Fitter Healthier Dad was recently asked for top 5 Healthy Food Swaps for 2021 by the UK National News Paper The Sun

Here are some really simple and really effective Healthy Food Swaps you can introduce into your diet to get 2021 off on the right foot.

In the spirit of Near Year’s resolutions, Darren has revealed his top-five healthy food swaps you can quickly and easily change in your diet this January so that you don’t feel like you are being restricted.

Fitness Guide

Healthy Food Swaps 1. Microwavable porridge swapped for rolled oats with maple syrup or cinnamon

Microwavable porridge sachets have high amounts of added refined sugar.

You can easily swap this out for Rolled Oats and add Maple Syrup or Cinnamon for sweetness. This has a low glycemic index (GI) which is good for sustained energy and lower blood sugar

Simply measure out 35g of porridge oats into a bowl, cover with water or milk/milk substitute and microwave for 1.5-2 minutes.

136 calories for 35g oats – 60 calories & 1 tbsp White sugar =196 calories total,

while 35g Rolled Oats 136 calories & 1 tbsp Maple Syrup 52 calories.

Healthy Food Swaps 2. Margarine/spreads swapped for real butter

While margarine spreads are easier to spread, they contain a lot of manufactured fats which cause inflammation affecting our overall weight and health.

Real grass-fed butter is a better alternative as it contains good healthier fats which is better for our gut and brain function.

1 tbsp of margarine spread is 102 calories, while 1 tbsp of unsalted butter 102 calories but has the benefit of healthy fats

Healthy Food Swaps 3. Pasta swapped for quinoa

Pasta has become a staple of the western diet, however, it’s a fast-releasing carbohydrate.

This means that as we move less, we aren’t using the fuel that the fast metabolising carbohydrates provide, so try swapping pasta with quinoa.

Quinoa is cooked the same way as pasta, but is also a Low GI carbohydrate and also contains protein which is great for feeling fuller for longer.


1 cup of Pasta 221 calories, but 1 cup of Quinoa 170 calories

Healthy Food Swaps 4. Milk chocolate swapped for dark chocolate (70% cocoa)

With its high content of cocoa, dark chocolate has been linked to many health benefits like reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and reducing blood pressure.

Dark chocolate contains 50 to 90 per cent cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and sugar, whereas milk chocolate contains anywhere from 10 to 50 per cent cocoa solids.

Cocoa is rich in plant chemicals called flavonoids that may help to protect the heart. Dark chocolate contains up to 2-3 times more flavanol-rich cocoa solids than milk chocolate.

Always choose brands with 70 per cent or more cocoa content.

Instead of buying one big bar, buy smaller bars and just limit yourself to small amounts each day, rather than consuming a whole 100g bar.

dark chocolate

Dark chocolate per serving (28 g) has 136 calories, while milk chocolate per serving (28g) has 150 calories.

Healthy Food Swaps 5. White potatoes swapped for sweet potatoes

White potato has become the staple of our diets – it is a carbohydrate which our bodies need, but it has a high glycemic index so it gets converted to sugar for use as energy very quickly, and our bodies can’t process it all.

This means that the excess gets stored as fat.

A really good alternative is sweet potato which is much lower in calories and it’s a low GI carbohydrate, releasing slower into the bloodstream over a longer period of time.

They are great roasted in the oven with a small amount of olive oil or mashed with real butter.

sweet potato

One serving of white potatoes 280 calories and 1 Serving of sweet potatoes 114 calories


These are some really Healthy Food Swaps which you can very easily put into your diet.

There is one more thing to consider and that is Calories is just one of many measurements in a balanced healthy diet and as individuals, we need to ensure we are getting a nutritiously balanced diet.

Check out this article regarding diets for men