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Enjoying Healthier Meal Alternatives

Darin Leonardson | posted April 08, 2013 | Bookmark and Share

Are you already working toward a more consistently healthy diet? Like many challenges, beginning the process can be the hardest part. Are you wondering how you can still eat your favorite dishes and have them be nutritious and delicious at the same time? 

Well, you’ll be glad to know that there is good news. In many cases you may just need to make a few minor tweaks to meals and you can be on your way to creating nutritious alternatives to your favorite dishes. Don’t let a healthy diet become a chore or task; instead make it fun and enjoyable by changing up recipes and trying new ideas. For an extra boost of motivation, create some magic with your menu.
Since April is National BLT Sandwich Month, National Garlic Month, and National Soy Foods Month, it’s a perfect opportunity to show you how to make meaningful changes to classic recipes. 
The Classic BLT (Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato) is perhaps one of the most loved sandwiches. It’s certainly a favorite among those who are bacon lovers and those who like to enjoy a brunch or afternoon snack. The lettuce and tomato are ingredients that can surely be considered for a healthier diet, but what about the bacon? After all, you can’t have a BLT without the crispy bacon right?
It might be surprising, but nearly 68 percent of bacon’s calories come from fat, half of which is saturated. Clearly that is not appealing from the point of nutrition. According to Self Nutrition Data, one slice of cooked pork bacon has 41 calories and 9mg of cholesterol. So how can we revise this fan favorite? Replace the pork bacon with turkey bacon which is lower in fat and cholesterol. 
Garlic - Gremolata is condiment made from garlic, minced parsley, and lemon zest that only takes about five minutes to make. It is a wonderful topping for just about anything! You can replace butter sauce that’s common in pasta with gremolata to reduce fat and sodium intake. It also helps add a tasty spice without requiring any salt. Garlic has been known to be a great immune booster, especially during the cold and flu season. And according to a recent Huffington Post article, garlic can also help reduce blood pressure, provide anti-clotting effects and give your body its needed dose of vitamins C and B6.
Strawberry ‘Soy’ Milkshake is a great alternative for anyone who possesses dairy allergies or is lactose intolerant. Soymilk is derived from plants and is the end result of soybeans being soaked, finely ground, and strained. Compared to cow’s milk, unfortified soymilk offers a good source of protein, lower carbohydrates, and no cholesterol. It also contains plant chemicals called isoflavones that help lower LDL cholesterol. By adding strawberries (that are fresh and in-season during April) you create a fresh, flavorful, and nutritious milkshake! For more detailed information on soymilk click here
Now that you have a few ideas how to alter meals to give you a nutritional advantage, it’s easy to get started on your path to healthier living. Keep in mind it’s always important to read package nutrition labels when adjusting recipes. For another healthy alternative, try our take on the classic California Chicken Cobb salad and eliminate 36% of the calories!

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