I’ve heard a time or two that nutrition is more important than activity when determining health. While I feel both are equally important, here is an article by Kimberley Laws, where she lovingly and logically speaks about how food can make you more fit and provides you food substitutes for your favourite junk foods.
Are your taste buds and your waistline in a state of perpetual disagreement? Your palate is no dummy. It knows that a tossed salad tastes like lawnmower clippings when compared to a juicy cheeseburger and a side order of golden fries. But your waistline knows where your fast food meal will end up–doled out equally on each side of your muffin top. It seems that your body parts will never meet “eye to eye.”
Thankfully, you can appease your taste buds and your midriff. Yes, it’s true. There are foods that have the sinful tastiness of “junk food,” without all of the waistline-expanding calories, fats, and sugar.
Faux French Fries
Mm. When it comes to the preferred way to eat the potato, the French Fry tops most Americans’ lists. Whether you like your fries topped with ketchup, salt, or, as the French Canadians like them–in the form of poutine–these slender, fried potato sticks are a taste-bud treat. Surely, nothing can compare to this crispy starchy goodness.
Think again. The sweet potato packs significantly higher amounts of vitamins, has more fiber, and lower levels of carbs and calories. Plus, their sweet flavor will make you feel like your indulging, when you really aren’t. And, instead of deep-frying your sweet potatoes, they can be lightly fried in a saucepan or–better yet–roasted.
Befriend a Flavonoid
If you suffer from a chocolate addiction–whether it’s mild, moderate, or raging out of control–you are far from alone. And chocolate, in itself, is not necessarily a bad thing. It just depends on whether or not you are opting for the real enchilada or a not-so-reasonable facsimile.
As Askmen.com’s “Top 10 Junk Food Substitutes” warns, popular chocolate bars are high in calories, refined sugars, and saturated fats, plus many US candy companies are silently substituting cost-friendly alternatives like vegetable oil for real cocoa. When you crave a chocolate treat, the experts recommend opting for an organic dark chocolate and getting a healthy dose of flavonoids.
Apple Pie Impostor
Unless you have spent your life amongst silent monks, you have likely heard the phrase “as American as apple pie.” Well, according to “The History of America’s Most Iconic Foods,” apple pie has existed in some form since the middle ages and it actually arrived here care of America’s earliest settlers due to its ease of transport. The truth remains, despite the apple pie’s transatlantic origins, Americans have adopted it as their own–and few things taste better.
This Fourth of July, you can enjoy the goodness of apple pie without the buttery crust and huge dose of sugar. Simply bake an apple and sprinkle it with cinnamon and a dollop of low-fat yogurt. And, voila, you have a healthful version of America’s favorite dessert.
Dine Out with Discernment
Life is busy. There will be times when you find yourself in the drive-thru of your favorite fast food franchise, but this does not mean your waistline must surrender to the demands of your taste buds. You can make a wise choice–even at the home of the golden arches or the pig-tailed, redheaded girl.
According to Health’s “The Healthiest Options at Fast-Food Restaurants,” Kim Lyons, a former trainer on The Biggest Loser, opts for McDonald’s Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich and Joanne Lichten, author of Eat Out Healthy, chooses Wendy’s large chili as healthful picks.
Healthy food does not have to taste like it belongs in your composter. Thanks to a few healthy options, your taste buds and your waistline can finally set aside their differences. And all of your parts can enjoy finger-lickin’ good food and a tidy waistline.
If you live a hurried lifestyle and don’t have a lot of time to prepare meals, you will want to check out “Healthy Eating When You’re Short on Time” for some helpful advice.
About the Author
Kimberley Laws is a freelance writer and avid blogger who is addicted to peanut butter with chocolate. She just slobbered a little on her keyboard thinking about it. You can follow her at The Embiggens Project and Searching for Barry Weiss.
Images courtesy of Thinkstock.com. Can you think of any food substitutes that may help you get fitter?