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7 Unhealthy Foods And Their Healthier Alternatives

There are many unhealthy food items that can be easily substituted by other healthy foods. Read to to know more from an expert. 

Written by: Navya KharbandaPublished at: Oct 23,2021
Updated at: Oct 24,2021

It seems to be a great idea to binge eat on a pack of crisps and soda when watching your favorite shows. Ideally, to maintain your weight when you are moderately active you need around 2500 calories for men and 2000 calories for women. Junk food contains lots of calories and doesn't add much nutrients. Getting the right nutrition is very essential for the body so that it functions appropriately, but that bag of chips might interfere with it.

Food tends to satisfy not just our hunger but it also gives you a feel good factor about yourself. Finding healthier alternatives for food is not just about cutting calories but it also helps in keeping your heart healthier and saving you from threatening diseases like type-2 diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dietician Arushi Gupta, Associate Dietician, Dayanand Medical College and hospital, Ludhiana, about unhealthy foods and their healthier alternatives. 

7 unhealthy foods and their healthier alternatives

You can always switch to healthier alternatives of junk food. Here we have discussed few easy to get junk food items and what are the healthier alternatives to it:  

1. Chips - Sweet potato

Chips are made up of potato. Potatoes might contain good amount of nutrients but all of them are destroyed during the cooking process. They contain high amounts of fats and salt. Crispy texture of chips might be hard to resist. To satisfy your temptations, you can switch to sweet potato chips/wedges and fries. Sweet potatoes are full of nutrients and they help in replenishing the body. Sweet potato chips can be flavoured with fennel and chilli. You can also try classic flavours like plain salted and barbeque. You can even experiment with your own favorite flavours by making crisps from kale, tomatoes, carrots etc. 

2. Ice cream - Frozen yogurt 

Ice cream is just a lot of fat churned with loads of sugars and artificial flavourings, it might be the tastiest available dessert but it does no good to your body. You can try including frozen yoghurts in your diet, it has identical consistency, you can flavour your yogurts with your favorite nuts and crushed fruits for that extra crunch and refreshing flavours. 

Also read: If You Think You Know Junk Food Well, Then You Should Listen To With This Dietician Has To Say

3. Soda - Homemade fruit juice

Soda contains a lots of hollow calories. It is loaded with sugars. Even diet coke contains a lot of chemicals which are very harmful for your body. But you need something to gulp food down your throat. You can always choose freshly prepared homemade juices. If you want that punch of soda you can also add crushed fruits and and juices in sparkling water. And, let them soak for an hour and you're good to go with your healthy drink. 

4. Chocolate - Dark chocolate 

It can be very difficult to resist if you are a chocolate fan. Although, cocoa powder is very healthy and it contains good amount of fibre and antioxidants, which helps you stay younger from within as well as outside. When you avoid regular milk chocolates, you skip a load of cocoa butter, fats and sugars. Even a bar of chocolate can disturb your daily count of calories. You can also add a handful of nuts and seeds to make them more nutrient dense. 

5. Maida noodles - Chapati noodles 

Noodles are definitely the easiest solution for instant hunger and cravings. Packaged noodles contain MSG, high amount of salts and preservatives. Instead, you can use leftover chapati to make your own fettuccine pasta. You can also make pasta from scratch using leftover wholewheat dough, and boiling it. You can flavour and shallow fry it using fresh vegetables to add colors, presentation and making food more palatable. 

Also read: How To Stop Sugar And Junk Food Cravings?

6. Sweets - Dried fruits 

Sweets are usually hard to resist. We tend to forget that even one pudding a day can evidently increase your calorie intake. Instead of using natural sugars, you can replace it with honey or brown sugar. In homemade sweets, you can alter the amount of sugar you are using. You should also try certain recipes which don't need sugar at all like khajur and anjeer halwa. And you can have dried fruits and chocolate coated nuts. Dried fruits do contains sugars so you should always mind the quantity while eating them. 

7. White bread - whole wheat bread

Refined flour is already not good for your gut. It contains very less fibre and is difficult to digest. You can try using wholewheat flour which can be refined using multi grains like buckwheat, almonds and ragi and jowar. You can also try preparing flat breads from it as it is easier and gives a more satisfying result. You can experiment with a variety of seeds. Seeds will not just enhance nutrients in food but it will also provide satiety for long hours. You can also use alternatives like sweet potato cuts and lettuce to replace carbs from your burgers, sandwiches and burritos. 

Also read: Here Are Seven Major Reasons To Refrain From Junk Food

Along with swapping food items, you can also try focusing on changing cooking methods like using less oil, baking instead of frying. You can also use air fryers as they give very close results to fried food but with very less oil. You can switch to shallow frying and deep frying. We usually ignore the calories we eat in our dips and sauces. Therefore, instead of readymade dips, you can whip your own mayonnaise and salsa. And, you can also experiment with a variety of flavouring and using yogurt dips. These small steps help you in a lot of ways.


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