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Healthy swaps: 5 simple changes


Getting variety in your diet is key to healthy, balanced eating. The Good Food team show you how to make some simple swaps to help you mix things up a bit and make healthier choices.

Swap 1... butter for avocado

Full avocado next to a halved avocado

Swap your typical spread for mashed avocado. Avocados are a source of healthier unsaturated fat and potassium, a mineral that may help to lower blood pressure.


Try our easy recipe for avocado on toast and read more about the health benefits of avocado.

Swap 2... white sugar for date syrup

Date syrup in a jar, next to whole dates

Less refined than white sugar, date syrup is delicious on porridge or in salad dressings. For the biggest benefit, make your own by boiling dates, so that you maintain the fibre content of the whole fruit, which helps to balance blood sugar. But remember: syrups are still a form of ‘free’ sugar – the type we are advised to cut back on – so an even better swap would be to use the natural sweetness of whole fruit, such as berries, in your porridge or yogurt.

Swap 3... coffee for matcha latte

Matcha latte in a mug

Whisk antioxidant-packed matcha powder into steamed milk for a mid-afternoon boost. Matcha, made from the finely ground whole leaf of the green tea plant, contains much higher levels of antioxidants than the tea leaf infusion and its benefits seem to be optimised by combining it with dairy milk.

Swap 4... white pasta for spelt pasta

Dried pile of spelt pasta

Spelt, like wheat, is a gluten-containing grain and as such should be avoided by those with coeliac disease or non-coeliac gluten sensitivity. However, for those who can eat gluten, spelt offers a tasty alternative, adding a nutty flavour to savoury dishes. It’s a good source of vitamin B3 which is important for blood sugar balance. It's also a source of soluble fibre which helps maintain a healthy digestive tract.

Swap 5... double cream for coconut yogurt

Bowl of coconut yoghurt next to coconut halves

Coconut yogurt offers a dairy-free alternative and works well as an indulgent treat for stirring into vegetable stews and curries or topping desserts. Remember, like double cream, coconut is rich in saturated fat so should be used sparingly. Nutritional values will vary and be dependent on the brand you choose so check labels for nutritional and ingredient details.

Tried any of our healthy swaps? Do you have your own suggestions for nutritious alternatives? Let us know in the comments below...

This page was last reviewed on 4 July 2019 by Kerry Torrens.

A qualified nutritionist (MBANT), Kerry Torrens is a contributing author to a number of nutritional and cookery publications including BBC Good Food magazine. Kerry is a member of the The Royal Society of Medicine, Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT).


All health content on is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other healthcare professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local healthcare provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.

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