It’s so simple and convenient to eat junk food when we feel hungry or crave food. There are healthy food options that are just as flavoursome as your “go-to” junk food, as simple to prepare, along with many health benefits. Below are several pleasant changes from your regular junk food snack that still taste great.
Blueberries for natural sugar
Blueberries are low in calories and taste amazing. They are packed with antioxidants and are rich in numerous vitamins. Blueberries are considered by many to be a superfood as they are so abundant with antioxidants. They complement a low sugar dessert such as cream or yogurt.
More natural sugar in mangoes
When it comes to tropical fruit, I think of mango. Rich in soluble fibre, vitamin A and vitamin C and packed full of antioxidants. Fantastic taste and so many health benefits. Mangos should not cause an insulin or blood sugar spike as they have a low glycaemic index (GI) and are relatively low in calories. Chronic diseases like cancer and oxidative damage are reduced thanks to mangoes. Fresh mangoes are irresistible and are ideal when added to yogurt, breakfast cereals, or porridge.
Yogurt, yes dairy can be great
Both healthy and delicious, this fermented dairy product is considered by many to be extremely healthy. Introducing yogurt, containing high levels of calcium, is beneficial for strengthening the bones, has several beneficial vitamins and is a source of proteins. Consuming yogurt has been attributed to both improved bone health and reduced blood pressure. Also, many varieties of yogurt contain active cultures of beneficial bacteria known as probiotics that are great for the digestive tract. Probiotic cultures have been attributed to enhancing immunity, digestion, and improved cholesterol. Remember to avoid yogurt with a high sugar content and search for natural yogurt, which is great when accompanied with fruit.
Healthy fats in almonds
Almonds are, in my opinion, a great snack. They are high in fat that promotes heart health, are highly nutritious and requires no preparation. Almonds are packed with protein, abundant in healthy fats that benefit heart health, fibre, and many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, antioxidants and magnesium. It has been recognised that almonds can minimise risk factors related to heart disease, reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, and the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Almonds are very satisfying/filling as they are high in healthy fats and calories. When eaten in moderation, almonds can assist with weight loss.
Pistachios also have healthy fats
Pistachios have been crowned the King of nuts and are absolutely delicious. They are a great source of fibre, protein and are abundant in fats know to be heart-healthy. They’re also a valuable source of iron, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamin B. Like almonds, pistachios have been linked with decreasing blood sugar levels and inflammation. Reduced oxidised LDL (bad) cholesterol improving blood fats, pistachios if eaten in moderation, are very filling and can assist in weight maintenance. The key is moderation, as almonds, like all nuts, are calorie-dense.
Hummus for protein fibre and healthy fats
Hummus is your best friend if you like eating dips and want something healthy to snack on. Chickpeas usually mixed with sesame seed paste (tahini), lemon juice, cumin, paprika, olive oil and a sprinkle of salt all come together to create hummus. The texture is similar to mashed potato, making it great comfort food and is excellent for your health. Chickpeas contain high amounts of fibre and protein, along with an assortment of vitamins and minerals, including folate, thiamine, copper magnesium, vitamin B6, and manganese.
Studies indicate hummus can reduce fasting insulin — an important indicator of blood sugar levels. Studies note that chickpeas can decrease LDL cholesterol which has been associated with heart disease.
Lean meats for lean protein
Lean meats are also great for your health. Quality meat produce is abundant in protein, and red meat is a great source of iron. Beef, chicken and game meats complement many dishes. Sausages and gourmet patties often have lower fat than supermarket options, so remember to include lean meats.