Healthy Swaps for Classic Junk Foods

by | Aug 2, 2022 | Health

Eating healthy is not always easy. Saying no to junk foods is downright tough, especially when your mind has been fixated on chips, pizza, or chocolate for hours. We give in to eating those things because we know that if we don’t satisfy our cravings, they’ll intensify over time. 

Luckily, there are some great alternatives for classic junk foods to help cure your hunger for certain foods in a healthier way. Here are a few swaps to try out the next time you’ve got a hankering for something tasty. 

A person holds a white protein shake in a mason jar up to the camera.

CRAVING: Milkshake, HEALTHY SWAP: Protein Shake

That 7 p.m. craving for sweets could lead you straight to the drive-thru for a milkshake. But don’t be fooled. Milkshakes are not an ideal way to end the day, especially because they are generally packed with a ton of empty calories and unnecessary sugar, not to mention dairy. It’s a combination for disaster and doesn’t set you up for a strong morning! 

When you get the itch to go grab something sweet, try out a protein shake instead. This one features 21 grams of powerful plant protein with a delicious chocolate taste. If you’re craving other sweet treats, you could also use protein powder in baking recipes as a replacement for flour. Read this article for details on how you can do this easily. Looking for something that tastes amazing? Blend your chocolate protein powder with half a banana and a scoop of ice—frothy, milkshake-y goodness!  

CRAVING: Hamburger, HEALTHY SWAP: Lettuce Wraps or Grass-Fed Beef

Want a burger, but trying to lower your gluten intake? Try swapping out the bun for a lettuce wrap instead. This is an easy way to sneak some more veggies into your diet, while still getting the burger taste you’re looking for.  

You could make this even healthier by ditching the classic burger patty and opting for a grass-fed beef option. Check out the benefits, here!

Sweet potato fries laid out on a silver sheet.

CRAVING: French Fries, HEALTHY SWAP: Veggie Fries

Who doesn’t love french fries? They’re the perfect side dish for a summer barbecue, or even just a night in. But while these are probably your go-to, they also tend to be loaded with salt and unhealthy fats that no one needs in their diet. 

Instead, try opting for veggie fries. These are convenient, even for busy weeknights, because they can be made with lots of different vegetables you may already have in your fridge like zucchini, green beans, turnips, or even butternut squash. Take a look at this article for 15 different ways you can make veggie fries for some inspiration to get started.  

CRAVING: Soda, HEALTHY SWAP: Kombucha or Kefir

Lots of people reach for soda to go along with their meals throughout the day, but unfortunately the majority of these are filled with crazy amounts of sugar. Even diet soda contains additives and artificial ingredients that aren’t ideal. 

Kombucha has a similar fizziness to soda, while also having a ton of health benefits. This miracle drink is filled with probiotics that aid in digestion and a healthier gut. It’s also filled with vitamins and antioxidants to boost your immune system. Try out this kombucha-style drink to curb your next soda craving. 

Not a fan of kombucha? Kefir is another great swap for soda that is also loaded with healthy benefits! This fermented drink has a similar texture to yogurt and is a great source of calcium and protein. If you’re lactose intolerant, this is a great option for you. 

Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean avoiding the foods you want to eat altogether. It just means you’re prepared when your cravings for junk food start to kick in. Committing to reach for simple swaps is the best way to keep yourself on track.

Now that we’ve talked about healthy eating, let’s dive into healthy skin! Read our post to learn why your skincare products matter.