Yes, you want to eat better. But a complete dietary overhaul seems like a full-time job -- one you just don't have the energy to take on. Instead, replace a few key items with healthier options, and focus on what you're adding to your diet -- not on what you're losing.
Baked, roasted, or mashed, sweet potatoes offer all the comfort-food satisfaction of white potatoes -- but with much more nutrition. One medium sweet potato delivers more than a day's worth of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), plus 57 percent more fiber and 55 percent more vitamin C than white potatoes. Rich and moist, they taste great -- even without loads of butter or sour cream.
You know that iceberg lettuce is no nutritional star, but you love its crunch in salads, sandwiches, and tacos. Next time you shop, reach for romaine lettuce instead. It has the same crisp texture as iceberg but more than three times the folate and seven times the vitamin A, as well as more potassium and vitamins C and K. Like other leafy greens, romaine is rich in carotenoids, which studies show may inhibit the growth of certain cancers.
You can reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and weight gain by eating more whole grains. A good rule of thumb is to make at least half your grains whole.
For baking, keep a container of whole-wheat flour next to your all-purpose flour and use equal amounts of each.You'll get almost three times the fiber, as well as important antioxidants.
Try the swap and see what you think; if you don't like the results, consider white whole-wheat flour, which offers the same benefits but is made from a milder-tasting variety of wheat.
Plain whole-milk yogurt may sound like an indulgence, but compared with sour cream, it's downright spartan. Cup for cup, whole-milk yogurt has less than half the calories and one-third the total and saturated fat of reduced-fat sour cream, yet it boasts 16 percent more calcium. Use it in baked goods, dips, and as a garnish instead of sour cream. Stick with whole-milk versus low-fat or fat-free yogurt; you won't feel like you're sacrificing flavor for health. Just don't go overboard (think teaspoon, not ladle).