Food substitution unit points to healthier lifestyle

Getting in shape takes a great deal of work, but one good way is food substitutions.a

Health teacher Megan Youngkent does a healthy food substitution unit every year. The unit consists of finding healthy alternatives for fatty foods.

“Not all fat is bad, but substituting healthy fats are a great option. It really depends on the nutritional needs of the individual. Healthy food is never a bad idea, although some individuals need to gain weight to become more healthy, others need to lose, while many are a healthy weight that they should maintain. Food fuels the body. Healthy quality fuel makes a healthy body,” Youngkent said.

Healthy eating is important to a person’s body. Whether one can see the unhealthy traits physically or internally, Youngkent said it is still very important to keep track of one’s eating habits.

“Some may notice no effect on the outside, but find the inside of their bodies to be unhealthy (they get sick often, are more irritable, suffer from fatigue, etc). Others can easily gain weight and become overweight,” Youngkent said. 

Youngkent’s substitution lesson has a lot of different recipes.

“I’m impressed every semester I do this activity — students usually are too. There was a pumpkin bread recipe that I loved and still use today. Applesauce was substituted for the oil, egg whites replace whole eggs, and the amount of added sugar was reduced,” Youngkent said. 

She said eating healthy is easier than adding in fatty foods. 

“Sometimes the healthiest changes are the easiest. Exchanging white flour for 100 perent whole wheat flour is an easy swap for a more nutrient dense product. Even adding less sugar than a recipe calls for can make something healthier. For example, if you’re making an apple crisp, you can use less streusel topping, cutting down added fats and sugars,” Youngkent said.  

Youngkent helps health students every year in eating healthy and adding healthier substitutions to their diets. These substitutions aid all food categories.

“Adding healthy ingredients helps as well. When ordering pizza, challenge yourself to add healthy toppings, including vegetables and lean meats,” Youngkent said.

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