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Healthy junk food: fact or myth?
Usually when I hear “junk food,” I think of things like fat-laden potato chips, and microwave popcorn full of calories because of the butter, or maybe even candy and ice cream. (All of which I like the taste of way too much, I might add.)
Who doesn’t love the taste of junk food? After all, isn’t it true that those things that are the worst for us also happen to taste the best?
But wait. Are they really that bad after all? Is it possible that junk food might actually be good for us?
Well, the answer to that question is… it depends.
There actually are some junk foods that are better for you than others such as fat-free Jello, air-popped popcorn that you season yourself with something other than fatty butter, or the 100 calorie bags from Pop Secret, to name a few.
However, while these are the healthy junk foods that are most commonly thought of, there are others that are less common and less known.
Here are some of my favorite healthy junk foods:
#1 – Dark Chocolate
Did you know that Dove has a dark chocolate that is only 100 calories and is good for you, too? I sure didn’t, and I am a confirmed chocoholic.
What is really wonderful about this treat is that not only is it low in calories it was made to have more antioxidants to help you keep your heart healthy.
Here’s more about healthy snacks for adults.
#2 – Pork Rinds
Believe it or not pork rinds, which have gotten a really bad rap, are actually good for you. While they are deep fat fried — something we all automatically assume is very bad for us — one serving actually provides 17 grams of protein and 9 grams of fat, which is less fat than you’d find in the same serving size of potato chips.
In addition, that fat that you’re worried about?… Well 43% of it is oleic acid which is the same as the good fat found in the olive oil that everyone is rushing to buy now because it’s supposed to be so good for you.
(You’ve probably noticed Kraft putting it in their mayonnaise recently.) So this is one junk food that while you may think it is not good for you, it actually is. The price is right for this healthy junk food as well.
#3 – Dark Chocolate Pudding
While I wouldn’t necessarily consider purchasing a dark chocolate pudding mix due to all the preservatives, there are many healthy chocolate pudding recipes available online.
The dark chocolate ones are better for you since they have more flavonoids — antioxidants just like you would find in green tea — which are good for your heart.
Here are 10 alternatives to sugary snacks.
#4 – Glenny’s Bar-B-Que Soy Chips
While I personally am not a big fan of soy products (I blame it on all those soy burgers they made us eat in Jr. High and High School), these chips have even made me take a pause and consider them.
One of the biggest advantages of these soy chips is that they have 9 grams of protein, and they provide 25% of your daily calcium and folic acid. Hey, even I the soy hater can get behind that.
Check out these 4 great reasons to choose healthy snacks.
#5 – Beef Jerky
While it is true that there are brands of beef jerky that are loaded with preservatives and sodium, there are many brands that only use natural ingredients — which drives down the sodium levels and gets rid of the chemical preservatives we all hate. In addition, beef jerky is high in protein, something we all need a certain amount of. Plus, beef jerky does not increase the levels of insulin which
In addition, beef jerky is high in protein, something we all need a certain amount of. Plus, beef jerky does not increase the levels of insulin which cause the body to decide it’s time to start hanging onto fat. This makes beef jerky a really good junk food to eat between meals, and or to help you lose that extra weight.
You’ll love these 15 measured snacks that are healthy and satisfying.
#6 – Pizza
Pizza — particularly pizza that is topped with vegetableswith vegetables and cheese rather than cheese and fatty meats — can actually be a good snack.
When made right, it can be a good source of calcium, fiber and Vitamin, as well. Again, if you can make it yourself with wheat crust and your own tomato sauce, cheese and veggies, this is going to be far healthier than if you buy it from a pizza place or in the grocer’s frozen food section.
Here are the most healthy pizza toppings out there.
#7 – French Fries
I was pretty stunned to discover that french fries can actually be good for you! Apparently, they can be a good source of vitamin C, and they provide some fiber as well.
The biggest problem that makes them unhealthy is if they are not cooked in new oil — which as you know, most fast food places do not do. They use the oil over and over.
If you have a weight problem, it is suggested that you bake french fries and brush them with some oil while they are baking, instead of frying them. Now I would assume they are talking about french fries you cut yourself and not the frozen ones that are loaded with salt and preservatives.
So, as you can see, some of that junk food that we’ve all been avoiding can actually be healthy options when compared to other snacks.
Here I thought those pork rinds dad was always pushing were going to make my waist expand, and I could have been eating them all the while! Oh, well, at least now you and I both know that some of our favorite junk foods are actually safe.
I bet you’ll enjoy my favorite healthy french fries recipe.
My favorite things to write about are topics that have to do with pregnancy, weddings, saving money, living green, and life with dogs. When I’m not writing, I love to spend time with my husband, read, create 3D artwork and Native American beadwork.