Popular favorite foods can rarely boast healthy nutrient-packed contents. On the contrary, they’re often full of empty calories and sodium or sugar. These are the first ones to go when people try to lose weight and eat healthy but cravings for these unhealthy treats can still linger on. Here are a few ways to indulge a little without packing on extra pounds, sodium, sugar, and fat.
Healthy Alternatives To Popular Foods
Chips/Fries – Oven-Baked Fries
Potato chips and fries are popular side dishes in fast food chains but you can make your own healthier fries in an oven. Cut a few big potatoes into French fries slices and place on a sheet of parchment paper. Add one tablespoon of olive oil and shake carefully to coat the fries. Add salt and other condiments and herbs to taste, place in an oven for40 minutes and bake at 425 degrees.
Ice Cream – Frozen Yogurt
Ice cream is a tasty treat but it can quickly become an unhealthy one with all the toppings and sauces. If you don’t like compromises go for plain ice cream without toppings or use grated dark chocolate or fresh berries as healthier alternatives. If you want something frozen but without all the sugar and calories opt for frozen yogurt sans high-calorie toppings. You can make your own by freezing a half a cup of your favorite fruit or berries and pureeing them with a cup of plain unsweetened yogurt. Serve and consume immediately.
Soda – Infused Sparkling Water
You can make anything out of sparkling water. Add lemon, other citrus fruit slices, fresh berries, mint, or cucumber and you get a refreshing drink that is similar to soda but much much healthier. You can even sweeten it by adding a bit of sugar or sweetener of choice and it will still be much healthier than any of the soft drink you can find on a market shelf.
Donuts – Donut Holes
While donuts are still better nutrition-wise than bagels, croissants, and busquits, glazing, toppings, and sprinkles can add aa lot of extra calories and sugar to them. Besides fried in fat, donuts just aren’t that healthy even if eaten plain. The alternative? Donut holes. These are smaller treats that still taste like donuts, just don’t eat a whole box of those. Generally, if you want healthier donuts it’s best to bake them in the oven. Also try cinnamon toast or banana bread as healthier donut alternatives.
Pizza – Cauliflower Crust Pizza
Cauliflower is low in calories so it’s a great base for pizza along with zucchini. Place a head of cauliflower into food processor and pulse until shredded. Microwave for a few minutes or oven bake caulilflower for 15 minutes then drain all the liquid with help of cheesecloth from the cauliflower and add eggs, cheese, 1 egg, half a cup of Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste to create ‘dough’ for the crust. Top with your favorite meat, poultry, and vegetables.
If you’re more of a popcorn kind of person, skip the butter and you can get away with 3 cups of air popped popcorn at only 93 calories.