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September 22, 2016

Eat This Not That: Healthier Substitutes for Your Cravings

There are so many fad diets and health crazes out there, it can be difficult to filter through all that information and find out what's actually going to work for you. The truth is, no matter how much determination we have to get healthy were still going to have our "off" days. Hey, we're still human - we are going to crave those savory, melty, chocolatey, or deep-fried foods. But there is a better way!

Making some simple substitutions will not only help you stay on the right track, but even keep you from feeling like you're missing out. We found some healthier substitutions to quell your cravings. 

Healthy Substitutions to Feed Your Cravings

Coconut oil, instead of butter

Do you love butter slathered on your toast in the morning? Try using coconut oil instead! The coconut flavor is actually relatively light, and if you sprinkle it with a little bit of salt you'll hardly tell the difference. Coconut oil is an excellent source of energy, and has been linked to skin health, brain health, and good digestion.

Dark chocolate, instead of milk chocolate

Often milk chocolate is much higher in sugar content and other ingredients, and dark chocolate is a more pure (and more healthy) form. Dark chocolate is also full of antioxidants, and will satisfy that sweet tooth in a way you can feel much better about.

Kale chips, instead of potato chips

If you're craving a salty and crunchy snack, kale chips are a yummy and super easy-to-make alternative. Tear fresh kale into pieces, spread on a cookie sheet, spray with oil, and season with salt and pepper or a salt-free seasoning blend. Place in the oven at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes, or until desired crispiness.

Matcha green tea, instead of coffee

If you feel like you need coffee in the morning, it might be time to try cutting back. When your body begins to depend on something (such as caffeine) to get going, it will start needing more and more in order for it to actually take effect. Green tea is a powerful antioxidant, but still contains some caffeine to feed that craving first thing in the morning.

True Citrus, instead of soda

If you're constantly tempted by the soda machine at work, you're probably craving the sugary-sweet flavor and quick kick of energy. However all that sugar is pretty darn terrible for you, and there are better ways to get the flavors you crave. Try these delicious True Citrus drink mixes to satiate those taste buds without sacrificing your health.

Tortilla pizza, instead of ordering delivery

Sometimes after a long day, pizza is the only thing you want to eat. Just because you don't see the nutritional information on that delivery box, doesn't mean the absurd number of calories aren't there. If you are crazy about pizza, try making it at home instead on a whole-wheat tortilla. You'll save money, and you can eat the whole thing by yourself without feeling the guilt. Top it with tomato sauce, shredded cheese, fresh spinach, and sliced mushrooms. The crust will be thin and crispy and absolutely scrumptious.

Greek yogurt, instead of ice cream

We know, it is totally not the same as a pint of Ben and Jerry's. But trust us - Greek yogurt will happily satisfy you, especially since its higher in protein and calcium and much lower in calories. Drizzle plain Greek yogurt with honey, and a handful of berries. You may love this alternative more than you think.

Ready to get on track, and hold yourself accountable? Try using one of these health apps to get started. What are your favorite healthy substitutes for your most tempting cravings?

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[Credit: Gunnars, Kris. Why is Coconut Oil Good for You? A Healthy Oil for Cooking. Authority Nutrition.]
[Credit: Abramowitz, Jordan. 17 Healthy Substitutes for Every Not-So-Healthy Craving. Spoon University.]