Today it’s, “Eat this, not that!” – only for it to be the exact opposite about two seconds later. Le sigh.
With the science and research around food constantly evolving, it makes sense that new information will pop up from regularly.
However, sometimes that information sticks and it doesn’t always tell the whole story, especially when it comes to healthy food swaps.
So, to cut through all the confusion, we consulted Accredited Practicing Dietitian Marika Day to crack down on some long-standing “healthy” food swaps that aren’t as healthy as we’ve been led to believe:
Olive Oil for Coconut Oil
While coconut oil has been a health trend for several years, olive oil is still the hero oil.
Coconut oil has been associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease while the research for olive oil has remained consistently strong for being cardio-protective.
Coffee for Bulletproof Coffee
Think adding MCTs and butter to your coffee makes for a healthy alternative? Not so much my friend.
There is no evidence to suggestion bulletproof coffee is healthy for us and diets high in saturated fats are linked with increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Many bulletproof coffees can also contain up to 500 calories in a drink – that is almost as much as a Big Mac!
Potato Chips for Sweet Potato Chips
Swapping your potato chippies for sweet potato fries isn’t the healthy swap you might believe it to be. Both sweet potato and regular potato chips are high in fats and calories.
If you are going to eat chips, eat in moderation and just choose your favorite variety, neither is healthier than the other. NOTE: I was really rooting for the Sweet Potato version here……
Regular Ice Cream for Dairy Free Ice Cream
You would be forgiven for thinking swapping your Ben and Jerry’s for the dairy free variety is a healthy swap.
Unfortunately, dairy free ice cream still contains large amounts of sugar. Furthermore, many dairy free ice creams can be higher in fat and higher in calories than the dairy equivalent, due to the addition of coconut milk or coconut cream. NOTE: I accidentally picked up “fat free” ice cream last week…..it was like eating paper towels and tape………sorry, but absolutely true. Never ever skimp on this item…..if you make the choice to eat ice cream, get ice cream!
Pasta for Gluten Free Pasta
Swapping your gluten containing pasta for a gluten free variety might be doing more harm than good. Many gluten free pastas are low in fiber and high Glycemic Index.
If you need to use a gluten free pasta the new pulse pastas made from lentils and legumes are a great alternative otherwise wholewheat or spelt pasta are great for those that can tolerate gluten.
What swaps have you made to try to make your diet healthier? How is it working?