A Nutritionist Dishes on Tasty Junk Food Alternatives

Curb your sweet and salty cravings and snack on healthy food options.

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A balanced snack should consist of protein, fat and carbohydrates, however much of the junk food we eat for snacks lacks properties with nutrients and has low nutritional value. We talked to registered dietician Lauren Talbert about making healthy choices when you need something sweet or salty to nibble on.

Healthy Alternatives

Chocolate: Protein bars are a great snack made of whole ingredients that will keep your belly happy until your next meal. The brands RXBAR and 88 Acres bars should be at the top of your list to try. Also, if you just can’t get chocolate off your mind, try dark chocolate in a trail mix filled with nuts. The nuts provide fiber and protein and will fill you up more than pure chocolate will.

Potato Chips: If you’re looking for something with a crunch, try snap pea crisps or roasted chickpeas, which are rich in fiber, protein and vitamins. Edamame is also a good option if you’re craving something salty. Another benefit to this premature soybean is that it’s low in calories.

French Fries: It’s hard to resist French fries, but apple chips are giving them some competition. These naturally sweet snacks come with cinnamon, which may decrease inflammation. If you’re looking for something that’s high in antioxidants, try homemade zucchini fries.

Gummy Candy: People tend to enjoy the sweet taste that gummy candy offers, but dried fruit and fruit leather are just as tasty and have more nutritional value. This snack is good for kiddos and adults too, since it’s an easy grab-and-go food.

Doughnuts: Instead of eating something with sprinkles, frosting or glaze, try making muffins at home. Using pureed fruit in your recipe as an alternative to oil will add more fiber to your snack and keep you feeling full, longer.