A Beginner’s Guide to Alternative Foods

a beginner's guide to alternative foods

With the normalization of the fast-paced modern lifestyle, nutrition has ceased to assume the importance it once held. A lot of it also has to do with the fact that there is a severe lack of information about the nutritional values of foods. People are generally clueless about what to eat, and usually choose what seems most convenient. As a result of this, a lot of fast food companies monetized on this opportunity and took advantage of this weak link. The result is what we see all around us today - several billion-dollar businesses built by exploiting the public's health and lack of awareness. Luckily, there’s been a rise in the number of people opting for healthier alternatives over the past decade. Although this change took time, people are finally starting to address their health, and we’re here to help with that process. 

Making a switch in your eating habits is not easy, though. Several problems surround this change, from taste to availability. However, one thing that has improved immensely about alternative foods is their availability. Unlike the foods consumed when following a particular diet, alternative foods can be availed easily, all around you. 

So here’s a list of alternative foods to try if you’re a beginner hoping to make the switch:

  • Whole grains instead of refined carbs
  • One of the most basic switches could be opting for whole grains instead of refined carbohydrates. This includes brown bread, brown rice, oats, millets, etc. The basic idea is to get rid of everything white, most of which contains low nutritional value. Switching to alternative foods means consuming more nutritionally dense food. Switching to whole grains is an effortless option. Whole grains are as easily available as refined grains. So, why not choose the healthier option?

  • Natural sweeteners instead of refined sugar
  • Who isn’t aware of the absolute havoc that refined sugar can wreak on your body? Many irregularities people face in their bodies are because of sugar. We do understand that giving up sugar is almost impossible. The good news is that you don’t have to give up sweets or compromise on your sweet tooth. Just like everything else, even sweetness occurs in nature. Yes, we’re talking about honey, maple syrup, and fruits. Unlike refined sugars, natural sweeteners also carry a lot of nutritional value. If you don’t fancy the above options, you can always opt for jaggery and brown sugar, as well.

  • Plant-based milk and alternative dairy products
  • Ethical and environmental concerns have surrounded dairy products for quite some time now. Consuming dairy replenishes the body with several nutrients, no doubt. However, dairy products have also been found to do more harm than good, be it environmentally or to our bodies. This becomes especially true when people suffer from health conditions that require them to cut down on dairy. And, we haven’t even mentioned the fact that close to 65% of the world has some form of reduced tolerance to dairy!  A wonderful alternative to animal milk is plant-based milk like almond milk, coconut milk, hemp milk, oat milk, and more. Other dairy products have their alternatives too, like tofu in place of cottage cheese, plant-based cheese or yeast in place of cheese, and more. 

    Take the alternative route for yourself 

    Switching to alternative foods isn’t as daunting a task as it seems to be. Remember that the basic change begins with your mindset. Once that’s in place, there are more than enough options out there to help you make the switch for good. Happy eating!