When cravings for processed food, it can be hard to say no. Despite your best intentions, the next thing you know you’re ordering takeout, polishing off a bag of chips, or scraping the bottom of a bowl of ice cream.
Processed foods are so harmful to your health, but we know that doesn’t make them taste any less delicious! So, let’s discuss what to do when cravings for your processed food favorites do inevitably show up.
We’ve broken typical processed foods into four categories and given healthy alternatives for each. Let’s dive in!
When You’re Craving Something Sweet
If you’re craving a sweet treat late at night, avoid ice cream or candies and try a few of these snacks instead. They’re healthy, full of beneficial vitamins and minerals, and naturally delicious
- Your favorite fresh-cut fruit like strawberries, blueberries, mango, or papaya
- Frozen grapes (surprisingly delicious!)
- Banana “ice cream”.
- 80% dark chocolate
When You’re Craving Chips
Searching for that perfect combo of crispy texture and salty taste? These options can help satisfy your cravings while also boosting your wellbeing:
- Air-popped popcorn with a small amount of butter and salt
- Oven-baked kale chips
- Homemade veggie chips made from taro, carrot, or even butternut squash
- Homemade tortilla chips to accompany your favorite dip (just bake whole wheat tortillas at 350’ for 10-15 mins)
When You’re Craving Fast Food
If your processed food of choice comes from a fast-food chain, try to whip up homemade versions of your regular orders.
Homemade versions of fast-food favorites contain significantly fewer calories while still tasting great:
- Hamburgers or cheeseburgers made with lean ground beef, whole wheat buns, lots of fresh veggies and limited sauces
- Baked French fries
- Homemade tacos
- Baked chicken instead of deep-fried chicken
- Homemade pizza instead of ordering one
When You’re Just Feeling Snacky
Sometimes, we don’t crave for something specific you just feel like snacking. If this is the case, these snack ideas are a healthier way to fulfill your cravings:
- Fresh cut veggies and hummus
- Pita chips and tzatziki dip
- Apples and aged cheddar cheese
- Seasoned, roasted chickpeas
- Nuts or seeds
- Rice cakes with peanut butter and banana slices
- A bowl of fresh berries
- Fresh snap peas
Dealing with processed food cravings doesn’t have to mean misery and deprivation – it is possible to indulge your cravings in a healthy way, whatever they may be! Try to incorporate some of these healthy snack ideas into your repertoire and see if you can improve your health and wellbeing even more!