Eating on-the-go is something all of us seem to be doing these days.
Whether we’re jetting off to work or to a social event, many of us don’t have to prepare full meals, and opt to eat out or pack snacks. But sometimes, we pay for the convenience not only with our wallets, but with our nutrition as well. Most packaged snacks have little to no nutritional value, and leave us depleted of the many of the vitamins and minerals we need to stay healthy throughout the day.
Here are a few junk food substitutions to keep in mind when eating on the go.
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Green Tea vs. Coffee
Green Tea can give you the same amount of energy a cup of coffee can, without the sugar and heavy cream. Swap your morning/noon/bedtime latte or cappuccino for a cup of green tea with lemon and ginseng and you won’t be able to tell the difference.
Frozen Grapes & Berries vs. Fruit Snacks/Candy
Pop some grapes or berries in the freezer to satisfy your sweet tooth! Opting for frozen (or fresh) fruit instead of M&Ms and high fructose fruit snacks will slash your calories and sugars, but will still be satisfying.
Banana Bread vs. Cake or Pie
Every now and again we want some sweet carbohydrates. But instead of slicing some cake, reach for homemade banana bread that’s full of grains (and many recipes call for flax seeds as well) that’ll help keep you regular, and is also full of flavor.
Yogurt vs. Ice Cream
Ice cream with the fixings is a good treat every now and again, but opt more often for some probiotic yogurt. The probiotics are great for your digestive system, versus the saturated fats and refined sugars found in ice cream. If you want, pop the yogurt in the freezer to a texture similar to ice cream without all the guilt.
Air Popped Popcorn vs. Potato Chips
Make sure the popcorn is air-popped and not microwave (full of chemicals). This alternative can satisfy your need for crunch, but save your tons of calories, as well as unnecessary oils and trans fats that are found in regular potato chips.
Flavored Water vs.Soda
Throw some cucumbers and lemon in water and drink until your heart’s content. This is a great way to cut sugars and bloating that comes from downing glasses of soda !
Rice Cakes vs. Crackers
You may think you’re doing the right thing when snacking on Wheat Thins or other snack crackers, but those actually are full of preservatives and have high levels of sodium. Try flavored rice cakes instead, and you can even top them with some natural peanut butter for added flavor.
Organic Honey vs. Sugar
Organic honey is a great replacement for sugar (when sweetening tea or coffee) and syrup (on top of waffles). When you want to give something a naturally sweet flavor, opt for organic honey, which also is known to help clear sinuses.
Sweet Potato Fries vs. French Fries
Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamins and minerals, and are equally as filling as french fries. Try cutting them into slivers and baking or roasting them and sprinkle with cinnamon for a great french fry alternative.
Pita vs. Enriched Bread
When you’re packing a sandwich, use pita bread instead of enriched white or wheat bread. Pita pockets are full of fibers that will help keep you regular and full, and has none of the artificial sugars and flavorings found in enriched breads.
Dark Chocolate vs. Milk Chocolate
When your sweet tooth attacks, or it’s that time when you just have to have chocolate, switch out your traditional milk chocolate bar for a dark chocolate one. Dark chocolate has antioxidants and less sugar than milk chocolate bars.
Hummus vs. Chip Dip
Swap your french onion chip dip for some hummus, and you’ll save yourself saturated fats, heavy cream, and preservatives. Hummus is made from ground chickpeas, and full of natural ingredients.