Harley Pasternak: 6 Healthy Food Swaps You Can Make Today

06/04/2014 at 12:15 PM ET

Harley PasternakCourtesy Harley Pasternak

Harley Pasternak is a celebrity trainer and nutrition expert who has worked with stars from Halle Berry and Lady Gaga to Robert Pattinson and Robert Downey Jr. He’s also a New York Times best-selling author, with titles including The Body Reset Diet and The 5-Factor Diet. Tweet him @harleypasternak.

Smart decisions can make the difference between flab and fit! Here are a few of my easy food swaps that will help you look and feel your best:

Almonds and cashewsFoodcollection/Getty, Jonathan Kantor/Getty

Almonds over cashews. The truth is, both of these nuts are loaded with healthy fats, and both have a comparable amount of calories per ounce. However, almonds have almost four times as much fiber, and 20 percent more protein.

Blackberries and Acai BerriesCreative Crop/Getty

Blackberries over acai berries. Forgetting the countless acai berry scams and false weight loss claims on the Internet, acai berries are not bad — they’re just not as amazing as blackberries. Per 100 grams, blackberries have triple the fiber, 40 percent less calories and infinitely more Vitamin C than acai. Moreover, blackberries are just as potent of an antioxidant, if not more, than acai.

Avocado and butterImage Source/Getty

Avocado over butter. Per 100 grams, butter has nearly 5 times more calories, only one-quarter the protein, and is fiber-less. Hass avocado, on the other hand, has a whopping 7 grams of fiber and is mainly heart-healthy unsaturated fat (butter is mainly saturated fat).

Wild rice and white riceTom Grill/Getty, Michael Rosenfeld/Getty

Wild rice over white rice. This one is a no-brainer. Wild rice is not only 30 percent lower in calories, it has quadruple the fiber and nearly double the protein of white rice. The net result is a grain that will make you feel fuller longer.

Beef JerkyJuanmonino/Getty

Natural jerky over regular jerky. One of my favorite snacks is beef jerky: it’s portable, it’s convenient, it’s packed with protein. But take a glance at the ingredient labels of some of the top brands, and you’ll see that all jerkies are not created equal.

Look for a short ingredient list with recognizable ingredients to avoid preservatives and additives. One to avoid: Jack Link’s Original Beef Jerky, which has both MSG and nitrites. Smart swap: Oberto Beef Jerky, which has no artificial ingredients and no MSG. Lesson: Read your ingredient lists. Not all similar foods are made from similar recipes.

BreadTetra Images/Getty

High-fiber bread over regular bread. Not all bread is evil! Yes, some bread has hundreds of calories’ worth of white flour per giant slice; others however, can be a healthful choice and a great addition to your diet. Look for breads that have fewer than 60 calories per slice, and have at least 3 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein. And generally, the more fiber the bread has, the more filling it will be! To cut on calories, try making sandwiches open-face style.

A few “better-bread” examples are: Sara Lee 45 Calories & Delightful 100% Whole Wheat Bread; Arnold 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Thins; Nature’s Own 40 Calorie Wheat Bread.

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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whatever on

Ezekiel IF you must have bread. Freeze it and it will last a long time.

Brandon on

Fiber facts on acai are wrong. Acai has more than 3 grams of fiber per 100 gram serving. Acai also has 5 grams more Omegas than blackberries. Omegas give lots of fuel for long-lasting sustained energy. Acai also has no sugar where as blackberries do. Finally, antixoidant measures so much more in acai than blackberries. Overall, not a very good comparison as it misses key nutritional elements of acai that blackberries don’t come close to and it has some erroneous facts about fiber.

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