodles and it can easily be baked, boiled, steamed, or even microwaved. It is best to be paired with: marinara sauce, pesto, parmesan, garlic & more.

1 cup pasta noodles = 221 calories & 43g carbs
1 cup spaghetti squash = 31 calories & 7g carbs


Cauliflower crust is becoming more popular and can even be found at the famous pizza joint, Donatos! Per serving, cauliflower crust typically is lower in everything-calories, carbs, protein, fat, fiber and sodium-with the biggest difference being calories, carbs and protein. Make sure to look at the nutritional label when selecting your cauliflower pizza because not all are actually healthy and instead are polluted with cheeses, sugar and more to make it taste better. Some of the best brands include: Cali’flour, Caulipower & Real Good Pizza Co.
Many brands also offer just the crust so you can select your own toppings to build you own pizza.

1 Entire Cali’flour Cheese Pizza = 520 calories & 13g carbs
1 Entire Digiornio Cheese Pizza= 680 calories & 83g carbs


Although regular milk provides a lot of nutritional value, almond milk has similar health benefits at less than half the amount of calories as regular cow’s milk. One cup of almond milk contains only 39 calories, which is 50% less calories than 1 cup of skim milk, 60% less than calories than 1 cup of 2% milk and 75% less than 1 cup of whole milk. Another health benefit of almond milk it is dairy-free, is a huge source of Calcium & Vitamin D, and it has been linked to lower risk of heart disease.

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