Starting a diet is always difficult when you go through all the changes you have to make. You want to live a healthier lifestyle but suddenly you’re realizing you can’t eat your favorite foods. Because I follow the paleo diet for my personal dietary restrictions, we’re going to talk about some paleo alternatives to common foods.

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Coconut aminos

Made from the sap of coconut blossoms, coconut aminos is the best substitute for soy sauce. Though it is slightly sweeter, this sauce is soy and gluten free. Along with that it is packed with minerals and vitamins B and C. Coconut aminos remains raw and enzymatically alive, meaning it’s better for you and you can use it just the same as you’d use soy sauce!

Cauliflower rice

Cauliflower rice is a very simple substitute but not a perfect one.

Almond butter is a great alternative to peanut butter -- Flickr/Esther Max
Almond butter is a great alternative to peanut butter -- Flickr/Esther Max

This is just very finely chopped cauliflower and can be made at home or can be bought in the frozen section of the grocery store. Of course, if you’re not a fan of cauliflower this substitute may not be for you.

Almond or cashew butter

Giving up peanut butter can be hard; we must give it up because peanuts are actually legumes. Luckily there are nut butters! These are becoming increasingly popular and you can get flavored almond butters too. Depending on the brands these can be with coconut, espresso, and flax seed. Along with almond and cashew butters there is also sunbutter from sunflower seeds.

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Coconut cream

Coconut replacements are becoming increasingly common as well. You can now buy coconut whipping cream in the baking section; however, you can always buy coconut cream in the oriental section too. It’s a great replacement for whipped cream. The easiest way is to open the can upside down, pour out the water, and then scoop out the cream. It’s great to use for frosting or mousse; any way you’d use whipped cream.

Sugar alternatives

Processed sugars are off the table and you should be careful with how much you consume but that doesn’t mean you can’t use sweeteners.

The top three white sugar replacements are maple syrup, honey, and coconut sugar. Coconut sugar is best to use when a recipe calls for granulated sugar so that the textures aren’t altered. Depending on how seriously you go into the diet or your personal sensitivity, any pure, unrefined sugars are okay to use.

These are just a few, common alternatives used among those following the paleo diet. Cauliflower is also used in place of mashed potatoes, and the baking section now has sweetened condensed coconut milk, and zucchini can be used to make noodles; just to name a few more options.

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