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Have you ever tried to curb your cravings by having a healthy snack instead of the sweet, salty, creamy, or crunchy unhealthy item you were craving? Did it satisfy you? Or, did you find your cravings continued to urge you to eat the unhealthy item afterward anyway? Perhaps, you even found yourself consuming more soda, potato chips, or chocolate than you originally wanted. This article will (briefly) explain why the cravings likely continued, and give you snack switches that will truly satisfy.
Why don’t many healthy snack switches satisfy?
When healthy choices don’t match the taste or texture you crave, they won’t satisfy you. Period. Say you’re craving a salty, oily potato chip with a delectable crunch. Will a handful of carrots crush your craving? Probably not. They’ve got the crunch, but are sorely lacking in the “salty” and “oily” categories. Add hummus to your carrots, and you’ll get more salt and fat, which may be enough to curb the craving. Substitute your standard potato chip for a purple potato chip, sweet potato chip, or veggie chip though, and you’ll satiate and nourish yourself at the same time.
6+ Satisfying Switches for Snacks & Sweets
While many sneaky substitutions can be made while you cook, this list will focus on packaged, “unhealthy” goods. Why? Fewer and fewer Americans are cooking, and instead, many of us reach for convenient, pre-packaged solutions for our hunger and cravings on a daily basis. This list provides ways to upgrade the snacks/sweets you reach for. It’s as easy as grabbing “this” instead of “that”.
If cooking is your thing, keep an eye out for an upcoming blog article focused on food and technique swaps you can easily do in the kitchen.
There are tons of crunchy, salty, and specialty-flavored potato chip alternatives. Look for bean-based options for more fiber and protein!
Even more than candy or other “junk” food, consuming conventional sodas increases your risk for multiple chronic diseases. Luckily, fizzy, sweet, and flavorful alternatives are on trend. For a near exact match to your favorite soda, Zevia closely imitates sweetness, carbonation, flavor, and even caffeine. Kombucha has a huge variety of available flavors too, and also contains probiotics. Lightly flavored, uncarbonated waters like Hint will actually hydrate you, too.
If fruity, gumminess is your thing, there are plenty of fruit snacks and leathers on the market that use more natural sugars and cleaner ingredients. If you want a sucker, you might as well get your daily vitamin C in the process. Just looking for something minty to chew on? Might as well pick something that’s naturally sweetened, uses real mint, and avoids unnecessary artificial colors.
4. Chocolate/candy bars
You probably already know that darker chocolate is better for you than milk chocolate. Peak into the ingredient labels, and you’ll find that darker chocolates also tend to be paired with better (and fewer) ingredients. Whether its Reese’s that you crave or a crunchy/crispy wafer chocolate, there are loads of chocolates with cleaner labels (and ingredients that will actually nourish you)! If dark chocolate seems a bit too bitter now, try easing your way into it with a “lighter” chocolate, like 35% cacao and work your way up over time.
5. Cheesy snacks
Whether or not dairy bothers you, snacks like Doritos and Cheez-Its are definitely not helping you out with any health goal. Each month, more cheese (and vegan cheese) snack options are popping up on shelves.
Ever feel like the Cookie Monster? Enjoy this “sometimes” food by seeking out more wholesome cookie options. Believe it or not, upgrading your cookie choices may actually lead you to a treat that fills you up and helps you hit your daily protein goal, too!
Want to see/purchase all of these satisfying snack switches in one place? Shop this blog post.
Hopefully this blog post has given you some ideas on how to indulge your cravings in a way that’s kinder to your body and your health goals. For most of these switches, it’s still best to eat them in moderation, and/or to use them to transition out of unhealthy food habits (read more about how to hack your brain and upgrade your habits). Don’t see your favorite snack on this list? Drop a comment and we’ll get back to you with a satisfying snack switch!