Whether we’re cooking up a family feast or searching for snackables at 4AM, our beloved pantry staples are always happy to serve. But if we’re serious about eating better in 2018, it’s important to give the usual suspects a second look. By opting for a healthier stable of ingredients, we up the overall nutritional value of our home-cooked meals. You’ll be surprised at what these 8 smart swaps can do!

Instead of WHITE RICE

TRY: The Superfood Grocer Quinoa 1lb. (454g), P550
We won’t deny that tucking into a steaming cup of white rice is super satisfying. That’s because our body loves carbo-loading for energy. But, admit it: there are definitely more nutrient-rich options in the market. Superfood quinoa, with its high levels of protein, iron, potassium, and B vitamins, is exactly that. Not only is it as filling and tasty as every Filipino’s go-to carb, it’s also just as easy to integrate into our meals.

Instead of WHITE FLOUR

TRY: Natural Health Coconut Flour (1kg), P350
We hate (hate!) to admit it, but refined white flour simply isn’t good for us. Instead of containing the nutrients that should come with whole grains, this sneaky staple is loaded with preservatives. Our advice? Go gluten-free with coconut flour! It offers both a high dietary fiber content and a low glycemic index—a major plus if you’re watching your blood sugar.

Instead of SOY SAUCE

TRY: 7Grains Company Skinny Protein Aminos (450ml), P160
Whether we’re using it as an adobo base or as a dipping sauce for sashimi, we can count on soy sauce to be delicious. But we’d be lying if we said its sodium content doesn’t give us pause. That’s where protein aminos have a leg-up. This stuff delivers just as much umami without threatening to shut down our kidneys.

Instead of TABLE SALT

TRY: Easy Cures Himalayan Pink Salt, P240
Despite its bad rap, salt has uses beyond simply seasoning our food. And some variations work way harder than others! Mineral-rich Himalayan salt, for one, does wonders for blood circulation and blood pressure. And when used in food, its flavor-enhancing powers beat that of your run-of-the-mill table salt.

Instead of PEANUT BUTTER

TRY: Made by Maxi Almond Butter - Plain Roasted (240g), P385
All things considered, nut butters are generally good for you. (Provided you opt for the ones that aren’t loaded with sugar and oil, that is!) But between peanut butter and almond butter, we have to give the crown to the latter. Almond butter has more vitamins, minerals, and fiber than its more popular peanut counterpart. And on top of all that, it also gives us a welcome dose of healthy fats.

Instead of BUTTER

TRY: Greenlife Home of Coconut Products Coconut Butter (150g), P140
Yes, yes, we know: dairy butter is a flavor bomb unlike any other. But too much of it can clog our arteries. So as tempting as it is, we would never recommend eating butter by the spoonful. But if that’s what you’re into, no judgement—just consider switching to coconut butter. It’s rich in lauric acid and boosts your immunity, all while being velvety smooth and delicious. It’s even amazing on plain toast!

Instead of HOT CHOCOLATE

TRY: Southern Folk Cacao Farm & Produce Co. Pure Cacao Tea, P185
For many of us, settling in with a hot cup of cocoa on a chilly day has always spelled comfort. But if we’re being honest, our favorite blends also tend to be the most sugary. So what’s a health-conscious gal to do? Well, pure cacao tea will do the job—and then some. Think of it as a zero-calorie, vitamin-rich antioxidant that just so happens to curb your chocolate cravings. Yum.

Instead of POTATO CHIPS

TRY: Take Root Kale Chips Margherita Pizza, P220
When it comes to potato chips, our willpower is virtually nonexistent. Sure, we say we’ll read the label and vow to stop at the 14th chip, but how often does that really happen? Not often enough. Still, we promise, snacking smarter isn’t as impossible as it seems—you just need to pick up the right chip bag. Kale chips, with their addictive crunch and enticing flavor range, are the nutritious treat we all deserve.

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