Swap this for that! Lunch edition

Thank you TuftsHealthPlan.com

Nearly 70% of working Americans buy their lunch instead of brown-bagging it.  Problem is, 96% of entrees at popular chain restaurants exceed the USDA’s limits for calories, sodium, and saturated fat, reports the journal Public Health Nutrition.  Making simple ingredient swaps can have a tremendous impact on the quality of your meal without sacrificing taste.  Here, dietician Megan Madden, RD, show how to easily improve your midday eats.

Lunch Makover #1:  Beef burger with lettuce, pickles, and ketchup on a bun

  1. Swap out the ground beef in this burger for skinless chicken breast for big-time savings on calories and saturated fat.
  2. Replace lettuce with washed raw spinach.  Spinach is a good source of folate, vitamin A, and vitamin K.
  3. For extra flavor but much less sugar and sodium, opt for fresh salsa instead of ketchup.
  4. If none of these swapouts will work for you this time, try to eat 1/2 of 3/4 of the burger instead of the whole thing!

Lunch Makeover #2:  Tossed salad with iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, dried cranberries, mozzarella cheese, bottled dressing

  1. Swap out: iceberg lettuce.  Swap in: romaine.
  2. Swap out:  dried cranberries.  Swap in: grapes…or pear slices, or beets for the same hint of sweetness, but fewer calories.
  3. Swap out:  bottled salad dressing.  Swap in: olive oil and lemon juice.

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