With obesity levels on the rise, people everywhere are looking to improve their diets. Fad diets want you to eliminate entire food groups, but this often leads to broken diets or even bingeing.

Even worse, our favorite junk foods are often the culprits that lead us straight to dangerous diseases and conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Instead of enduring a “No Fun” diet and completely cutting out the things you love, try swapping them for more nutritious choices. Here are five alternatives to popular junk foods:

Potato Chips

A serving of fifteen Lay’s potato chips contains one hundred and sixty calories and ten grams of fat. This snack is loaded with cholesterol but has very little nutritional value. Consider switching to sweet potato chips! Sweet potatoes are so nutrient rich that they are often recommended as a first food for babies. Slice them with a mandolin, add a little olive oil and sea salt, and bake in the oven for a fiber packed salty treat!

Candy Bars

Though cocoa and nuts can be parts of a healthy diet, the sugar and unhealthy fats in most candy bars pack a high calorie punch. If you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, try reaching for a Luna Bar. Luna Bars come in fifteen delicious flavors like Peanut Butter Cookie and S’mores, yet each bar contains protein, fiber, folic acid, and iron.

Soda

Though no one food can be blamed for the nation’s obesity problem, sodas are at the top of nutritionist’s bad list. Soda contain empty calories and high levels of sugar. For a refreshing but lower calorie beverage, turn to iced tea. Tea can be found in hundreds of flavors and is easily sweetened with sugar alternatives like honey or agave. Make it yourself at home or try Starbucks Tazo Shaken Iced Tea on the go.

Ice Cream

Most ice cream has more then two times the fat content of frozen yogurt. When you add popular toppings like caramel or chocolate, this number can increase dramatically. Frozen yogurt is a tasty but low fat alternative. Try toppings like berries and granola to add flavor and nutrition. Since frozen yogurt has increased in popularity, frozen yogurt shops are now located in most cities.

Cookies

Store bought cookies contain preservatives and few healthy ingredients. Try making your own cookies with oats, nuts, and dark chocolate. You can also throw in fruit like dried cranberries or mashed bananas to add healthy calories. Not only can you customize the cookies to your tastes, you control the ingredients. Without the high fructose corn syrup and chemicals found in grocery store cookies, these sweet treats become a delicious part of a healthy diet.

Was this article helpful?  Try reading these as well . . .