Chef Marco Canora on the substitutions that help him avoid everything from creeping weight gain to gout.

By Sarah DiGregorio
February 06, 2015
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Marco Canora, author of A Good Food Day, reveals the substitutions that help him avoid everything from creeping weight gain to gout. Be sure to read the full story of how grains saved this chef's life.

Smart Swap: Start the day with steel-cut oats instead of breakfast cereal.

Breakfast Cereal: “Low in protein and fiber, it leaves you limp and hungry two hours later.”
Steel-Cut Oats: “The fiber will keep you fuller longer, so you’ll get to lunch without needing a snack.”

Smart Swap: Build your salad around grains, not deli meats.

Chef's Salad: “Sliced deli meats are pumped with salt, antibiotics, all that crap.”
Grain Salad: “A no-brainer swap. You’re getting fiber and nutrients, and it’s lower in calories.”

Smart Swap: Resist the urge to grab something packaged and make something wholesome instead.

Protein Bar: “As a general rule, avoid foods that have colorful wrappers and bar codes.”
Lime-Roasted Cashews: “Toss raw nuts with lime juice and zest, add a pinch of curry powder and roast.”

Smart Swap: When eating pasta, always choose whole-grain over white-flour versions.

White-Flour Pasta: “Refined carbs cause blood sugar to spike then drastically dip.”
Spelt Pasta: “This intact-grain pasta made with an ancient strain of wheat balances carbs with protein.”

Smart Swap: When a craving for something sweet hits, put down the box and make it yourself.

Brownies From a Boxed Mix: “Their jarringly sweet, artificial taste doesn’t do it for me anymore.”
Home-Baked Brownies: “Now I make brownies with gluten-free hazelnut meal.”

How Grains Saved Marco Canora's Life
Healthy Swaps for the Country's Worst Dishes
Fantastic Farro, Couscous and Quinoa Recipes
Whole Grain Breakfasts