Burgers, ice cream, chocolate, and tacos, if I had to sit here and make a list of tempting junk foods I would be here most of the day. By the end of that list, I would probably be ready to head out the door to go buy something. Let’s face it junk food tastes good but eating those items on a regular basis is not good for our health. However, finding healthy alternatives for junk food items that taste just as good isn’t always easy. or is it? The truth is there are some ways to still get your junk food fix and not hurt your health. So keep reading this contributed post to find out 6 alternates to our favorite junk foods. 

dark chocolate
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Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean doing without all your favorite foods. By getting creative, you can find a healthy alternative to almost every type of junk food. Here are just a few healthier options to ordinarily unhealthy food.

 

Dark chocolate

Chocoholics can still get their fix of chocolate by opting for the darker stuff. It’s loaded with nutrients and doesn’t have nearly as many calories as milk chocolate. Make sure that you’re opting for low sugar dark chocolate as some bars of this stuff can still be packed full of sugar – which won’t be any good for your diet plans. This list at Healthy Eater details some of the best and worst dark chocolates out there for when you’re trying to eat healthier.

 

Frozen yogurt

There are lots of low calories options to ice cream including frozen banana and gluten-free ice cream. The most delicious and nutritious alternative, however, is frozen yogurt. That said, you should be wary of fro-yo stalls and shops that may pack their frozen yogurts full of sugar – if you’re not making yourself or always ask the seller or read the label.

 

Oilless fried turkey

When satisfying your love of fried chicken, opt for fried turkey breast instead – it contains much fewer calories. Using coconut oil instead of regular cooking oil can also make it healthier. You could also buy an air fryer such as the Power AirFryer Oven. As seen on TV this air fryer uses Rapid Air Technology to fry food without the need for oil. You can also fry other foods this way.

 

burger

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Black bean and quinoa burgers

You can still make healthy burgers too by trying the vegan option of black bean and quinoa patties. These burgers can be just as succulent and wholesome without the high-fat content. For the perfect pattie mixture, mix black beans, quinoa, breadcrumbs, bell pepper, onion, and garlic (if you’re not too worried about being vegan, you can also add egg). Adding spices can also make these burgers even tastier –chilli and cumin are too excellent spices to give your healthy burgers a kick.

 

Pizza with a cauliflower base

There’s also a healthy option to pizza out there. Regular pizza dough is full of carbs, but you can make a healthy option using cauliflower, egg, flour, and flaxseed. You’re best to lay low on the salt as this seasoning could make your healthy pizza unhealthy. Make sure that you’re also not adding lots of unhealthy toppings!

 

Banana pancakes

Fancy some pancakes for breakfast? Banana pancakes are a delicious option for when you’re watching your waistline. This recipe involves mashing bananas and then whisking them together with eggs and almond milk. You can then add flour, baking soda, and baking powder before frying it all up in a pan. For a healthy topping, you can add chopped bananas with honey or fruit compote with yogurt. Bananas can also be used to make waffles and banana bread.

Conclusion

Junk food items like cheeseburgers, french fries, and pizza are high in saturated fat and these items put you at risk for health issues like diabetes, high cholesterol,  and heart disease. But by finding healthier items, you not only reduce this risk you can keep those extra pounds off your waistline.

If you happened to read the nutrition labels for some of the favorite foods or even burgers from your favorite fast food restaurant you may notice how high the sodium count is. This is putting you at risk for high blood pressure. By simply making items at home you can control your sodium intake. 

Not only is dark chocolate a better choice than milk and turkey better than chicken, these foods are great for helping you sleep better at night. 

There are many recipes you can tweak with cauliflower to make a healthy alternative, from pizza to mashed potatoes, and the change is very simple. 

Though healthy alternatives do not give you the exact taste they are much better for your health. You can tweak the recipes to add many different flavors or even your own touch. 

Which Alternate is your favorite? Do you have a junk food healthy alternate of your own? Let’s talk about it below!

8 thoughts on “Healthy Alternatives for Junk Food – 6 Replacements for Your Favorite Items”

  1. Good article Melissa, I know eating right you have to give up have to give up a lot of foods that we desire it’s tough. The thing that you said about cooking with an air fryer makes a lot of sense. This would make all fried foods healthier don’t you think? I’ve never tried coconut oil, but I’m eager to try. Some good points you have on eating healthier.

    1. Hi Fred,
      The air fryer is a great way to cut fatty oils out of your diet but still allow you to enjoy your favorite foods like fries. I use coconut oil and it is wonderful, I can’t tell the difference between it and I use olive oil too. I am glad you found the article useful and I thank you for the comment.

  2. Hi there. I am a medical marijuana user, so when I smoke I tend to go overload and eat a bunch of really unhealthy food. I feel really bad about it later. The thing is because I am so paranoid usually and diligent about my health and what i eat. I usually start my morning with a glass of hot lemon water. Have you heard of doing that to detoxify yourself? It really works wonders! Anyway, when I smoke weed, I eat horrible food that has trans fats and artificial stuff. I love going to whole foods when I can to get myself some really good quality food. Hey I always wanted to try a Black Bean burger. What kind do you recommend?

    1. Hi Sophia,
      The thing about emotional eating is we do feel bad later. But yes I have heard of lemon water and have tried it and you are right it is great. A black bean burger would be a good alternative and though I haven’t tried one myself I do watch the Food Network so much it is ridiculous lol. I think a grilled one would be really good, one of my favorite chefs is Bobby Flay or the Pioneer Woman, here is one recipe;
      http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/black-bean-burger/
      As far as your urge to eat unhealthy foods, I am sure we all do. I keep everything in moderation and I don’t totally deprive myself. Give yourself one day at a time and don’t be so hard on yourself that you just give up. Try different things and see what works. Your body will thank you 🙂

  3. I’m a big sucker for junk food but most especially energy drinks. However, I absolutely love pizzas and don’t like how they’re packed with calories. Your cauliflower base pizza alternative seems like a great option, and as long as it still tastes KINDA the same I’ll be happy. I’ll be jumping on that dark chocolate game too!

    1. Hi Brandon,
      I have a thing for pizza too but I only treat myself out to pizza once a month. The cauliflower pizza is so cool, the way you make it is really neat. I learned about it on Food Network. Yes, dark chocolate is the way to go 🙂

  4. I think it’s important to realize quantity matters too! I love chocolate and am happy it’s on the list for good treats, but too much brings on a lot of sugar which must be kept in mind. I LOVE black bean burgers. They can be messy your first couple tries but they are really good!

    1. Hi Bruce,
      I agree moderation is important when it comes to things like chocolate. One piece is all you need to get the benefits. When making veggie burgers they can be messier if you don’t put in the right amount of binding ingredients. I love how many different options there are for veggies burgers.

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