Eating better isn’t easy. Most of the choices you have to make about food come at you quickly, when you are often far from the information you need. And how many people even know what tef is?

We have decided to put together a handy list of which foods make the best, healthy substitutes for the unhealthy foods you are already eating.

This should help quiet that persistent argument that eating healthy means giving up the foods you love. On the contrary, almost every food on the unhealthy side of this list has a very similar, if not identical cousin on the healthy side.

Eating well is more about knowledge than limitations. We hope this helps you open the door.

Note: Both charts can be re-categorized by clicking on the column headings

Patti’s Food Substitution Chart

Traditional Food Healthier Alternative(s)
Vinegar (white) Raw + Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Rice Vinegar, Plum (umeboshi) Vinegar
Milk (Cows, Pasteurized) Almond Milk, Rice Milk/Organic Soy Milk, Raw Organic Cow’s Milk
Butter, Traditional Spectrum Spread, Flax seed Spread, Raw, Organic Butter, Clarified Butter (Ghee)
Cheese (Cow’s Milk) Goat Cheese, Feta Cheese, Rice Cheese, Raw Milk Cow Cheese
White Bread Sprouted Multi-grain Bread, Sprouted Whole Wheat, Rye Bread + Linseed – real!, Whole Spelt Flour Breads
Saltines, Refined Wheat Crackers Brown Rice Crackers
Beef/Lamb – Factory Farm Pasture-Raised + Grass-Fed Beef, Pasture-Raised + Grass-Fed Lamb, Seitan-meat substitute, Fermented Soy (Tempeh)
Chicken – Factory Farm Pasture-Raised Chickens, Cage-Free Chickens
Eggs – Factory Farm Pasture-Raised Eggs, Cage-Free Eggs, Omega-3 Enhanced Eggs, Tofu Scramblers
Pancakes, Refined Grain Whole Buckwheat Pancakes, Multi-grain Pancakes
Waffles, Refined Grain + HFCS Buckwheat, Gluten Free Waffles
White Sugar Brown Turbinado Sugar, Stevia, Rice Syrup Crystals
Syrups, ‘Maple’ + HFCS Agave Syrup, Maple Syrup
Honey Raw + Unfiltered Honey, Agave Syrup, Local Honey
Orzo – Rice Shaped Pasta + Couscous Quinoa
Refined Grain Pastas Whole Wheat Pasta, Brown Rice, Quinoa, Amaranth, Tef, Buckwheat (soba) Noodles
White, Wheat Flour Whole Spelt Flour, Whole Buckwheat Flour, Brown Rice Flour
White Rice Brown Rice, Red Rice, Wild Rice
Potato Chips Sweet Potato Chips, Taro Chips
Corn (GMO) Chips Blue Corn Chips, Rice Chips
Peanut Butter Almond Butter, Cashew Butter, Sesame Butter, Organic Peanut Butter
Roasted Peanuts Raw Almonds, Pecans, Macadamias, Cashews (dry roasted)
Salted Sunflower Seeds Raw Pumpkin Seeds
Pizza Brown Rice Flour Pizza with Rice Cheese, Whole Wheat Pizza with Buffalo Cheese
Salt, Iodized Celtic Sea Salt (Gray), Himalayan (Pink), Salt Lake Salts (Red)
Jellies – w/ HFCS Fruit Juice Sweetened Preserves
Vegetable/Cooking Canola Oil Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (High Flash Point)
Salad Dressing Soy Oil Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Flax Oil, Avacado Oil
Soup Bouillon Organic Chicken Broth, Free-Range Broth, Vegan Vegetable Buillon
Dark Soft Drinks/Sodas Fruit Juice sweetened Spritzers
Citrus Sodas Club Soda + Lemon/Lime and Stevia
Coffee Whole Leaf Teas (Danelion Root in Spring, Chicory, Green, Black), Tecchino Coffee Substitute, Mushroom Coffee
Candy + Milk Chocolate Dark Chocolate (+60% cocoa)


Version 1.0 of this chart was released on 2009-03-16. All revisions will be noted here.