6 Simple Substitutions to Up the Health Factor of Your Favorite Foods

3 minute read

By Emily Reid

Sneaking some additional health benefits into your favorite foods is a recent trend. Whether it’s avocado chocolate pudding or black bean brownies, there’s a healthier version of your favorites. Start a search today to find healthy substitutes.

Cutting down the sugar in a recipe or substituting a few ingredients here and there can help make your food just a tiny bit better for you. We’ve tracked down 6 simple substitutions that you can use to up the health factor of your favorite foods.

Whole Wheat Flour

Switching out your plain white flour for whole wheat flour will add some benefit to your baked goods. This little swap works for almost anything you can think of, so use it for cookies, breads, cakes, and more. Whole wheat flour adds fiber which can aid digestion and help lower the risk of heart disease. With all of the other ingredients and flavors of your baking, you won’t even notice this sneaky switch.

Egg Whites

For recipes that call for more than one egg, try swapping out one of the yolks for an extra egg white. Egg yolks contain more than half of the recommended daily cholesterol for an adult, so anytime you use two yolks you’re hitting your max. Egg whites pack a lot of protein, so you can lower your cholesterol intake and double your protein by swapping out an egg yolk for two egg whites.


Oatmeal is a classic choice for a warm and comforting breakfast, but there is an easy substitute that offers more nutrition and protein for the same flavor. Quinoa makes a great sub for oats since it has a similar grain texture and can adapt the flavor of whatever toppings you’d normally put in oatmeal. Add fruit, nuts, peanut butter, coconut milk, or other ingredients to get a delicious flavor but use cooked quinoa instead of oats. You can even make them the night before and make a Pinterest-worthy overnight oat recipe using healthy quinoa instead.

Skim Milk

Whether in your cereal, your coffee, a cake recipe, or anything else you use milk for, skim milk makes a great substitution for whole milk of 2%. Skim milk has less fat and lower calories but the same amount of protein. You can keep the healthy factor of protein and calcium but ditch the extra calories. If you need to keep the cream in your coffee, then try making this switch for recipes where you won’t notice the difference. Mac and cheese, pasta dishes, oatmeal, and any baked goods will have enough flavor that you won’t taste the switch but you’ll still save the calories.


This surprising switch can be used in place of butter, sugar, or oil in many baking recipes. Your favorite cookies, cakes, brownies, or other treats can get an added dose of vitamins and fiber from apples while lowering the sugar and fat content. Applesauce is naturally sweet from the fruit and the consistency is similar to oil used in baking, so make the swap for a healthier treat that you can enjoy.

Protein Powder

You can add extra protein to just about anything with a scoop or two of your favorite protein powder. In your morning shake you can add a scoop, or mix some in with your latest batch of cookies. Adding a little protein powder to baked goods will give them a healthy boost without altering the flavor or formula. If you’re worried about it making your mix too dry or stiff then you can use a little less flour to even it out. With flavors like chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry available you can find a powder that will blend in with whatever you’re making. Even a quarter cup will add a pinch of protein to whatever you make.

Emily Reid