Eat Your Way to Feeling Better
November 13, 2015
Eat More, Lose More
November 15, 2015

Your Quick Food Substitution Guide

Whether you’re craving for more variety in your daily meals or looking for substitutes for recipe ingredients, this cheat sheet will come in handy. Print this out and stick it on your fridge door or cupboard—it’ll help you swap food for ones that have virtually equal calories and nutrients. Translation: You don’t have to worry about keeping your taste buds happy, meeting your nutritional needs, and staying on track to dropping up to two pounds a week.

Fruit Swaps

1 medium orange can be substituted with:

  • ½ grapefruit
  • ¾ cup mango pieces
  • 1 small banana
  • 1 medium apple
  • 1 medium pear
  • 1 cup melon pieces
  • 2 pieces kiwi
  • 24 pieces grapes

Vegetable Swaps

1 cup raw or ½ cup cooked spinach is equal to:

  • ¼ cup stewed tomatoes or tomato soup
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup non-starchy veggies like bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, mushroom, tomato, or zucchini
  • ½ cup cooked or 1 cup raw leafy greens like arugula, bok choy, cabbage, kale, or lettuce

Carb Swaps

1 slice wholegrain bread can be replaced with:

  • ½ cup wholegrain cereal
  • ½ cup cooked beans, corn, or peas
  • ¾ cup cooked whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, or oatmeal
  • ½ large potato
  • 1 (4-inch) wholegrain pita
  • 1 (8-inch) wholegrain tortilla

Protein Swaps

3 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast can be swapped for:

  • ¾ cup egg whites
  • ¾ cup cooked or canned beans
  • 1 whole egg plus 3 egg whites
  • 1 large chicken sausage
  • 3 oz canned crab, salmon or tuna
  • 3 oz fresh fish
  • 3 oz ground beef; pork; steak; tofu

Dairy Swaps

1 cup skim milk can be replaced with:

  • 1 cup reduced-fat cheese
  • ¾ cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1 cup calcium-fortified almond or soy milk
  • 1 part-skim string cheese

Fat Swaps

1 teaspoon olive oil is equal to:

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower or pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chopped nuts like almonds, peanuts, or pecans
  • 1 ½ tablespoons flaxseed
  • 2 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 10 pieces olives

Trisha Bautista is a freelance writer, food and product stylist, social media manager, and violin teacher. She was formerly editorial assistant and social media editor for Women’s Health Philippines, and the assistant lifestyle editor and social media editor for Cosmopolitan Philippines. She enjoys discovering easy recipe hacks, working out by herself and trying out DIY workout programs, traveling outdoors, and enjoying wine and whiskey.