- There’s nothing wrong with satisfying your cravings, but if you’re trying to be a little more mindful, there are plenty of ways to do so in a healthier way.
- If you’re craving something with a creamy texture, replace cheese with avocado.
- Eating mixed nuts or roasted chickpeas can be a healthier alternative to eating heavily processed potato chips.
There is nothing wrong with indulging in your favourite fast food and snack cravings in small doses. But sometimes these cravings can be tough to ignore, even if you are trying to maintain a healthier lifestyle. Sometimes you might want to curb your cravings with something that’s lower in fat, calories, sugar, carbohydrates, or sodium.
Here are healthier ways to satisfy some common cravings.
If you’re craving something cold and sweet, try blending up frozen bananas.
Frozen, blended bananas can be a healthier way to satisfy cravings for something cold and sweet.
“Peel a very ripe banana and freeze it in foil,” said Caroline Apovian, director, Center for Nutrition and Weight Management, Boston Medical Center.She said once it’s completely frozen, put your banana in a blender with vanilla extract and vanilla yogurt, blend, and you have yourself some delicious faux banana ice cream.
Craving flavorful popcorn? Swap out butter for olive oil and powdered seasoning.
“Throw some popcorn kernels and a light coating of olive oil in a pot,” registered dietitian Laura N. Brown, MS, RD/LD, ACMS-CPT told INSIDER. She said once the corn is popped, top it with a very light dusting of salt or seasonings like garlic, onion, or chilli powder to add flavour.
Popcorn is a whole grain, she added, meaning it is high in fibre, which will leave you full and satisfied.
If you’re craving something salty and crunchy, make roasted chickpeas.
“Roasted chickpeas are a simple-to-make snack that makes a perfect substitute for croutons, high-calorie finger foods like salted peanuts, and more,” registered dietitian Becky Garrison told INSIDER. Generally, it involves seasoning chickpeas to your liking, splashing them with an oil of your choice, and then baking them in the oven until crispy.
If you’re craving creaminess, try avocado.
“Try replacing cheese with avocado,” said Joelle Malinowski RD, CDE, CDN. Avocado gives you that creaminess cheese normally provides but it is a better source of fat and healthy nutrients, she added. This can be a particularly handy swap for hearty recipes.
If you’re craving pasta, try bean-based pasta instead of standard pasta.
“Try bean-based pasta as an alternative to standard pasta,” registered dietitian Rachel Fine, MS, RD, CSSD, CDN told INSIDER. Bean-based pasta offers significantly more nutrition per bite as they are high in naturally occurring intact fibres and protein, she said.
If you’re craving rice, try opting for cauliflower rice instead of standard rice.
“It never hurts to choose cauliflower rice over traditional rice,” said registered dietitian Laura Ligos, MBA, RDN, CSSD. She said this can help you to reduce your carbohydrate intake, which means you might feel better about increasing your portion size as it increases your intake of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).
If you’re craving something fizzy and sweet, try seltzer water instead of soda.
“Try to drink seltzer water instead of soda,” Ligos told INSIDER. This satisfies your desire for bubbles but oftentimes contains no sugar, no artificial sweeteners, and no calories, she explained. Just make sure to read the label of whichever variety of seltzer you choose as some can have added sweeteners.
Try satisfying potato chip cravings by eating mixed nuts.
“Try to choose mixed nuts over chips,” said Ligos. She explained that nuts will fill you up and satiate whereas chips will leave you wanting more. Both will provide a salty crunch.
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