Healthy eating rocks my socks off. But if it weren’t for the fact that eating this way can also be amazingly tasty, I doubt that i would have the same devotion to it as I do. The thing is, being healthy is not as horrible on your taste buds as many people believe.
You just need to be creative, gather some imagination, and learn all about the ways you can swap your unhealthy junk food habits for super healthy alternatives that are just as tasty.
Make sure you don’t let yourself hungry, because once that blood sugar drops, so does your willpower to make good food choices.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Here are some healthy junk foods suggestions you might like:
One slice of delivered pizza can contain a full day’s worth of sodium depending on the toppings and type of crust you order.
It’s mostly because of the high cheese content, but also because there’s salt and MSG in the dough, and if you’re getting toppings like pepperoni, sausage, ham, and any other cured and processed meats, you’re going to be doubling down on your sodium intake.
Make your own home made pizza by using an organic whole grain base/dough , like spelt or rye. Then add organic tomato paste, or you can make your own pizza sauce to avoid store-bought versions and layer on the veggies of your choice and grilled chicken or tofu as well.
Add cashew cheese or parmesan or goat feta cheese. Cottage cheese is also a great (low-fat) option for all the cheese lovers among us.
A plain bowl of pasta won’t ruin your day, calorically speaking, but pasta often serves as the foundation for more calorie-laden dishes. A nice slab of Lasagna Classico contains 850 calories, more than half of the calories allotted to some dieters.
That doesn’t leave much for the rest of the day. Also consider a small serving of Spaghetti with Meatballs contains approx. 916 calories.
There are plenty of great pasta alternatives on the market these days. Like quinoa pasta, brown rice pasta, black bean pasta or kelp noodles. You can also make pasta from zucchini, by using a vegetable spiralling tool.
I personally choose whole wheat range of organic pasta from super stores and make it with organic fresh veggies. For my protein source i add cottage cheese in it. And it tastes awesomely yummy!! 🙂
Milk chocolate rules the market and is the most easy to come by. The only problem is that it’s not as healthy for you as dark, and it’s easy to ramp up the calories if you have a chocolate binging episode.
Most of the chocolate you see at the supermarket has had all the goodness processed, cooked and refined out of it. What you are left with is a bar of mostly sugar, milk fat, hydrogenated oils and artificial flavourings. Studies have shown that dairy products actually block the absorption of antioxidants in chocolate.
Chocolate is made of cocoa, which is derived from cacao. Raw organic cacao (pronounced cub-cow) is extremely healthy and ridiculously high in antioxidants, magnesium and vitamin C. This only applies to chocolate in its raw, whole, natural state though. So dark chocolate is your best option.
4. FRENCH FRIES
Fries are simply salty unhealthy fat bombs fried in the worst possible rancid oil. Frying up your chips is sure tasty, but bad fat or saturated fat is what turns a potato into a time bomb for cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
– Many fast food places now offer alternatives to fries such as a side salad (no dressing!).
– Sweet potato fries can be cut up to resemble french fries. This alternative is not fried. Instead, put olive oil on them and pop them in the oven to reduce the trans-fat content. They are high in fiber and the orange color identifies that they are a source of heart-healthy vitamin A.
– Kale chips are full of vitamins and minerals. To prepare, remove the thick stalks from the kale, then chop into small chip-like pieces. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and bake until crisp.
Making healthier food choices doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice flavor for fitness. Choose a healthy alternative that can give you the same satisfaction as a salty, greasy French fry.
However, if the above mentioned options didn’t work for you and you can’t keep them off your mind, make smart choices about the amount you eat and how they are prepared. I am gonna share few more lighter options. Remember moderation is the key as you all know that eating too much of anything is not a good thing.
– Don’t “supersize” your order. Ask for a small or kid’s size so that you won’t consume high levels of sodium and calories. Portion sizes have drastically increased over the last 20 years. The average serving of french fries contained 210 calories two decades ago. – Today the calories have nearly tripled, with a whopping 610 calories in an average serving. If a smaller size is not available try sharing the fries with someone else.
5. CHEESE BURGERS OR BIG MACS
Where do I begin? Saturated fats, calories are only part of the problem with cheeseburgers, which also contain HFCS (in the buns and condiments), dairy, salt, hormones, and antibiotics.
Saturated fat is the type of fat that you want to watch out for, as it’s the kind that clogs your arteries and can lead to heart disease, the number one killer of both men and women in America.
Opt for a veggie burger with low fat cheese or without cheese and mayo. Better to make one at home. Avocado sandwich or cottage cheese sandwich with whole wheat bread is a good option too.
6. BREAKFAST CEREAL
Some packaged breakfast cereals should be considered junk food — they are so full of refined sugars, colourings, flavourings, contaminated low quality vitamins and minerals, and GMO(genetically modified organism) ingredients.
Laboratory testing of low quality nutritional supplements shows they may contain contaminants such as chemical solvents, heavy metals, and preservatives such as sodium benzoate, BHA, BHT, etc.
Many people are irate that the cereal companies they trusted and fed to their families contain GMO ingredients. Kellogg’s, Cheerios, and Nature Valley are the big offenders. They should definiately not be considered a healthy start to the day.
There are few healthier options that will give you long lasting energy, help keep moods and behaviors balanced, and provide the right nutrients for brain function and growth.
If you are a cereal lover, make up your own cereal out of rolled oats (toasted if you like), goji berries, nuts, seeds, coconut etc. Just add fresh milk. You can also use quinoa or ground brown rice for your morning cereal.
Ready to cook popcorns contain trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils that are artery clogging fats and not good for your heart. They also contain too much MSG and too many calories.
One of the biggest offenders is Pop Secret, which supplies 5 gram trans fat per serving. Sounds like a lot since it more than doubles your daily allowance. Also you have to watch the toppings. Butter has lots of calories and saturated fats.
But aside from all of that they have plenty of carbs. A large sized bucket of movie popcorn has about 90g of carbs in it, with that number varying by location. So avoid them.
Popcorn can be a healthy snack substitute for junk because it a loaded with fiber but how it is cooked is important. Air popping, cooking in a little canola or olive oil, pan covered cooking on stove are all good methods.
Or drizzling a little olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and seaweed salt on popcorn makes a delicious healthy treat. And if you don’t feel like making it at home then you could buy organic packaged popcorn as long as it’s light, natural or no salt added or if seaweed salt is added. My personal favourite is Cob’s organic popcorns. They taste yumm! 🙂
8. COLAS & SODAS
Acidifying, chemical-laden, and loaded with either HFCS (High fructose corn syrup) or artificial sweeteners (diet varieties). HFCS is an ingredient that didn’t exist before 1960, but has a strong appeal to food manufacturers because it’s so very sweet, cheap to make, and easy to store.
According to David Zinczenko in The Abs Diet, the human body doesn’t have a shut-off switch for HFCS the way it does with real sugar. This leads us to keep drinking a cola or eating sweet treats long after we would have stopped if they were naturally sweetened. Diet sodas contain sweeteners like aspartame.
The debate rages on whether aspartame is as bad as the claims being made, but why get involved with it? It’s definitely not good for you, and if you’re drinking diet drinks you’re concerned about your health and well-being.
A great affordable alternate to soda and better for you is taking regular water from your tap or a filtered system or a bottle and adding your own flavor to it. A healthy diet requires 64-80 ounces of water daily so try slicing lemons, limes and oranges and adding them to your ice cold water for a refreshing beverage.
You can also replace sodas with green tea, coconut water or mint water, and healthy green smoothies etc.
We often confuse hunger with the need for hydration. So drinking more water daily may also impact your weight maintenance too.
Here are some tips on selecting healthy junk food options when you are dinning out.
– Watch out for portion sizes. If it is a super sized product, split it in half and eat it for “supper” later.
– Order grilled and avoid deep-fried, batter-dipped, creamy and crispy foods.
– Drink water instead of a soda or shake.
– Enjoy a salad with grilled chicken and bring your favourite low-fat dressing.
– Order veggie burgers.
– Special order sandwiches without mayo, cheese & special sauces.
– Order a 6-inch sandwich rather a 12-inch sandwich.
– Choose whole-grain bread over white bread or huge white-flour “wraps”.
– Order brown rice rather than fried rice.
– Steamed, grilled or baked tofu is healthier than deep fried.
– Enjoy thin-crust pizza rather than thick-crust or butter-crust with extra cheese.
So, my Rule of Thumb is stick to foods as close to their natural state as possible. Stick to the way mother nature made it. And yes you can give yourself treat but the key is to cheat in moderation.
I suggest maximum of two to three cheat meals a week, which allow you to reach your bliss point in either fat, sugar or salt. Eat your favourite food 2-3 times a week but follow the above mentioned tips.
Make sure eating is a pleasurable experience by having just the right amount of sweetness, saltiness or fat in your meals. Live by the 80/20 rule. 🙂 I will end my article with this wise word from an an expert:
“We seem to be cutting everything out of our diet. It was first salt, then fat and now it’s sugar. I don’t necessarily think we should be cutting those foods out. I actually think they are very important in our diet, but it’s about quality not quantity.
When you look at the different salts and the different fats and the different sugars is when you look at what’s best for the human body and what the body has biologically evolutionarily grown up to eat over the last million years.
We ate salt, fat and sugar throughout our evolution. The whole sugars–the sugars that have still got vitamins, minerals and nutrients and are in their whole form.–are the ones we should be eating.
Where as the sugars that we should be cutting out are the refined sugars and the artificial sweeteners. My rule of thumb is that if it’s made or processed by man, keep away from it. If it’s from nature, go for it and enjoy it , but have a balance as well.”