Ah, healthy diets, the bane of our existence, which is ironic because it helps prolong our lives! We all want to stick to healthy diets but let’s face it, sometimes temptation calls out to us, and when it does, it’s hard to resist the indulgent foods we love so dearly.
Luckily for us, the powers that be have understood we like our healthy foods to be equally delicious. So now, we have healthy substitutes that are also pleasing to our taste buds. Whether you are a sweet tooth who favors cookies and chocolate or a salty food lover who often reaches for chips and pizza, there’s likely a way for you to substitute healthy options that will satisfy your cravings without throwing your healthy eating plans way off-course.
It’s all about making smart substitutions and being aware of these substitutions so that when a craving strikes, you know how to address it.
Now, we believe that everyone deserves the occasional indulgence. If you’re craving a piece of cake after a week of eating as healthily as possible, let yourself have that creamy red velvet slice! With that being said, stick to healthy items more often than not. By incorporate these healthy alternatives to your favorite junk foods, you’ll do so much for your overall health. These options taste just as good as the naughty foods they replace!
1.If you’re craving rice, try quinoa:
If you’re desi, chances are you love eating rice. South Asian foods are so heavily reliant on the grain, it can be difficult for people who are used to this style of eating to avoid the staple. If you’re struggling to add more protein and fiber to your diet, why not swap rice out in favor of quinoa? The grain has a similar size and texture but is far more nutritious. It is lighter on the stomach, too. Try pairing it with your favorite gravy dish or daal for a satisfying and healthy meal.
2. If you’re craving chips, try popcorn:
Potato chips, Doritos, Cheetos – they’re all delicious, but they’re also full of sodium, fat, and chemicals. Instead of going through a bag of your favorite salty snack, reach for some organic, freshly popped popcorn instead. It’s similarly crunchy and salty but contains far fewer calories. What’s a better movie snack, anyway?
3. If you’re craving pasta, try zoodles:
Who doesn’t love a big plate of spaghetti? The sauce, the sprinkled cheese, the wheat noodles. It’s easy to go overboard with the carbs so the next time you’re craving pasta, try whipping up zoodles instead. What are zoodles, you ask? Zucchini cut in noodle-shaped pieces. Try preparing the zucchini with a vegetable peeler or spiralizer, then tossing the “zoodles” with your favorite pasta sauce, and a generous sprinkle of vegan cheese for a very green dinner, very delicious dinner.
4.) If you’re craving candy, try frozen grapes:
Throwing your grapes in the freezer makes them taste delicious somehow. The cold temperature brings out the fruit’s sweetness. This is such a treat, you’ll almost believe you’re eating your favorite fruit-flavored candy while snacking on it. It helps avoid the sugar-filled candies and pops you devour.
5.) If you’re craving sour cream, try Greek yogurt:
Sour cream tastes absolutely delicious on so many things, especially Mexican food, but it’s definitely one of the most fattening foods out there. Next time you’re enjoying a big plate of nachos, make them a little bit healthier by adding a dollop of Greek yogurt instead of sour cream o top. You’ll hardly believe how similar the taste is!
6.) If you’re craving mayonnaise, try avocado:
Sometimes you need to slather some fattening mayo on a sandwich to give it a bit of moisture but what if we told you that there’s another way to make your sandwich taste great while adding some healthy fats and nutrients? Next time you’re looking to add mayo, slather on some ripe avocado instead. The creamy texture will add plenty of slip to whatever you’re eating, while also adding health benefits – not excessive calories or chemicals – to your meal.
7.) If you’re craving soda, try sparkling water:
Soda is notoriously terrible for your health thanks to its chemical additives and very high sugar content. If you’re craving a refreshing, fizzy drink, opt for a sparkling water instead. The calorie and sugar-free alternatives and are much healthier and will satisfy that craving in a pinch. Try a naturally flavored version (like La Croix) or add a squeeze of lemon for a more flavorful option.
8.) If you’re craving sweetened coffee, try using honey instead of sugar:
Ditch that Frappuccino habit! Starting your day with a coffee is such a normal part of our lives and if we consistently add sugar or an artificial sweetener to it, the health detractors of these substances can really add up and affect our health. Instead, try adding a squirt of honey to your coffee in the morning. This sweetens it up while stabilizing your blood sugar, which could actually ward off sugar cravings for an entire day! You can use honey as a sugar substitute in other dishes (like oatmeal, baked goods and smoothies) as well. If you’re not a fan of the gooey sweetener, try using cane sugar instead.
9.) If you’re craving caramel, try dates instead:
Dates have a naturally sweet flavor that is strikingly similar to that of caramel. Next time you’re craving that caramelly taste, opt for this natural ingredient instead. You can use dates in baked dishes or smoothies to sweeten them up or simply blend them in a food processor, roll the blended dates in sea salt and pretend you’re eating caramel truffles.
10.) If you’re craving a milkshake, try a frozen banana instead:
We all love sweet, thick ice cream-laced milkshakes but know how heavy that can be for our stomach. The next time you want a cold milkshake, try this trick: Blend milk up with a cold banana instead of ice cream. You’ll get the same taste and thick consistency, but the health profile will be way more impressive. Add peanut butter, cacao, or vanilla extract for some extra flavor.