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Healthy Junk Food Alternatives

Healthy Junk Food Alternatives

You’re hungry. Maybe you’re craving sugar, fat, or salt. You know that eating junk will do nothing for your body. So what can you do? Here are a few alternatives, tips, and tricks for swapping junk food out of your diet and replacing it with healthier choices.

1. If you’re craving salt, eat a banana: Potato chips are rich in flavor and poor in nutrients. If your body is telling you to go out and open a bag, consider this: what you are craving are chemicals like sodium and potassium. Instead of eating something salty, seek out other foods high in potassium: they include yogurt, dark leafy greens, fish, avocados, and bananas.

2. Drop the ice cream, pick up the frozen yogurt: We all know how great ice cream tastes. It’s also loaded with sugar, fat, and empty calories. Cut down on ice cream and seek out a low-sugar frozen yogurt instead – emphasis on the low sugar. A low-sugar frozen yogurt is leaner and richer in protein than ice cream. It’s also a great chance to throw in sliced fruit like strawberries, which are high in antioxidants and other goodies.

3. Consider alternatives to soda: Soda is sugar, sodium, and caffeine. It dehydrates you, tears apart your teeth, packs on the pounds, and has been linked in some cases to heart attacks and strokes. You don’t need that in your life. What to drink instead? Mineral water has the bubbly zing of soda and is edged with more of a taste than your run-of-the-mill bottled water. Kombucha is a fermented tea that delivers active cultures, a sparkly effervescence and a strong taste without the sugar overload. And fruit juices like apple or orange will take the edge off of your sugar cravings while providing you with vitamins.

We recommend a hydrating option like watermelon juice – it’s 90% water and brimming with antioxidants. If you’re DIY inclined, you can even try carbonating different juices with a CO2 tank so that they bubble like soda does.

4. Cut out the candy: Candy is like the solid form of soda. It does nothing but bombard you with empty calories and sugar. Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives for you to choose from. You can throw together a mix of nuts and chunks of cacao – that’ll give you bite-size morsels that you can pop into your mouth on a regular basis, like candy, and it’ll satisfy your cravings for sweet without flooding your body with processed sugars. This is true especially of chocolate – if you’re longing for a chocolate bar, the body is crying out for magnesium, which the nuts especially can provide. Dried fruits are another good option here.

5. Mix it up with tropical fruit: Sometimes, diversifying your diet can open up unexpected new options that work great as alternatives to junk food. Garcinia Cambogia, a tropical fruit featured on the Dr. Oz show, is one such little-known option with some unexpected benefits. The pumpkin-shaped fruit has a chemical called HCA in the rind that’s performs a dual function – it burns fat and suppresses your appetite. When incorporated correctly into your died, garcinia cambogia isn’t just a tasty, exotic alternative to the fruits that you’re already familiar with. It can be an essential part of your larger weight-loss routine.

6. Make your own popcorn: Store-bought popcorn for the microwave is always a tempting option. It’s one of the easiest foods to make, and it comes showered in butter and salt. Kettle corn, which is protected by hard shells of sugar, is even tastier. These are, of course, the precise reasons why you should avoid these foods. Put some corn kernels in a lidded pot on the stove and make your own popcorn.

That way, you can control the levels of butter or salt. A healthy alternative (in moderation!) to salting homemade popcorn is to gently sprinkle it with teriyaki sauce.

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