Get All The Pleasure, But Without All The Guilt
By finding some healthier alternatives, you can still have your cake and eat it too!
If you are anything like most of us out there, you like the occasional guilty treat.
You know, like a thick slice of chocolate cake, or a big bag of crisps that you accidentally ate all by yourself before even realizing it.
But when you're trying to be healthy, or lose some extra pounds around your waist, these treats can very quickly derail your good intentions and efforts.
We're not saying give up all the yummy treats you adore, 'cause life is just too short! And lettuce and bland crackers just won't cut it.
So instead of cutting out all our favorite snacks and treats, find ways to replace your favorites with healthier, yet still delicious, options.
By making small adjustments, you'll soon find yourself less lethargic, and looking and feeling your best.
Here are some healthier alternatives to your favorite not-so-healthy treats!
SODA & FLAVORED DRINKS
World Population Review found that US citizens drink an estimated 154 liters per capita every year. Nearly 1 out of every 5 people report having at least one soda daily.
One soda daily may not sound so bad, but 1 can of Coca-Cola contains 9.75 teaspoons of sugar and orange soda about 12 teaspoons, both more than the daily recommended intake for added sugars for both men and women.
So, what is a good alternative that isn’t only still water?
Try plain sparkling water!
You will still get the carbonation that you love, but with zero calories, sugar, and fat.
Add slices of lemon, orange, strawberries, cucumber, or fresh herbs for added flavor. Or add zero-calorie sweetener drops if you need that extra sweetness.
Be wary of store-bought flavored water, as these often contain added sugar.
Ice tea is a wonderful way to drink more water when you are tired of plain water. It is also a great way to get some of the benefits that herbal teas offer.
Simply steep your tea as usual, add a slice of lemon and a little bit of honey, and let it cool in the fridge.
Ok, we added this one with CAUTION! Although freshly squeezed juice can offer us some vitamins and other health benefits (compared to soda), it should only be enjoyed on rare occasions.
A 12-ounce glass of orange juice contains nearly the same amount of sugar as a can of Coke, around 10 teaspoons of sugar! It also takes around 4 oranges to make a small 8 oz. glass of juice. So you are effectively eating 4 times the sugar. Juicing also removes all the beneficial fiber from the fruit.
So if you really crave juice, choose 100% pure juice and compare the sugar content per serving.
CHIPS & SALTY SNACKS
Potato chips, tortilla chips, cheese puffs, pretzels, you name it.
There is an entire aisle at most grocery stores dedicated to all of the different options, making it easy to grab them when you are in a rush.
Chips are loaded with unhealthy saturated fats, sodium, sugar (yes sugar), and high in calories.
Instead of grabbing another bag of chips or pretzels, grab these instead:
Popcorn is a whole grain food that's high in fiber, low in fat and calories, and contains fewer carbs, making it a healthier alternative.
Homemade is always best - pop it in coconut oil and add light seasonings instead of butter.
NUTS & TRAIL MIX
Nuts are a great snack to keep you full and provide energy, as they contain heart-healthy fats, protein, and beneficial nutrients.
Nuts are best for you in their more natural state, without as much added salt.
They are also great in healthy trail mixes. If you love crunching on a quick snack, then nuts are for you!
Sesame sticks are a fantastic healthier alternative to your favorite potato chips. There are no funny colorants, flavorants, or MSG - only pure, healthy ingredients - Wheat flour, soybean oil, sesame seeds, bulgur wheat, salt, and turmeric.
LIGHTLY SALTED SOY NUTS
Soy nuts are a crunchy snack made from mature soybeans that have been soaked in water, drained, and dry-roasted with just a little bit of salt. Since soynuts are rich in fiber, plant protein, isoflavones, and several other nutrients, they have tons of health benefits!
CANDY & DESSERTS
For many, candy and desserts are the hardest things to give up.
Whether it is donuts for breakfast or ice cream, cookies, or cake for dessert, it is hard not to let your sweet-tooth get to you.
Chocolate bars and different candies also tempt you at pretty much any checkout lane, and it is hard to say no for “just a dollar.”
So what are a few things that can satisfy a sweet tooth in a more beneficial way?
Dried fruits are nature’s candy! And there are so many options!
Craving something crunchy? Try dried banana chips; if you want something chewy, try dried raisins, dried cherries, or apple rings.
Other options include dates, figs, ginger, mango, papaya, peaches, nectarines, pears, pineapples, and prunes.
Dried fruits contain natural sugar, so enjoy them in moderation and always read the labels for any added sugar or unfavorable ingredients.
CAROB-COATED NUTS & FRUIT
Carob can be an alternative to chocolate if you are looking to avoid caffeine and dairy. Carob also contain much more fiber than chocolate.
Enjoyed in moderation, these can be a great alternative to that candy bar you’re about to eat
There's no denying that a crunchy cookie is difficult to replace. Unfortunately, cookies are dense in calories, fat, and sugar. And store-bought cookies are the worst offenders.
So instead of giving up this delicious guilty pleasure, why not make more of your own homemade cookies? This way, you'll be in charge of all the ingredients.
SMOOTHIES & SORBET
If you are looking for a healthier option for ice cream or a milkshake, try using some frozen fruit!
You can make a pretty good smoothie that tastes delicious! Or a vegan ice cream that doesn’t leave you feeling guilty afterwards.
Sorbets are also a simple, delicious option! Again, by using frozen fruit you can create a light, frozen dessert that is especially nice in the summer!
Whether you enjoy sugar in your tea or coffee, need sugar for baking, or want to sweeten your oatmeal, table sugar, hidden or added, can be detrimental to your health efforts.
High consumption of added sugar significantly increases your risks for diabetes, high blood pressure, gout, obesity, heart attack, stroke, cancer, asthma, tooth decay, depression, and early death.
Whenever a recipe calls for added sugar or your tastebuds crave it, there are some healthier alternatives you can turn to to reduce these risks. But, always be mindful of alternatives, as too much of a good thing can also be bad.
Date sugar is made from quality dates that are dehydrated and ground. It has a lower GI (glycemic index) than white sugar, honey, and other alternatives, having a less severe impact on your blood sugar levels. It is also high in antioxidants, minerals, and fiber.
Originating from a plant in the sunflower family in South and Central America, the stevia leaf is one of the sweetest substances known in nature, with a sweetness rating of up to 300 times the sweetening power of sugar. With no calories and very little aftertaste, stevia is an excellent alternative sweetener to sugar for teas and other recipes that call for sugar.
ORGANIC AGAVE NECTAR
We have the agave plant to thank for this amazingly versatile and oh-so-friendly sweetener. What makes this sweetener so special? For starters, it's low-glycemic, so no more sugar crashes! It’s also 1.4 times sweeter than sugar, so you can use less in all your baking and cooking. Organic agave is perfect for perking up your favorite beverages. This beauty of a sweetener is brought to you by Madhava so you can be sure it's all-natural and free of any chemicals, additives, or other unsavory stuff. Just pure deliciousness. Sweet!!
Get organic agave nectar here
MONKFRUIT SWEETENER WITH ERYTHRITOL
Sugar substitute that's perfect for cookies, coffee, desserts, and other sweet, sugar-free treats. It tastes, bakes, and cooks like sugar. Great sugar alternative. Made with only monk fruit sweetener and erythritol.
TOPPINGS & CONDIMENTS
Did you know that a single serving of tomato sauce (15 ml) contains about 1 teaspoon of sugar and 160mg of sodium? With the recommended daily intake of 9 teaspoons of sugar (for men) and 6 teaspoons (for women), a serving of tomato sauce can quickly get you there.
The same goes for so many other toppings, condiments, sauces, dressings, etc. They are often loaded with hidden sugar, sodium, and unhealthy fats. Not to mention empty calories with no beneficial nutrients.
It's difficult to completely get rid of all these yummy treats in our food, otherwise, life would just be bland! But you can try to make them healthier if you are in charge of the ingredients.
Savory sauces → Peanut satay sauce
Sugar-laden caramel sauce → Date peanut butter caramel
Instant gravy → Dairy-free mushroom gravy
Butter frosting → Chocolate avocado frosting
As with all things in life, enjoy these healtier alternatives in moderation ;-)
Life is about balance, and the same goes for the food we eat. When we deprive ourselves of all our favorite foods and treats, it will be more difficult to sustain, and we may give up on trying.
Rather, enjoy your favorites on special occasions and reach for healthier alternatives as often as you can.
We try to offer you and your family with healthy, organic, pure ingredients and products to make the lifestyle change as easy as possible.