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Healthy substitutes for irresistible junk food

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Trying to stick to a weight-loss diet? Don’t despair – healthy food can be enjoyed in so many ways. It’s easy to find healthy substitutes to your favourite junk foods. All it takes is a little imagination…

Bad: Crisps

For many, a packet of crisps is a staple snack at lunchtime. However, we all know they’re not healthy. As well as being high in calories and unsaturated fat, the frying process produces a possibly cancer-causing chemical known as acrylamide.

Good: Baked kale crisps

If it’s something satisfyingly crispy and salty you’re after, take 30 minutes out of your evening to bake some kale crisps. Kale is known as a super-food because it is rich in nutrients including fibre, vitamin A, calcium, vitamin A and vitamin K. Take a handful of kale, season with salt and paprika, dip in extra virgin olive oil and cook them in the oven for 25 minutes. The result will be a healthy, moreish and satisfying snack that you can even bag up and take to work the next day.

Bad: Fish ‘n’ chips

Let’s face it – potatoes deep fried in fat teamed with fish coated in batter and deep fried in fat was never going to be a particularly nutritional dish. Add to that the creamy tartar sauce and sugary ketchup we’re all partial to, and you’ll probably be exceeding your daily fat, salt and sugar allowance in one sitting.

Good: Breaded salmon and salad

It’s unlikely that we’re ever going to find a perfect alternative to Britain’s favourite dish, but fresh salmon coated in peppery bread crumbs and grilled until crisp is a close match. Salmon is full of omega 3 and calcium – fantastic for healthy hair, skin, heart and head – not to mention it tastes delicious. Nutritionists recommend you eat at least two portions of oily fish a week.

Bad: Milk chocolate

No one wants to hear this, but chocolate contains around 542 calories per 100g, and if eaten regularly, can contribute to obesity, diabetes and heart disease. In moderation, eating chocolate is fine. But how are we supposed to eat anything in moderation when it tastes so good?!

Good: Dates, nuts and dark chocolate

When you feel that chocolate craving creeping up on you, try this: eat one big, juicy, fresh date, a couple of brazil nuts and one square of dark chocolate. Dates are incredibly sweet, brazil nuts are satisfyingly rich and dark chocolate will give you that much-needed cocoa hit without the huge amount of sugar found in milk chocolate.

To find out how a nutritionist could help you lead a healthier, happier lifestyle without sacrificing the foods you love, go ahead and visit our Nutrition Topics page. 

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Zoe Thomas

Written by Zoe Thomas

Written by Zoe Thomas

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