5 Easy Swaps for a Better You

Did you know the many of the leading causes of death in the United States are preventable via healthy eating and exercise? Just think, your decisions can help lower your risk of diseases like heart disease, certain types of cancers and diabetes. Having a nutrient-rich diet including fruits, vegetables, lean protein, healthy fat, dairy and whole grains is your first step to living healthier longer.  Many people live longer these days, but they are living sick. Don’t let that be you!

Want to make better choices, but don’t know where to start? Try swapping these common foods with the healthier alternative. Little changes can really add up in the long run so start small and continue to make more nutrient-rich swaps as you get truck along. 

1. Swap Butter for Oil

Butter is a saturated fat. Saturated fat can contribute to plaque build-up in the arteries, which can potentially lead to things such as a heart attack or cardiovascular disease. Instead, cook with unsaturated oils such as olive, grapeseed or Canola oil. A good way to locate saturated fat in your diet is that they are solid at room temperature while unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature. The goal is to eat more heart-healthy unsaturated fats more often than not.

2. Swap White Rice for Brown Rice

You most likely won’t even be able to tell the difference, especially if it is cooked in a casserole, stir-fry or soup. Brown rice will provide your body with more fiber and nutrients. Insoluble fiber, found in the brown grain, may help lower your blood glucose by slowing down digestion.  Plus, fiber of all kinds helps you get full faster and stay full longer, helping with portion control!

3. Swap Sour Cream for Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt contains important probiotics and is packed with protein! Probiotics are excellent to maintain a healthy gut microbiome. More and more research is coming out proving that probiotics are great for immune health digestion and more. Try using plain Greek yogurt on top of your tacos or mixing it with a Ranch powder packet as a protein-rich veggie dip for on-the-road snacks.

4. Swap Ranch Dressing for Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar

One serving of ranch dressing has 320 mg of sodium while one serving of olive oil and balsamic vinegar combined has 4 mg. Too much sodium in the diet can increase blood pressure and lead to hypertension. The New American Heart Association recommendations state blood pressure needs to be lower than they once thought to help prevent disease.

5. Swap Fries for Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet potatoes are full of nutrients and provide a sweet twist to the average potato. Sweet potatoes are very high in beta-carotene which is an anti-oxidant and precursor to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is great for the health of your bones, skin, eyes and much more. Ask for a side of sweet potatoes or sweet potato fries next time you order that turkey burger or try roasting them at home with the skin on and a little olive oil and rosemary.

Get healthy in 2018 with some simple swaps! Look left, look right and check out the plate before the next bite!

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