1. Sweet Potatoes > White Potatoes
Sweet potatoes topple your standard starch in just about every category, as they’re jam-packed with more fiber and vitamins than white potatoes, and far fewer carbs. Also, it’s not socially acceptable to put marshmallows on regular potatoes, which should really be all the convincing you need.
2. Nutritional Yeast > Cheese
Okay, true — there isn’t much appeal in sauntering up to the counter at your local pizza joint and asking for an “extra yeast-y” pie, but a scoop of nutritional yeast gives you all the same creamy goodness of fatty cheddar, but it won’t leave you with a pair of squishy love handles after.
3. Corn Tortilla > Flour Tortilla
What makes corn such a great tag-in for your flour tortillas? Corn tortillas cut your calorie and fat intake in half, which should make that gooey, greasy taco you’re about to scarf down that much less guilt-inducing. Er, in theory, at least.
4. Bison > Beef
Not only do bison burgers pack more B vitamins than your standard six-pack of White Castle cow stacks, they’re also lower in fat and a lot more fun to say. “Bison burger!” Feels good, man.
5. Almond Milk > Milk
Almond milk is, essentially, the super-food (drink?) of the dairy-free world. It’s packed with a whole boatload of immune-buffing vitamins, magnesium and potassium, and has less than half the calories of skim*. Maybe it’s time to rethink what you drink.
6. Banana Puree > Ice Cream
I scream, you scream, nine out of ten health blogs scream for chilled banana puree as a sweet substitute for thigh-widening ice cream. It’s got that same sticky sweetness, but with no cream and no sugar to make you crash immediately after you’ve slurped down that last spoonful.
7. Americano > Latte
A smooth americano will give you the same caffeine-induced bounce in your step as your standard Starbucks latte, but with water instead of cream, it’s half as heavy at about 150 calories less, minimum, than that grande venti creme brulee mochacinno. Also, those extra Italian syllables will make you sound way more cultured to that barista you’re trying to impress. (Don’t act like you aren’t.)
8. Red Wine > White Wine
If you’re planning on staying in tonight with a good book and/or a round of terribly trashy reality TV, you should probably look into a glass or two of red wine. Full of cancer-fighting compounds and heart-strengthening antioxidants, red wine trumps white at just about every turn.
9. Brown Rice > White Rice
Okay, first things first: the last thing we want is to make some hacky “brown rice tastes like this, and white rice is all tasting like this” comparison, but the proof is in the, um, bowl of delicious rice: brown rice is jam-packed with more nutrients than a scoop of white rice, making it a healthy alternative to try next time sushi night rolls around.
10. Greek Yogurt > Sour Cream
File this one under “strange, but true.” You might not think to sub out sour cream when you’re whipping up your famous game night queso, but Greek yogurt has the same consistency and sweetness at half the fat and calories. Who knew?
*Typical skim milk has 80 calories per serving vs. 30 calories in Silk PureAlmond Unsweetened. Dairy data drawn from the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 24.