While most people tend to associate junk foods with health hazards, you can still find your favorite healthy junk food. Junk foods are found everywhere, including supermarkets, workplaces, vending machines, convenience stores, and schools. For that reason, it is almost impossible to avoid junk foods altogether.
Junk foods are incredibly delicious and comforting, but may not be nutritious. The fact that they don’t have essential nutrients that your body needs can’t stop you from craving. And that’s why we have compiled a list of some healthy junk foods to help you handle your desires.
What is Junk Foods?
Junk foods are highly processed foods that contain high amounts of calories in the form of sugar and fats, but with limited nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The junk foods are processed in such a way that they appear appealing and delicious.
Examples of junk foods that are common today include soda, chips, doughnuts, cookies, candies, pastries, cakes, and many others. The junk food list comprises of both healthy and unhealthy foods. You should try as much as possible to avoid the unhealthy junk foods by replacing them with healthy ones.
10 Healthy Junk Foods
Craving for junk foods is real and sometimes irresistible. If you find yourself eating the junks foods even if you don’t want to, you shouldn’t worry any longer. Instead of struggling with your cravings, feed it with the healthy junk foods. Here are some of the healthy junk food snacks that can keep your cravings at bay.
1. Tortilla Chips
Today there are many options of chips including the tortilla chips that contain highly nutritious ingredients. The tortilla chips have lower fats and calories than the potato chips. One serving of Doritos contains 140 calories and 8g of fats. If you’re craving for a salty and crunchy snack, you ought to try the tortilla chips.
2. Beef Jerky
Food snacks with high amounts of protein and limited calories are healthy junk foods that you should try. The beef jerky is processed by trimming fats from the meat, seasoning, and drying it. The food is packed with lots of proteins and can make you feel full for longer.
The buttery delicacy is not only meant for eating at the movies, but they can also serve as healthy snacks. There are many brands of popcorns, depending on the types of spices added. An example is the herb spiced popcorn, which is crunchy and also full of fiber.
Not all popcorns are healthy junk foods. You should try to avoid the traditional microwave popcorns, super cheesy popcorns, and the kettle corns. These popcorns contain a lot of sugar, salt, fats, and vegetable oils.
4. Ice Cream
It sounds strange, but it can serve as a better alternative to unhealthy junk foods. Ice cream contains a high amount of vital nutrients, such as protein and calcium. Some brands of yogurt are enriched with B-vitamins and probiotics, rendering them more nutritious.
5. Healthy Potato Chips
Not all potato chips are unhealthy. Some brands that have been tailored to meet your nutritional needs by eliminating the ingredients that are common in most unhealthy junk foods. Such ingredients include the monosodium glutamate (MSG). Ensure that you choose the chips brands that don’t use MSG as an ingredient.
6. Oatmeal Cookies
If you must eat a cookie, you should try the oatmeal cookie. Whole grain oats in the cookie make it a healthy and nutritious junk food as it contains high amounts of fiber and minerals such as calcium and iron. You may consider adding dried fruits and nuts when cooking to boost its nutrient content.
7. Dark Chocolate
When craving for chocolate, you should go for the dark chocolate. Besides having a lower amount of sugar content than the milk chocolate, the dark chocolate is rich in iron and fiber, making it difficult to overeat. You should eat highly dark chocolate that contains about 70% cacao or more to avoid sugary chocolates.
8. Gummy Snacks
Some people insist that the gummy snacks are entirely sugar because most of them are packed with sugar, artificial dyes, and corn syrup. However, better versions of the gummy snacks are available. Healthy brands of the gummy snack consist of organic ingredients instead of artificial ones.
9. Coconut Chips
While most people think of the coconut chips as junk foods, brands such as the Dang coconut chips offer a healthier way of feeding your cravings for sweets. They have the right amount of fiber and fat, which prevents you from overeating.
10. Sweet Potato Fries
The sweet potato fries can serve as a better alternative to the white potato chips. The sweet potatoes contain high amounts of calories and carbs, but rich in vitamin A and fiber. The high fiber content will make you feel full for longer.
7 Effective Tips for Eating Healthy Junk Foods
Whether healthy or unhealthy, junk foods are usually addictive because of their high sugar content. Therefore, you should approach them with caution. Here are some of the tips that can guide you when eating healthy junk foods.
1. Plan on How Much Junk Foods to Eat
For your nutritional goals to be successful, make a plan that specifies the size of junk foods you should eat within a particular duration, let’s say a week. Check the number of treats you ought to have in a week.
It not all about developing a plan. You must stick to your diet plan because it will motivate you to eat healthy amounts of junk foods. Once it has kicked off, you can consider reducing the number of treats with time. Note that the plan must be realistic.
2. Avoid Eating Junk Foods on an Empty Stomach
If you are looking forward to losing your body weight, you might find yourself skipping the main meals and eat more unhealthy treats. However, it is not a healthy way of losing weight. Eating junk foods on an empty stomach may result in overeating.
3. Look for Better Alternatives
There are several alternatives to unhealthy junk foods. You should find foods with limited fat content and preservatives for healthy feeding. The meals you choose should not only be delicious but must also fulfill your nutritional goals.
You can find many organic alternatives to your favorite junk foods. If you love sweet foods, you should try fruits which are full of natural sugar. If you like salty treats, you might try out salted almonds rather than chips.
4. Eat Enough Filling Meals
One of the primary reasons why you might crave for junk foods is the failure to eat enough foods that are filling. When taking your breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you should eat a balanced diet with nutrient-dense foods that can make you feel full for longer. Foods with healthy fats and proteins, such as fish and eggs, can help you with that.
5. Understand Your Cravings
Not every desire for food is as a result of hunger. Sometimes you may confuse hunger with cravings, yet they are different. In most cases, cravings occur when a particular nutrient is inadequate in your diet.
For instance, if craving for fried beef, it means that you do not have enough proteins in your diet. Understanding the difference between food cravings and hunger cues will help you to choose the right foods to curb your hunger or craving.
6. Limit the Consumption of Processed Foods
Most processed foods contain added sugars and preservatives. Regular intake of such unhealthy junk foods might have some detrimental effects on your life. Therefore, you should avoid such foods and stick to whole foods.
Limiting the consumption of unhealthy processed foods can significantly improve your health and make you feel full for longer.
7. Eat Delicious Foods
The fact that you should eat healthy foods doesn’t mean they should be unpalatable. You can find several healthy food recipes that are scrumptious. When preparing your meal plan, include reliable recipes in your diet. Eating more healthy and delicious foods can make you feel satisfied after every meal.
Most junk foods contain high amounts of fats, sugar, and calories, but lack vital nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are presumed to be the core contributors to some diseases and conditions such as obesity.
Some junk foods are healthy and don’t pose any risk to human health. They can help dieters to lose body weight healthily without any health complication. With the ActivEats’ weight loss meal delivery, you can order healthy junk foods for weight loss.