3 Healthy Food Options to Replace Your Junk Food Cravings – Expert Suggests

Consumption of high calorie, fatty and sugary foods has become popular among people today, especially the younger generation. The culture of binge eating has also grown in popularity. Cravings for unhealthy foods are at an all time high. However, we must understand that these have a negative impact on long-term health. Unhealthy or unhealthy foods are loaded with saturated fats, high sodium and sugar content which makes us more prone to health problems such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, etc. feel-good centers in our brains that entice us to eat even more. The urge to eat unhealthy foods is caused by several reasons such as stress, emotional eating, and food euphoria. Another reason behind this is its availability at our convenience.

The first step to healthy eating is to remove all cues that may lead to eating junk food. Also, having a healthy meal plan and stocking our pantry with healthy snacks can prove beneficial.

Here are three food alternatives to junk food cravings:

1. Almonds

Almonds are healthy and tasty and can be eaten raw, soaked or roasted. They are very convenient to carry and store around the house. Without a doubt, they are a healthy snack choice. Almonds are low on the glycemic index and contain nutrients like fiber, good fats, vitamin E, and minerals like magnesium and potassium. Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) has been shown to impart anti-aging properties that may benefit skin health. Research recently conducted by the University of Leeds, focusing on the influence of almonds on appetite control, established how almonds can be beneficial for weight management. The results indicate that snacking on almonds also led to suppressing the unconscious desire (“implied wanting”) to consume other high-fat foods, which is great for anyone trying to control their weight. Almonds are a good dupe for your sweet or savory craving.

2. Fresh fruit

Fresh fruits like berries, bananas and apples are good alternatives to junk food. They are full of essential nutrients, fiber and antioxidants which are a good addition to our diet. Berries are high in fiber and contain less sugar. On the other hand, bananas are a rich source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, dietary fiber and potassium. Apples are a good source of fiber and vitamin C. They also contain antioxidants, such as vitamin E, and polyphenols that contribute to the fruit’s many health benefits.

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3. Yogurt

Plain yogurt is an excellent source of protein and calcium that is beneficial for our bones and muscles. It also contains vitamin B complex, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium, which makes it a great addition to our diet. Plus, given its content of probiotic bacteria, yogurt is also good for gut health. Eating yogurt improves metabolism and thus provides a feeling of satiety, which makes it an excellent substitute for our junk food cravings.

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Photo credit: iStock

About the Author: Ritika Samaddar is the Regional Dietetics Manager at Max Healthcare – Delhi

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