We all have cravings for junk food and unhealthy snacks, even though we know just how bad they can be for us and how much saturated fat, sugar, and sodium they contain. Even whole fast-food meals find their way into our diets despite our better judgement because they’re just so convenient. We’re all human and we shouldn’t beat ourselves up for it, but we should always try and make the best choices when it comes to diet. The next time you have a craving, why not try one of these healthier options when it comes to getting your junk food fix?
Tortilla Crisps Instead of Potato Crisps
Potato crisps are one of the most loved and most popular snacks in the world because they’re convenient and taste great in their massive range of flavours and types. They are, unfortunately, very much on the unhealthy side. Opting instead for a tortilla crisp can be a good choice, as they contain less fat and generally fewer calories than the potato chip. Even better, opt for a lentil or other grain or pulse-based chip snack. And when it comes to dip, opt for salsa instead of a dairy cream cheese-based calorie bomb. A good homemade spicy tomato salsa goes really well with tortilla crisps too – or even a good guacamole.
Put the Sweet in Potato
The sweet potato is a much better alternative to the standard white potato when it comes to your choice of tuber. If you have the choice to substitute standard chips with sweet potato chips, do it. They’re really high in vitamin A and fibre, but still can be quite high in carbohydrates (and calories if deep fried). Still, if you’re wanting to make better choices, sweet potatoes over standard white potatoes will still be a better option for your health.
The Darker the Chocolate
Milk chocolate is easily one of the most popular treats in the country. The smooth, sweet chocolate is the very definition of a feel-good snack. There is a way to get your chocolate fix without as much sugar and fat, however, and that’s by picking up a darker chocolate. The recommendation is that the chocolate you choose should be at least 65% cacao because the higher this percentage, the better the stuff you can get from your chocolate, like iron and fibre, as well as antioxidants like catechins and polyphenols. Of course, the darker the chocolate, the less sugar it will have in it too. You’re also likely to savour it and eat it slower.
A Liquid Diet
Instead of reaching into the pantry and finding a packet of biscuits or sweets, swapping out the unhealthy snacks for a healthy shake is another really great option. Meal replacement shakes certainly aren’t new, but the trick to enjoying them is to find yourself a shake that tastes great. The range of meal replacement shakes from Shake That Weight is the perfect choice if you’re looking for something that is high in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals while also low in calories. Their range includes flavours like banana, caramel, café latte, chocolate mint, and even chocolate orange. They’ll satisfy even the most stubborn cravings.
The Joys of Beef Jerky
The secret behind beef jerky (or the South African traditional biltong) is that it’s very high in protein. Choosing this snack will help you feel full for longer than a high GI snack like potato chips. Beef jerky also has most of the fat trimmed off before it is made, so it’s a naturally low-fat snack too. Before you eat a load of jerky, do take note of the sodium content, which is usually quite high, so don’t go too crazy on this delicious meaty snack.
Popcorn is Actually a Good Choice
If your guilty pleasure is a large popcorn at the cinema, you’re not doing too badly. It’s very bulky so it feels like you’re eating a lot more than you really are and that’s a good thing. It’s also quite versatile and can offer a variety of flavours thanks to the seasonings available. Again, however, watch the sodium content. You should also be mindful of how it’s made; get yourself an air popper to pop your own at home and avoid the high quantities of butter or oil that are used for the traditional methods of popping popcorn.
There you have it – the healthier versions of your favourite junk foods and snacks. The overarching theme is to limit calories, fats, sugars, and salts when you choose a snack, but you can still have a great tasting and satisfying snack while watching television or playing video games on the couch without having to resort to high fat unhealthy snacks. Try some of these options – you might just be pleasantly surprised and might just be able to worry less about your waistline and health.