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Food swap ideas

Making better food choices, whether to lose weight or improve your health, can be as simple as making some healthy food swaps.

There might be several areas of your diet you are thinking about changing. Our food quiz will show you which areas of your eating you might want to change first.

We know that sometimes it can be helpful to 'swap' a food item you regularly eat for something a little healthier, rather than cut it out altogether.

Below we have listed some ideas for 'swaps' that may be helpful for you. Some suggestions you may have thought of before but may not have tried.

You may want to think about including a swap idea in your healthy eating goal that you set yourself this week.

Try swapping these foods for healthier alternatives

Starchy foods (carbohydrates)

  • White bread - swap for granary bread, wholemeal pittas, chapattis made with wholemeal flour
  • Breakfast cereals - swap for porridge, yoghurt with fruit, wholegrain cereal (with no added sugar and not sugar coated, such as Weetabix, muesli, Fruit 'n' Fibre)
  • Roast potatoes - swap for new potatoes or sweet potatoes
  • Mashed potato - swap for mashed sweet potato, carrot, swede or butternut squash
  • White pasta or rice - swap for wholemeal versions, quinoa, couscous
  • Deep-fried chips - swap for a jacket potato or oven or air-fried versions


Meat, fish and alternatives

  • Red meat - swap for chicken, turkey, oily fish or Quorn
  • Beef mince - swap for pork, turkey or Quorn mince
  • Baked beans - swap for low sugar and salt versions
  • Crumbed or battered fish - swap for white fish not in crumbs or batter or oily fish
  • Fried egg - swap for poached egg or scrambled whites



  • Cream - swap for natural yoghurt, skimmed or semi-skimmed milk
  • Butter - swap for margarine or honey
  • Cheese - swap for low fat versions, cottage cheese, quark


Oils, spreads and condiments

  • Full-fat mayo - swap for low-fat versions, mustard, vinaigrette, balsamic vinegar
  • Salt - swap for garlic, herbs


Snacks high in fat or sugar

  • Ice cream - swap for vegan or dairy free ice cream or sorbet
  • Shortcrust pastry - swap for a lower fat alternative or filo pastry
  • Desserts (general) - swap for yoghurt, tinned or fresh fruit, baked apple or steamed pear
  • Crisps - swap for pretzels, unbuttered popcorn, unsalted nuts, crispbread, crackers, crudites (raw vegetables), vegetable crisps, rice cakes
  • Chocolate bar - swap for granola bar, fruit, or a bar high in cocoa content
  • Nuts (peanuts, cashews) - swap for dried fruit


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