When a lot of people want to start eating a little healthier, sometimes the more common foods that are considered "healthy" are not always the best choice. Most likely, natural alternative foods are much more beneficial to one's health and diet than the so called healthy food options labeled as "low' "lite" "diet" or "free".
One common fat free swap out is salad dressing, which does have less calories than its full flavor counterpart, however it can have a lot more sugar- something that most of us already get enough of as it is. In this case, it is a better health alternative to grab some vinaigrette made with olive oil. In addition the fats in olive oil vinaigrette are the healthy ones that also benefit your weight. It has been found that dieters who followed a mediterranean diet rather than those who followed a lower fat diet plan actually lost more weight than the low fat dieters!
For snacks, cheese is a great flavorful treat, however some people go for the fat-free cheese when fats are what make the cheese so satisfying in the first place. In this case, grab about 1.5 ounces of cheese (about the size of six standard dice) of a soft cheese like feta or goat cheese. These soft cheeses have about 120 calories and 10 grams of fat compared to semi-hard cheeses with 165 calories and 14 grams of fat.
Another snack that I love is peanut butter, and there are a few options here, full fat peanut butter, reduced fat peanut butter, or natural peanut butter. For those who choose the reduced fat peanut buter, but the second ingredient after peanuts is corn syrup solids a.k.a. sugar. It is a better bet to just reach for the peanut butter labeled "natural style", which has the same amount of calories as diet varieties, but carries much less sugar. It does have a little more fat, but that may keep you fuller longer.
Lastly, a lot of individuals like to reach for yogurt these days as well. And there has been a big market for the "diet" and "low fat" yogurts. However, a 6 ounce sugar-free and nonfat fruit yogurt can make a nice healthy snack with 5 grams of protien as well as 80 calories. But, even better, the same amount of greek yogurt contains three times as much of the filling protein, and just 112 calories. Greek yogurt is thicker and creamier so it makes you feel more satisfied as well, adding frozen fruit makes it an even better treat!
So whenever you are looking for low, lite, or diet snacks, always keep your eyes peeled for natural alternatives because more often than not, they will have more benefits that those artificial diet foods!