Have you ever experienced a caffeine, salt, or sugar craving at one point or another during the day?
You’re not alone.
Most people tend to deal with daily or frequent cravings without knowing that junk food is created to ignite a cycle of addiction in those who consume it.
In fact, research revealed that compared to 40 years ago, today, the average American family spends 50 percent of their budget for food on junk or restaurant food.
Millennial alone spend about 45 percent of their food budget on eating out,according to data analyzed from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, by the Food Institute.
If you’re addicted to junk food, you’ve probably hit the ‘bliss point’ aimed at by product manufacturers, where you experience the ultimate pleasure whenever you consume your favorite treat.
At that point, it is hard to resist, and your brain reacts the same way it would with drug addictions.
But why we should avoid junk food?
Knowing some facts about junk food on our health is vital to helping us avoid it altogether.
Among the health problems that junk food comes with include type-2 diabetes, learning and memory problems, depression,digestive issues, fluctuating blood sugar levels, weakness and fatigue,increase in the risk of heart disease and cancer, as well as damage to your kidney and liver.
These problems come about because junk food is high in calories, sugar (liquid), and fat, while being low in fiber.
The good news is that when you stop eating junk food gradually, you can experience weight loss, reduced risks on your health, better mood and sleep, and you have more room for nutritious food.
It also improves your muscle tone, while leaving your skin looking clear, and with a glow.
Therefore, we should avoid junk food for several reasons including:
- The potential to increase LDL cholesterol owing to the high levels of saturated fat content in junk food
- The high calorie levels in junk food owing to the large amounts of sugar
- The risk of increased blood pressure and bloating from the large amounts of sodium/salt used to preserve junk food
- Junk foods are bereft of vitamins as they’re mostly processed and thus unhealthy
- The high risk of cancer owing to the large amount of nitrates used in processed or junk food, mostly in cold cut sand meats to keep them from growing bacteria
With all this information in mind, isn’t it time you made an about-turn and got back on the path to living and eating healthy?
The good news is, there are healthier alternatives to your favorite junk foods that you can replace with and start enjoying the benefits therein.Eating healthy has tons of benefits.
Here are some healthy alternatives that allow you to give into your cravings but not with junk food.
1. Kale/Banana chips for regular fries
Potatoes are a favorite food for millions of people across the world, especially in the form of fries or chips.
However, this isn’t a healthy way of drawing the benefits of this superfood.
Instead of reaching for a bag of chips or fries, why not try veggie chips like kale chips or banana chips, or even sweet potato chips?
You may not be a fan at first, but overtime, you’ll find they make a great snack and healthier alternative to the fatty fries and potato chips you’re used to.
Similarly, you can bake your potatoes in coconut oil, instead of the usual deep frying method, for a crispy and crunchy texture.
2. Pizzas with healthy toppings
This is the ultimate in comfort food,especially because it comes delivered fast, in just under 15 minutes, depending on where you are.
However, there are lots of healthy pizza recipes out there that you probably haven’t discovered that are as easy and cheap to make at home.
Try making pizzas or mini pizzas with healthy toppings like zucchini, mushrooms, eggplant, or veggies, to reduce your intake of carbs.
There are a number of healthy foods available these days. In fact, you have a plethora of choice to pick the one as per your taste and flavour.
3. Add fresh juices and smoothies replacing soda
This is one addictive drink, but also very unhealthy.
The best healthy alternatives to replace soda with include freshly squeezed or made juices, smoothies, or water.
You can add fruit to your water if you want a refreshing drink asap.
Green tea extract is another great replacement besides being one of the best fat burners, as it is rich in the poly phenol EGCG(epigallocatechin gallate) – compounds that help burn fat.
4. Vegan and natural ice creams are better
As painful as it sounds, eating too much ice cream is unhealthy.
Replace it with vegan ice cream, or popsicles, which can be made from some blended fruit and a few other healthy ingredients.
An ice cream generally has a good sugar content. You naturally won’t like it without sugar but one can easily find ice creams made of natural sugar. Test out different variations, and you’ll have so many alternatives to the junk food, you won’t want to go back.
Whey protein ice cream is one of the best variations to replace the fatty, sugary, and calorie-rich ice cream with a protein-packed, nutritious alternative.
In addition, you can also go with probiotic ice creams which are good for gut health. It’s a great option for people allergic to milk products.
5. Butternut squash for mac and cheese
This is one of the most common junk foods in many homes, but, there are healthier alternatives to this orange stuff in a box.
Instead of macaroni, you can add butternut squash for a sweet yet healthy treat.
6. Try dark chocolate instead
Your chocolate cravings need not be dampened by eliminating chocolate altogether.
Instead, get a few dark chocolate squares, or try some dark chocolate truffles to satisfy your cravings.
Our brains are wired to eat various healthy foods, but once we bring junk food into our diet, it may reduce this desire to eat food that is good for our bodies.
Junk food is designed to be addictive, and this can trap you in a vicious unhealthy eating cycle.
The more you consume it, the more you end up with cravings for junk food. By avoiding junk food and replacing it with healthy alternatives, you can break this cycle and lead a healthier life.
Swapping one for the other can do your health a favor as you continue eating the same kinds of things, only healthier.
Jenny Travens –
Jenny is a creative blog writer who has many passions and interests. Health and wellness is one area where she likes to contribute as much as she can. She is currently contributing to – Meddentsafety & other top blogs.
Twitter – @jennytravens