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Making Healthy Junk Food Snacks Instead Of Avoiding Them

Making Healthy Junk Food Snacks Instead Of Avoiding Them

Picture this: You’re clacking away in front of the computer or watching your favorite Netflix series, with a bag of Doritos or a roll of Oreos at your side. At the same time, you take sips from a can of Coca-Cola or Pepsi (dealer’s choice). Later, you look in the mirror and vow that you’re going to eat healthier starting tomorrow. Nine times out of 10, you fail to keep that promise. What if we told you that it’s actually possible? In this article, we will look at what healthy junk food snacks are available to us. It’s easier than you think.

Why do we eat junk food and why we should cut down

Junk food is unhealthy as the name suggests. Highly sugary foods and heavily saturated fats compose junk foods. We all crave junk food but we also all know that they’re not the best things to eat. Its short-term effects can work for us, but they’re exactly that: short-term.

When you eat junk food, the reward centers of your brain light up and make you want to eat more. Even when you can’t sleep, it can be a sign that you’re hungry. The hunger-control hormone, ghrelin, pushes you to eat more; the hunger-suppressing hormone leptin declines; while the stress hormone cortisol rises and fuels appetite. For these reasons precisely, looking into healthy junk food snacks is worth a shot.

Sometimes we turn to junk food out of habit. It helps us deal with stress stemming from negative feelings and thoughts.

Long-term effects of eating junk food

The effects of junk food impacts our body negatively over a prolonged period of time. Saturated fats raises cholesterol levels and plaque in the blood vessels, making it hard for blood to course throughout the body effectively. This results in a greater risk for heart disease. Meanwhile, too much sugar results in weight gain, which could put you at risk for diabetes. Studies have shown that artificial sweeteners make our bodies more resistant to insulin.

Healthy junk food snacks we can eat instead

Experts have provided many ways – and alternatives – by which we can cut down on junk food and while these definitely do deliver results, some of them look at cutting down in a restrictive way. We suggest getting creative and think about eating “healthy” junk food snacks.

Here are some ‘junk’ food that would be better to try than your usual options:

  • Pizza: Instead of ordering from Shakey’s or Pizza Hut, get on your feet, head to the kitchen and consider making your own. Rather than loading it up with sausages, pepperoni, extra cheese, try replacing those with vegetables. Think tomatoes, zucchini, mozzarella or goat’s cheese, smoked prawns (for protein), celery, olives and peppers.
  • Burgers: Swap out McDonald’s Quarter Pounders for prawn and salmon burgers, which nourish you with omega-3 fatty acids. You can also go for a burger with lean meat and fresh chili with a side of sweet potato chips instead of fries. Vegan or veggie burgers are also easy to make: patties made from beans or tofu, topped with hummus, Feta cheese, fresh dill, and basically anything you want.
  • French fries: This oily fan favorite can be healthy. The most dangerous thing about this snack is that it’s loaded with salt and fat. Some ways to take the hazards out of French fries is by baking them, and using only heart-healthy alternatives (like olive oil) to cook them in. You can even use whisked egg whites or veggie broth instead of oil. Go easy on the salt, but if you want to avoid it altogether, consider seasoning your fries with fresh garlic, cumin, thyme, or rosemary. This is an easy method for making healthy junk food snacks.
  • Ice cream: You might be skeptical at first, but there is a way to get your hands on some healthy versions. A quick tip is to look at the ingredients list of the pint in your hand. A general rule is that the shorter the list, the better. Keep an eye out for components like sorbitol and erythritol, which do reduce calories, but can cause stomach discomfort. You can also satisfy your sweet tooth by having frozen yogurt, sherbet, vegan ice cream or sorbet.

Key Takeaway

The list above can go on and on. But the point is, there are ways to cut down on your junk but still enjoy food. Your body – inside and out – will thank you for it.

More about Healthy Eating here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Here’s the Deal With Your Junk Food Cravings, https://health.clevelandclinic.org/heres-the-deal-with-your-junk-food-cravings/. Accessed 22 Mar 2022

Our 6 best healthy pizza recipes, https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/best-healthy-pizzas. Accessed 22 Mar 2022

Healthy burger recipes, https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/healthy-burger-recipes. Accessed 22 Mar 2022

6 Secrets to Healthier French Fries, https://www.everydayhealth.com/news/secrets-healthier-french-fries/. Accessed 22 Mar 2022

Yogurt, Vegan, Gelato, Sorbet? Your Best Frozen Ice Cream Alternatives, https://health.clevelandclinic.org/ice-cream-gelato-sorbet-your-best-frozen-treat-fixes/. Accessed 22 Mar 2022

14 Healthy Ice Creams That Will Totally Rock Your Dessert World, https://www.womenshealthmag.com/food/g26755684/healthy-ice-creams/. Accessed 22 Mar 2022

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Written by China Logarta Updated 4 weeks ago
Fact Checked by Kristel Lagorza