A diet that’s high in healthy fruits and vegetables is always ideal, but that doesn’t mean you have to completely give up some of your favorite not-so-healthy foods for good. In fact, with a little creativity, you can actually replicate them with healthy vegan alternatives that take all the fat, sugar, and processed junk right out of the equation.

Get ready to be blown away by how some of these foods you probably already eat can be made into something so different — and delicious! You may never even want to go back to the original, less healthy version ever again.

Zucchini Instead of Pasta

One of the biggest new trends in nutrition is to replace pasta noodles with zucchini slices that have been cut to take on the same form as pasta. The trick is finding the right tool that gets the job done. There are lots of options out there, like the Veggetti, but look around and read the reviews to find one you like. Zucchini noodles are a super light and healthy way to still enjoy traditional pasta dishes without the extra calories. Top it with tomato, pesto, alfredo, or any other favourite pasta sauce!

Coconut Oil Instead of Butter

When it comes to the effects of butter on human health, science keeps hasn’t quite figured it out just yet. Recent findings suggest that there’s almost no link between butter consumption and chronic disease or risk of death — but you know there’s always new research coming out about the downsides of eating too much saturated fat. Coconut oil is mostly saturated fat, but it’s one of those unique foods that actually boosts “good” HDL cholesterol levels, making it a nice vegan alternative to butter when used sparingly.

Nutritional Yeast Instead of Cheese

One of the major downsides of going for vegan cheese alternatives is that a lot of them are often highly processed. If you enjoy just a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on your meals or a nice cheesy sauce once in a while, consider using nutritional yeast, which can be bought at many health food stores and has a pleasant nutty, cheesy taste to it. It’s high in vitamin B12, which is great for vegans and vegetarians since most B12 sources generally come from animal products.

Bell Peppers Instead of Sandwich Bread

For those who are sensitive to wheat/gluten or just want to keep their carb intake low, bell peppers are wonderful alternatives to bread for sandwiches and wraps. Simply cut one in half, remove the stem and seeds, fill it up with your favourite sandwich or wrap ingredients, and then combine both halves together like two pieces of bread. It’s deliciously crunchy, full of water, and a great source of vitamin C!

Avocados Instead of Dessert

You wouldn’t believe how many decadent chocolate desserts you can make with avocados. Since avocados easily take on the flavor of chocolate while maintaining their creaminess, they’re ideal to mix with cocoa and any other ingredients to bake with for healthier pies, cookies, cakes, or fudge. You can even go for no-bake options like chocolate avocado mousse or pudding. Try searching “avocado dessert” on Pinterest for some recipe ideas!

Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean green smoothies and salads at every meal for the rest of your life. With these amazing substitutes, you can still indulge a little without putting your health at risk!