07 healthy substitutions

Chapter 4: Health food substitutions

Simple swaps on your menu can upgrade your dishes in a nutritious way. Some alternatives may mean finding better products, while others mean using your current ingredients differently. You can find plenty of healthy food alternatives that enhance flavor and fill your customer’s plates with delicious and nutritious food that makes them feel good. Check out these healthy substitutes for your menu.

Brown Rice Over White Rice

White rice has fewer nutrients and fiber than brown rice. This simple rice switch can make a big difference in your dishes and make your consumers feel more satiated. Brown rice also has magnesium, which can help control blood sugar levels.

Applesauce Over Oil

Instead of using oil for your baked goods and sweet treats, you can use applesauce. This substitution is an excellent way to reduce calories while keeping a consistent flavor and texture. Be sure to use unsweetened applesauce in your recipes. Sometimes, you can use applesauce instead of sugar, eggs or butter.

Egg Whites Over Whole Eggs

Eggs are full of protein, but skipping the yolk can help give your customers more health benefits. Egg yolks have fat and cholesterol, while the whites contain significantly fewer calories and are pure protein. Swapping to the whites can lower the fat and calories in your dishes while still providing flavor. If you use this method, use two egg whites for each egg in your recipe.

Whole Wheat Flour Over White Flour

Whole wheat flour is made of whole grains, which are more beneficial than white flour. You can use both flour types equally, so you don’t have to modify your recipes. You can also mix half white and half whole wheat flour in your recipes to use up your excess white stores.

Lean Meats Over Fatty Meats

Lean meats have fewer saturated fats than fatty meats. By choosing leaner cuts for burgers, meatloaf, meatballs and chili, you can keep your guests’ plates full of delicious meals while reducing the components that can cause health issues.

Low-Fat Milk Over Cream

Creams can increase the risk of high cholesterol because they contain a lot of saturated fats. Swapping for low-fat products can reduce these risks and still create the desired texture for your meals. Use these healthy alternative foods in soups and sauces to reduce fat and calories.

Fresh Spices Over Salt-Based Spices and Herbs

Many salt-based herbs and spices have more sodium than people need. Using fresh herbs and spices will ensure your dishes still have all the flavor without the extra salt.

08 herbs

Low-Fat Cheese Over Full-Fat Cheese

This tip is similar to the low-fat milk tip we listed above. Swapping full-fat dairy products for low-fat alternatives is an excellent way to keep your guests full without sacrificing their health. In many cases, you can’t tell the difference between the two, and your guests will love their classic meals all the same.

Grilled Chicken Over Fried Chicken

You may have some crispy chicken meals on your menu, but breading and frying chicken adds fats and calories from oils and can contribute to weight gain.

Grilled chicken loses fat as it cooks, making it an even healthier protein source. Additionally, cooking chicken this way provides zinc, potassium, iron and magnesium, so your guests can enjoy a flavorful dish with added health benefits.

Lettuce Wraps Over Buns and Tortillas

One of the quickest ways to cut calories is by swapping bread for lettuce wraps. Lettuce has far fewer carbs and sodium and is better for digestion. You can update your menu by offering tacos, burritos, burgers, quesadillas and wraps on lettuce or in lettuce cups instead of a starchy alternative.

Add These Substitutions to Your Restaurant Menu

The substitutions you choose for your meals should enhance flavor, and you can find great alternatives from San-J. Contact us to learn more about using these substitutions in your menu. For inspiration on using these alternatives, check out our recipes and keep reading to discover great salad and food bowl ideas.