Monday, August 11, 2014


Chocolate Truffles
Photo Credit: Jenny 

It is human nature to crave the sweet, salty and fatty foods. They are pleasing to the human eye and have a great aroma. Depending on your body, certain cravings may be a wake up call for you to get more nutrition, but people tend to reach for the wrong types of foods. Your metabolism can vary from day to day so it's not unusual that one should crave different foods at various times of the day. Here are some healthier options when you crave sweets, salty snacks and fatty foods.

Banana Soft Serve with Protein Powder
Photo Credit: Jenny 

Craving sweets? Don't grab a candy bar, sugary cereal, cookies or the cake your mother just baked.  Here are some sweet substitutions to combat your cravings. 
  • Fruit- fruit has good sugars and also contains fiber. It also has many health benefits, such as protecting against heart disease. 
  • Banana Icecream - only need one frozen banana which you can run through a blender. Add fruit and cocoa powder or cinnamon for a healthier topping. 
  • Frozen fruit- grapes, raspberries and strawberries are delicious frozen. 
  • Vanilla yogurt and fruit- Vanilla yogurt is really sweet and you can even buy a non-fat or low-fat option. 
  • Slice of whole wheat bread with a tablespoon of peanut butter
  • Protein bar (coming soon a post on the better protein bars) 
  • Protein shakes or smoothies with lots and lots of fruit! 
  • One piece of dark chocolate or chocolate milk- Click here to read about the health benefits of cocoa. 
  • Apple cinnamon chips- bake in the oven at 250 degrees for one hour 
  • Coffee with low-fat milk. DO NOT add sugar.  Click here to read about the health benefits of coffee. 
  •  Raisins- raisins contain lots of fiber and a sugar boost. 1/4 cup of raisins contains 108 calories so be mindful of how much you are eating. 
Craving something salty and crunchy? No chips or processed food, or you will overeat. Everyone does. I can only tell you how many times when I have been stressed where I have definitely eaten at least three servings of chips or pretzels in one sitting. If you really need to eat chips or have no other options available to you, buy the smaller bags. If you reach for the family size bag, studies show without a pause or break in between each bite, you will eat more than you intended (Secret Eaters Television show). You also are less likely to overeat and stop and think about your choice for eating a second bag if it has not been opened yet!

Here are some healthier substitutions. 
  • Kale chips, sweet potato fries or chips, carrot chips, homemade potato chips or fries- cut thinly and bake in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour at 400 degrees. Sprinkle some olive oil and a low dose of salt for some crunchy and salty flavor. 
  • Homemade plaintain chips- add olive oil, chili powder and salt. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. 
  • Rice crackers or rice crisps- crunchy and low in calorie 
  • Raw vegetables with soy sauce- for all you picky vegetable eaters, soy sauce helps to hide bad vegetable flavor. 
  • Raw vegetables with a little bit of salt- carrots are a good option and fill you up because they have lots of fiber. 
  • Raw vegetables with hummus
  • Low-fat pretzels- pretzels are not the best option, because they contain quite a bit of sodium (325 mg per serving). But a serving contains 109 calories and about 1 gram of fat and none of it is saturated. An ounce of pretzels also has .9 grams of fiber ( If you want pretzels, pair them with some foods such as low-fat cheese or fruit. 
  • Handful of peanuts or nuts- high in fat, but very satisfying and filling. 
  • Beef jerky- Opt for the low-fat and low-calorie kind. 
  • Popcorn- Use very little oil and salt
  • Edamame beans
  • Seaweed
Craving rich and fatty foods? Foods such as cheese, puddings, cakes, fast food are most desirable. Your body is probably craving these calories, because you need more fuel. The key to getting rid of this craving is to eat foods higher in protein or more protein and add more healthy fats to your diet such as avocado and chia seeds. Click on the food and nutrition page to learn more about avocado and chia seeds. 
  • 1/2 cup of non-fat cottage cheese 
  • 3 oz of chicken breast 
  • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter with crackers or a slice of wheat bread- be careful and don't overdo this 
  • 3 oz of salmon, tuna or walleye 
  • 3 oz of lean steak 
  • 3 slices of turkey or ham 
  • 1 low-fat mozzarella stick 
  • 3 oz of pork tenderloin
  • 2 large eggs 
  • Protein smoothie, shake or bar 
  • Avocado - I love to make avocado egg-salad with cherry tomatoes. A great and filling fatty but healthy substitution. 
  • Chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds 
I hope that these lists give an idea of some healthier alternatives for you when you feel anxious or desperate for rich and sugary foods. Although, 1/10 times I hope you do reach for something unhealthy. Restricting too much can lead to binging or overindulgence because your mind will feel deprived. In a way, food cravings are mental too.

You may feel a certain way because you are stressed and worried about something. Tell yourself that the ice-cream in the fridge is not really calling out to you and go outside for a walk and get out of the kitchen or near your food. 

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