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Eat this, not that: healthy alternatives

by Freya 8 minutes read

Last updated: 11 Jul, 2022

Eating healthy doesn't need to be hard, and you don’t need to get rid of your favourite meals.

Swapping some ingredients and snacks for healthier alternatives/low calorie foods can make eating healthy easy, and you won't even notice.

Let’s begin by looking at some healthy snack alternatives.


You don't need to cut out crisps completely, there are a range of crisps that are under 100 calories, making them a great snack to keep your calorie intake low.

Swap out your Mccoys (253 cals), Doritos (150 calories), and pringles (279 cals) for something with less calories and still get the same enjoyment!

Some low calorie crisps alternatives include:

  • Space raiders - 58 calories

  • Quavers - 86 calories

  • Frazzles - 84 calories

  • French Fries ready salted - 78 calories

  • Pom-bears original - 79 calories

  • Wotsits - 90 calories

  • Squares - 97 calories

  • Monster Munch - 98 calories

  • Chipsticks - 83 calories

  • Skips - 82 calories

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If you have a sweet tooth you may struggle with chocolate cravings, you don’t need to cut out chocolate entirely.

You can find many chocolate bars that are under 100 calories, if you implement these into your day you can satisfy your chocolate cravings without going overboard.

  • Freddo - 95 calories

  • Milkybar kid bar - 65 calories

  • Milky Way bar - 96 calories

  • Blue Riband - 99 calories

Or you can find a sweet alternative, including dark chocolate, peanut butter, fresh fruit, or any healthy fats to fill you up.

Dark brown milk candy


If you often find your hand in the biscuit tin and are worried you won't be able to lose weight while it is, then you’re wrong.

There are loads of biscuits you can have with low calories, of course depending on how many you have! It is important to not go overboard as biscuits are full of added sugar, if you are able to find biscuits with reduced sugar then these are your best overall alternative.

Some biscuits that are low in calories include (calories per one biscuit):

  • Party rings - 25 calories

  • Rich tea - 36 calories

  • Malted milk biscuit - 43 calories

  • Custard cream - 57 calories

  • McVities Hobnobs - 67 calories

  • Jammy dodger - 78 calories

If you are looking for something sweet, you could swap out the biscuits for some chocolate or caramel rice cakes (typically 50 calories per rice cake) or some sweet popcorn (typically 31 calories per serving)!

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Energy drinks

If you are someone that drinks a lot of energy drinks to get you through the day, you could be ruining your progress. Energy drinks are usually full of sugar, so always choose a sugar free option as they are likely to be less calories too.

For example, there are 45 calories in a regular can of redbull and 3 calories in a sugar free one.

Or you could try natural energy drinks such as Tenzing, which are plant based, sustainable, low calories (19 calories per 100ml), 100% vegan, non GMO, and a great healthy and natural alternative to red bull.

If you really need a pick me up, a black coffee or with a little milk can also be a good alternative, usually one mug of coffee will be under 5 calories.

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Sweet treat ideas

In case we haven't mentioned what you’ve been craving but you’re craving something sweet, then here are some tasty sweet snack ideas:

  • Low calorie ice cream: replace the high calorie Ben and Jerry’s for Halo Top ice cream, they have a great selection of high protein and low calorie ice creams, for example their chocolate chip cookie dough flavour which is just 360 calories per tub and 11g of protein.

  • Greek yogurt: yoghurt is a great healthy snack, greek yoghurt is even better as it is high in protein and if you opt for a low fat one it's even better. You can mix it up and add frozen fruit and chia seeds, granola, your favourite chocolate, honey, and more!

  • Dried fruit: dried fruit can be a good healthy snack, although they use a lot of sugar to preserve the fruit, so it is best to keep servings to a minimum to reduce sugar intake as well as your calories as the sugar brings this up to, for example a pack of dry strawberries would be 76 calories and 12g of sugar.

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Savoury snacks

If you are wanting a more savoury snack option, avoid store bought processed meats and snacks as much as possible or swap them for these healthier alternatives:

  • Boiled egg: 1 large boiled egg is 78 calories, low in fat, high in protein and tasty.

  • Vegetables and hummus: roughly 1 serving of veggies and hummus will be around 145 calories, of course this will depend on the veggies e.g. you could use red peppers or carrots.

  • Rice cakes and cream cheese: this light snack is tasty and usually around 86 calories per rice cake with 30g of cream cheese.

  • Bbq flavoured popcorn: just make some plain popcorn (around 31 calories per cup) and seasoning with bbq seasoning and voila, a yummy low calorie snack.

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Ingredient replacement

One way you can easily bring your calories down is by making food replacements in meals, you can easily swap out some ingredients for something healthier.


Instead of making a chicken curry, which is roughly 346 calories per serving, swap it out for a roasted chickpea curry which is around 177 calories per serving, vegan, low in fat, high in protein, and delicious.

Fry up

Typically, a full fry up will have around 1,300 calories per serving, which for some might not fit into their diet. There are ways you can bring this down:

  • Swap the bacon (43 calories) for turkey bacon (38 calories)

  • Swap the sausage (112 calories) for chicken sausages (49 calories and higher in protein) or a vegan sausage (74 calories)

  • Use one calorie olive oil spray rather than regular oil to keep it light

  • Choose a lower calorie bread, for example warburtons wholemeal bread is 55 calories, although they are still high in carbohydrates.

  • Use a reduced sugar sauce, this will bring the sugar content down as well as the calories. You could also opt for reduced sugar baked beans as well, regular baked beans are usually around 155 calories per 100g and reduced sugar is usually 63 calories.

Spaghetti bolognese

To make your spaghetti bolognese healthier, there are a few swaps you can make, including the pasta you use, use a wholemeal pasta instead as it is packed with nutrients and lower in fat.

You could also replace the beef mince (332- 400 calories per 100g) for turkey mince (203 calories and higher in protein).

Other ingredient swaps

There are a range of different ingredients that are regularly used in many recipes, use these ingredients instead to make it healthier.

(Calories per 100g)

  • Cheese (402) for low fat cheese (108)

  • Single cream (133) calories for fat free single cream (59)

  • Chips/fries (312) for sweet potato fries (165)

  • Full fat milk (149) for skimmed (70) or soy milk (54), both great alternatives when making smoothies or protein shakes

  • Salt for lemon juice or zest (work in some recipes)

  • Rice (130-150) for cauliflower rice (40) or quinoa (143), this alternative is similar in calories but overall quinoa is better for you, it is high in fibre, which helps lower cholesterol and control blood sugar levels.

  • Refined white sugar and flour for applesauce or aquafaba

Sometimes healthier things can be higher in calories, but it is still the right decision to make for your body due to the nutrients they hold that your body needs.

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