Introducing Healthy Substitutes


Family enjoying healthy eating

Incorporating healthy substitutes in your food preparation is a great way to keep a healthy and balanced diet without sacrificing taste and food pleasure. Some simple ingredient substitutions can help reduce the amount of sugar, salt, fat and calories you consume.

Replacing your staple foods for substitutes may feel foreign at first, but with time, your body will thank you, and you might even end up loving the new taste! Trying some alternatives can also help you to diversify your food routine and achieve a balanced diet – essential for providing all the nutrients that your body needs.

Take a look at this list of ingredient substitutions you can try in order to give your meals a healthy boost.

Whole-grain products

You will find plenty of whole-grain products that can serve as healthier substitutes for white bread, flour, pasta and rice. These products contain the entire grain and deliver a variety of important nutrients.

Unsweetened applesauce, pumpkin puree and mashed avocado

These options can replace butter in many recipes and meals to help reduce the amount of saturated fat you consume.

Greek yogurt

Use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Greek yogurt is naturally sour and low-fat. Squeeze some lemon into the yogurt to sneak digestion-aiding probiotics into your meals!

Ground and turkey bacon

Take a break from pork and beef and try turkey meat instead. This can help you to reduce your consumption of red meat; a step towards reducing your chances of heart health risks.

Ground turkey can be used with chili, pasta sauce and burgers. Turkey bacon can be used to replace pork bacon in many recipes, as it contains less fat and sodium than pork bacon. It is still high in saturated fat, so be moderate with the amount.

Vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon

These great ingredients are full of sweetness. Use them in combination with less the amount of sugar that you would normally use in a recipe; this way you can intensify the sweet flavour without using too much sugar.

Spinach, arugula, kale and watercress

These dark leafy greens contain important nutrients that aren’t present in watery greens like iceberg lettuce or romaine.


Avocado is a hearty alternative that provides creamy goodness and healthy fats for your heart. It can be used as a substitute for mayonnaise and butter.


Source: Based on information from Mayo Clinic and Go Red for Women.

© Cigna 2018

The information provided in this article is available for informational purpose only and should not be relied upon as medical advice. We recommend that you consult with your independent medical advisor. Any information provided in this article is not intended to be substitute for proper medical care provided by a physician. References to third-party organizations or companies, and/or their products, processes or services, do not constitute an endorsement or warranty thereof.