7 Healthy Swaps from Nutritionist Heather Bauer

Editor's note: This guest post is by Heather Bauer, a nationally recognized nutritionist, entrepreneur, author and mother of three. She is the founder of Nu-Train

The world of food is definitely full of nutritional roadblocks and landmines. I know, even as a nutritionist, it’s hard to not indulge in some of the fatty, sugar-high snacks and treats that surround us. It’s after Valentine’s Day (why yes, I’ll have that whole box of chocolates that I didn’t need!) and the weather, little by little, is starting to get warmer. As a nutritionist, I always tell my clients that it’s important to live their lives, and not their diets.

In my new book, Bread is the Devil, I talk about easy ways to get the most out of healthy foods in a way that won’t break your calorie bank or your wallet. What a lot of times people don’t realize is that small tweaks to already delicious foods —ingredient substitutions, little swaps, can make a HUGE difference. Below are seven great trades you can make to have delicious food that’s still good for you.


Clients often find it hard to give up the notion of breaded chicken and vegetables in parmesan dishes. Instead of bread crumbs use unprocessed bran (also called Miller's bran) or crushed Fiber One or All Bran. 

Sour Cream

Sizzling fajitas without a creamy topping are not fun for many! Instead of sour cream, use 2 percent Greek yogurt to cool down that jalapeno flavor without as many calories.


Swap carb-laden pancake batter for a packet of plain instant oatmeal, egg whites, cinnamon and cottage cheese.

Salad Dressing

Salad dressings are typically oil-based, loaded with sugar and high in calories. Start making your own dressings by using nut or seed butters as the base, flavoring with lemon juice, salt, pepper, honey and vinegar. The dressing may end up being identical calorically but you'll be skipping hydrogenated oils, sugar and preservatives.

Chicken Salad

When making tuna or chicken salad: Substitute 1 tablespoon of hummus for regular mayo. You'll still have the creaminess of a salad and save about 40-50 calories. I like Sabra — they have so many flavors to choose from!


You can actually swap this for butter. You can bake with pureed avocadoes instead of butter and save 75 percent of your calories. Warn your kids beforehand that their typical blueberry muffins may look a little green.(Great trick for St. Paddy's Day!) 


Opt for flavored soy milk instead of flavored syrups in coffee. Three pumps of flavored syrup (the amount typically in a tall) pack in 60 calories. You can use 1/4 cup of vanilla soy milk for only 30 calories and still get a hint of flavor.

These are easy, simple tricks that will help you save loads of calories. Happy swapping!

Bauer, RD, CDN, is a nationally recognized nutritionist, entrepreneur, author, and mother of three. Ove r the last decade she has taught thousands of people how to safely lose weight and keep it off through her nutrition counseling company, Nu-Train. She has written two books, The Wall Street Diet (Hyperion 2008) and Bread is the Devil (St. Martin’s Press 2012) and has been featured in The New York Times, as well as People, Shape, and Ladies Home Journal, and has appeared on The Tyra Banks Show, Fox Morning News, CNN and the CBS Early Show.