What Are Healthy Alternatives to Junk Food?
What is it about lockdown that has us reaching for the chocolate bars? It would be so easy to hunker down on our sofas and eat junk food until this is all over. After all, many of us are in need of comfort during this difficult and challenging time. Nevertheless, it’s now more important than ever to stay healthy during the pandemic and maintaining a nutritious diet is an integral part of that.
Luckily, there are plenty of delicious solutions to our cravings. And we’re not talking about swapping your bag of chips for some carrot sticks! There are lots of like-for-like swaps that will have you swapping junk food for healthy alternatives that don’t miss out on flavor. We’ve discussed a few of our favorites below:
We’re pretty sure that most people have craved French fries at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, they do come at a cost. Potatoes are a vegetable though, right? Despite the nutrients and fiber that can be found in the skin of this starchy vegetable, these are pretty much non-existent once the potato has been peeled, salted, and fried into its junk food form.
Shockingly, these nutritionless sticks of saturated fat are the most commonly eaten vegetable by toddlers! And, let’s face it, we’re all guilty of adding French fries as a tasty side to our (probably already unhealthy) meals. With that said, it’s probably time to leave French fries off our plates and swap them for a healthier snack!
Healthy Snack Alternative = Sweet Potato Wedges
All is not lost on flavor, however. If there were such things as guardian angels watching over us, then the sweet potato would be the most divine. These tasty and healthy alternatives to French fries are packed full of vitamins (particularly A and C), manganese, potassium, fiber, and antioxidants. Just bake them in the oven with a drizzle of coconut oil and you’ll have a deliciously crispy and healthy snack to lay waste to those nasty cravings.
So French fries are bad for us, but what about chips? After all, they’re only thin slivers of potato and many companies use olive oil and other healthy oils to cook their chips nowadays. Unfortunately, chips don’t fare much better than French fries in terms of health. For more information on why conventional chips are bad for your health, check out our article on What Chips Are the Healthiest?
If you’re anything like us, then you will probably shudder at the thought of life without chips. It should come as a relief then when we tell you that we created a deliciously crunchy and healthy alternative to this popular junk food. We’re not kidding, Macro Snacks are the real deal! Each pack contains crunchy, flavorful, and nutritious bites of joy that deliver plenty of protein and other beneficial nutrients, without the accompanying unhealthy fats and calories.
Don’t believe us? Check out the Macro Snacks testimonials on our Home Page!
We hate to be the bearer of bad news - believe me, we’re voracious chocoholics ourselves - but chocolate is really not a health food...yes, we know that there have been loads of articles about its health benefits. However, the nutrients that are heralded as beneficial for your health actually originate in cocoa powder, rather than the finished product known as chocolate.
Ok, so what if we eat dark instead of white or milk chocolate? Sorry, but even if you eat dark chocolate bars, they still usually contain high levels of additives to mask the bitterness of the cocoa powder. What’s more, to get the health benefits that are touted by the media and the studies to which they refer to (not to mention the confectionery companies that sponsor them), we would be required to eat much more than one bar of dark chocolate.
Sounds great, pass me that bag of dark chocolate bars. Not so fast! By increasing our intake of chocolate, we also increase our intake of fat and calories. In order to consume enough chocolate to benefit from it, we would also gain weight, clog our arteries, and increase our likelihood of heart attacks!
Have we made you want to quit eating chocolate snacks yet? Thought not! We’re not going to give up either, but there are healthier alternatives to the junk food bars you can buy in the store.
Healthy Snack Alternative: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Instead of reaching for that unhealthy snack bar, why not make these simple and easy to make vegan chocolate peanut butter cups? The recipe suggests using vegan margarine and sugar, but you could just leave these out to make a perfectly healthy snack. If you prefer them a little sweeter, then try substituting the sugar for agave or date syrup. Make sure you use a super dark chocolate bar that has the bare minimum of additives. The peanut butter will give you a great supply of healthy fats and will naturally counteract the bitterness of the dark chocolate. Perfect for Easter!