Inexpensive, mouthwatering and widely available, junk foods laced with craving whipping ingredients, are incredibly irresistible and make for an obscenely tempting sweet or savory food.
It’s not uncommon that just about everyone of us who has live through that upsetting endless ‘diet-getting-horrified’ resolve to cut out the junk food may have stayed on course for a short while, begin to binge again –feel the guilt once more and then start all over again. But is it that impossible to step away from junk food for all the wrong reasons it carries?
Sometimes, just having an alternative could steer you clear of all those empty calories; “empty” because there is either no nutritional content or it is so low, it might as well not even exist. May be keeping some healthy snack options handy could help you next time that craving hits. But for quite a few however, suppressing those stomach urges may not be easy to cope with.
So what do we do about it? Is there a way to steer clear of those junk treats? Not many of us would know how to go about it. But you could do just fine by approaching this whole junk food issue from a different angle. Instead of cutting out the junk completely and stamping out your cravings, try recompensing your ultimate temptation with junk foods in their unjunked form.
Here’s how you could eat ‘bad foods’ regardless of what you may have heard.
High in fat content, this is one high protein comfort food that is a good source of fiber, vitamin-E, magnesium and antioxidants. When consumed moderately, it could even help manage weight while controlling hunger due to protein and fiber content that take so long to digest. Be sure to watch your serving size though. No more than two tablespoons (28 -30 grams) would be enough. Also shop for natural version with no added sugar.
An ounce (28.34 gms precisely) of dark chocolate is shown to lessen the risks for heart diseases and a bit more helps ease stress. It reduces LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol and improves cognitive performance in elderly. Look out for dark chocolate with a 60% cacao or higher that has more antioxidants and less added sugar. Since even dark chocolate is calorie rich, stick to one to two ounces per day to avoid weight gain.
If you think you are not a regret cook and spirited enough to look for an exciting feat, then you should try snacking tomatoes instead- convenient, bite sized and so sweet. Known to score as high as chocolate cake in the category of flavor, cherry tomatoes are convenient snacking options. Simply give them a wash and you’re good to go! It can’t get any easier than that.
The ultimate temptation of greasy toppings could be anybody’s waistline nightmare. First you tell yourself it is just one slice, then you reach for another and another. What begins as curious nibble turns sizeable in no time and no wonder calorie meter bolts wild!
To make this work for you without being too moreish, just replace the white crust with whole wheat dough. If you are venturesome, try making a cauliflower crust or go for mini bites with egg plants or mushrooms.
Be wary here. Ground beef and cheese that make this eat so gratifying, piles on kilos. Nonetheless, take a shot and make this work for you. Put together your own patty with extra lean beef and complete it with a whole what bun. Turkey meat could be another healthy fill-in.
You could be the one of those who often cheats themselves for the fun of it and relent to that luring commercial tagline, “Once you pop, you can’t stop”. Unfortunately, laden with carbs, fats and salts these deceitful eats are hell-bent on expanding your waistline. Try fruit or vegetarian chips instead using carrots, kale, beet, oranges or even apples. All it takes is some chopping, slicing, smearing olive oil, and baking.
If you think you have the nerve to try something resembling ‘Michelin star’ cooking, next time try slicing up some bell peppers and cucumbers to pair with a flavorful dip! Lots of other veggies – like carrots, celery, or broccoli – also go nicely with a whole lot of dips
Nachos and Tacos
These two classic meals run high on everybody’s priority list, especially the ones that are piled high with your favorite but often fatty fixings. It’s not so difficult to make them work for you. Simply swap out nacho chips for sweet bell pepper that you can stack up with your favorite veggies, black beans and cheese. Cheese shelled tacos on the other side offer a healthier alternative to hard shelled taco and go so well with homemade salsa.
With sugar levels going through the roof, soft drinks are still a hard to resist food and could potentially harm your brain if indulged into recklessly. Craving for it is particularly due to its refreshing quality and tangy flavor, no matter what the cost. If you wish to make it work for you, throw in a slice of lemon or add a strawberry in unflavored soda water. The zing would be just as much flavorsome and freshening in double time!!
If you are craving for something thick, cold and sweet like a milkshake to drink, try instead flavorful fruit filled smoothie that are packed with healthy vitamins and minerals! Natural sugars found here with no processed sugars added make it a delightful snack to tuck into and kick your day off.
Commonly mistaken to be fewer calories intensive, each ingredient in this breakfast delight works quite differently. Batter in this scrumptious food is converted into sugar way quickly than you would have thought. Other ingredients that go into its making like syrup turn it into a fare that is far from healthy.
To make it work for you, use extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil and top it with berries or a dash of butter. A less sugary version is better option and could be made with a banana and two eggs. Just mash the banana, whisk in the eggs and cook in a heated pan for 30 secs in any form. Shapes do not matter much any way!
If you are free swinger in kitchen, try adding sweet bell peppers to the batter! Once added to baked goodies these peppers take on an unbelievably sweet flavor and sport a healthier ingredient list. Adding these nutrient-dense fruits to your pancake is one easy way to rake in a healthy dose of vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, and iron into your system.
One of the most irresistible snack food, little needs to be said about how delectable ice cream is. Yet, considering it is essentially made out of sugar and milk creams, just as less needs to be said about its health properties. But no worries! No need to get rid of ice cream entirely either. Instead try a vegan option. Blend together two frozen bananas and blueberries or walnuts, use coconut milk variant or even yoghurt and a delectable healthy version of every day delight is there for you to dig in.
Layer upon layer of cheese and cream is what makes pasta so enticing. Carbs contents of course usually run through the roof well beyond healthy servings. Can you still make it work for you? Yes! by all means. Just look around for foods that could make a great pasta replacement.
Ever heard of spaghetti squash or vegetable spaghetti? It is a cultivated plant from genus Cucurbita . When raw, the flesh of the fruit is solid and similar to other raw squash. When cooked, the meat of the fruit falls away from the flesh in ribbons or strands that look like spaghetti and is a much healthier option. Available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors including ivory, yellow and orange with orange having the highest amount of carotene, spaghetti squash is an excellent source of fiber. A 155 gram (1 cup) serving packs in 2.2 grams or 9% of your daily fiber needs. It’s a good stand-in for pasta, and blends nicely with various flavors. Roasting it correctly will yield strands of ‘spaghetti’ that can be topped up with regular spaghetti condiments.
To spruce up the spread, slice up some zucchini to make “noodles”, edible baked or raw. Throw in a generous amount of carrots, peppers, onions and peanut butter to complete a delicious variant of Thai pasta.
Foods that do more than make you smile
There’s a reason they couldn’t be called “junk,”. Eating food that is high in fat, sodium and sugar reduces your interest in eating more. Each 100 gm serving of oil roasted and salted mixed nuts contains 54 gms of fat, 273 mg of sodium and 4.2 gms of sugar. Once ingested your body stops responding to the normal impulse to seek more food. Coffee fares much better and contains 0% carb, 0% protein and only 40mg of caffeine per 100 ml serve to keep you pepped up all day long.
Nuts are high in fat and calories and if eaten in reasonable quantity, actually help in weight loss. Also, nuts are heart-friendly and consuming them significantly lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke. Walnuts, rich in omega-3 fats, are particularly good option and contain plant sterols that have cholesterol-lowering properties. These kernels in their natural form are the finest source of fiber, vitamins, carbohydrates, proteins, and iron. Walnut chomping is also known to help manage metabolic syndrome, diabetes and inflammation.
Since unprocessed version is typically free of any junk quality it could be consumed raw, though works better if soaked overnight. Eat 7-8 walnut halves before any two meals daily and drink a glass of water after 15 to 30 minutes. You will feel fuller and will eventually eat less food.
This anytime brews helps you burn fat and ups physical performance by raising metabolism and increasing oxidation of fatty acids. It is an excellent source of antioxidants and is believed to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, dementia and Parkinson’s disease. Three to four cups a day is your safe bet. Just be sure to skip sugary flavored creamers. Almond or coconut milk instead could be a good choice.
Besides coffee is also known to help in small but significant reduction in the number of teeth with periodontal bone loss.
Healthy snacking isn’t so hard !
Ever wondered what makes certain foods so addictive than others. Why we crave for ‘junk’ more than any other food? Much of the science that follows offers cryptic explanations. When we eat tasty food, two factors make the experience pleasurable or otherwise. First, there is the sensation of eating the food that includes the experience of how it feels in the mouth (salty, sweet, umami etc.) and what it smells like. Yet another one is the actual macronutrient makeup of the food— the blend of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates that it contains.
Junk foods have an infamous but perfect combination of salt, sugar, and fat that excites your brain and get you coming back for more. In fact rapid food meltdown and vanishing calorie density of junk foods signals your brain that you are not eating as much as you actually are. These foods literally tell your brain that you are not full even though you may have overindulged.
However, there is absolutely no need to sacrifice your favorite junk foods as you search for that trim waistline. A little bit of creativity and effort could do well to your culinary skills and keep you nourished and stoked for sensory specific responses. All you need to do is to take control of your intake of saturated and trans fats, for these are the two most deceitful culprits responsible for major health problems. Go for healthier options over the easy ones and once you learn to unjunk your food, you wouldn’t be looking for fresh inspirations elsewhere!! It’s always good to step out of box once in a while and put some consideration into your favorite dish without butchering it.
Above all not every junk food you pick is a diet disaster but just because something is as easy as pie doesn’t mean it is always good for you.
Try the redemption way and it could actually turn more healthy than you think!!