Make these 8 Easy Food Swaps on World Health Day

All of us, at some point in our lives, have been told, “you are what you eat.”

Today in celebration of World Health Day, don’t throw out your favorite foods, but consider making a healthy ingredient swap that will make you feel better about inevitably eating the whole tray of brownies.

A conversation with experts in Drexel’s Culinary Arts Department and its interdisciplinary research group, The Food Lab, offered up healthy, sustainable and easy kitchen swaps to help you put better food on the plate:

Feel like you can’t give up butter? Slather tahini, a paste made from sesame seeds, on toast instead. Tahini is high in amino acids and healthy fats. Look for un-hulled tahini, made from the whole sesame seed. Hulled tahini is often stripped of many of its nutrients, says Jonathan Deutsch, PhD, professor of culinary arts and food science.

Deutsch also recommends greek yogurt as a great stand-in for sour cream or mayonnaise in cold dips and dressings. Up your protein in-take and lower the fat in favorites like ranch dressing, spinach and artichoke dip or cheesecake.

Charles Ziccardi, assistant teaching professor of culinary arts and food science, recommends swapping your 8 to 12 oz. of conventionally raised meat for a 4 to 6 oz. portion of organic pastured meat, cost will typically be the same, with many times the nutritional density and a positive impact on the environment.

Here are some other tips from Ziccardi:

Willing to try to go sans-meat? Swap your portion of red meat for the same size portion of organic lentils. 

Swap three conventional chicken eggs for 1 or 2 pasture-raised organic, local chicken eggs. They are around the same price, with greater health benefit, environment impact, and support for the local economy.

For nutrient dense, guilt free pancakes: Swap out white wheat flour for organic whole wheat flour fortified with whole grain flours of quinoa, spelt, chick pea, or corn, says Ziccardi.

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6. Swap them for the oil in brownies, says Ally Zeitz manager of Drexel’s Food Lab.

A frozen banana mashed with dark chocolate, almond milk or fresh fruits provides a shockingly similar “ice cream” treat.

Media interested in speaking with Drexel culinary arts and food science experts should contact Emily Storz at 215.571.2705 or

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