Junk Food Swaps
Swap these 14 common junk foods for our recommended healthier (great tasting) alternatives.
These substitute options can help you achieve your desired body weight, and maintain your health for a more positive lifestyle choice.
White potatoes and sweet potatoes have similar nutrition profiles except for sweet potatoes have more vitamins A & C. Sweet potatoes also have a lower glycemic load and glycemic index than regular potatoes (meaning, your blood sugar won’t rise as high when you eat a sweet potato compared to a white potato).
Chips > > Veggies & Dip
Chips are typically high in fat, calories, and salt, which can raise the risk of weight gain and obesity. Eating healthy snacks like veggies and dip will offer you full nutritional benefits in between meal times.
Sports Drinks > > Coconut Water
Because coconut water is high in potassium, and such a great electrolyte replacement, it has even been used for IV hydration in certain emergency situations. Some of the electrolytes found in coconut water, specifically calcium and magnesium, may help with stress and muscle tension. Many of us are missing these critical minerals in our diets, making stress management even more challenging.
Cacao is chocolate’s natural superfood source. Unlike the processed milk chocolate in the aisle, raw and organic cacao is rich in antioxidants and fiber and has zero sugar. Carob is also another chocolate substitute, originating from the carob tree pods and has a creamy taste. Or if you must eat chocolate- eat dark chocolate for those health benefits!
Forget about gelatins and corn fructose syrups – dried fruit is the way to go! Mix it up with a trail mix, or simply enjoy the natural sugar from fresh fruit. Try them all, mix your favorites, and create your own ziplock bags to take with you on the go! Read the label to ensure your dried fruit is free of added sweeteners and artificial ingredients.
Fried Chicken > > Grilled Chicken
Fried foods are unhealthy because they tend to be very high in fat and calories. But, deep frying also robs food of nutrients. Swap your fried chicken choice for grilled chicken instead. Sprinkle with your favorite herbs or a dry rub for mouthwatering flavor!
Soda > > Sparkling Water
Swapping those notoriously sugary carbonated drinks for bubbly aqua means you don’t have to give up the fizz and flavor, especially when the alternatives have fewer artificial ingredients, zero calories, and just as many bubbles.
Treat yourself to some guilt-free ice cream substitutes that taste just as good and are such a healthier alternative. Sorbet is made from water and fruit puree or juice. It contains no milk, cream or eggs- making this a winner in our book. Alternatively, you can’t go wrong with a frozen yogurt as long as you don’t go overboard with toppings!
Bagels > > Crackers
If you are looking for calories and carbs, then a bagel is the snack you need. For something just as satisfying, try substituting your bagel for a multi-grain cracker, saltine cracker, or wheat thins. You can still top it with your favorites, and you’ve just saved yourself up to 350 calories.
Sour Cream, or Cream Cheese > > Greek Yoghurt
Greek yogurt is a protein and probiotic-packed alternative, that makes an equally tasty ingredient in dressings, dips, and sauces. Or dollop this thick and tangy swap onto baked potatoes, tacos, and chili for a healthy dose of vitamin D12, calcium, and potassium.
Pizza is a convenient food weakness for many! But it is quicker to make your own homemade tortilla pizzas, or stuffed Portobello mushrooms. Swap that doughy pizza base for a tortilla or mushroom instead, and top it with your favorite toppings (and try to be moderate with the cheese)!
If you’re craving carbs and tempted to whip up mashed potatoes, reach for this equally hearty (and more vitamin-packed) substitute, which can be quickly steamed and mashed. Add almond milk, grass-fed butter, and sea salt to complete the dish.
Spaghetti > > Squash or Zucchini Noodles
If Italian comfort food is your culinary weakness, try substituting spaghetti pasta for squash or spiralized zucchini. The benefits- you’ll create a tasty low-carb, veg-heavy “pasta” dish that’s full of vitamins, minerals and filling fiber.
Ketchup > > Salsa
Ketchup may sound healthy with the primary ingredient being tomatoes, but the sugar content is ridiculously high! Homemade ketchup is easy enough to make, but if you are out and about, then substitute that ketchup for salsa instead.
Looking for sound diet and nutritional advice? Contact Thrive Fitness for BMI testing or to meet with our onsite nutritionist to learn about your body’s needs for optimal wellness. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have any other suggestions you would recommend? We’d love to hear them!
Comment below and let us know your favorite junk food swaps!