15 Smart, Healthy Alternatives to Junk Food

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7 Smart, Healthy Junk Food Alternatives

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First, the good news: Americans eat more healthier foods now than they did 20 years ago, according to a new study that looked at people’s eating habits over the past two decades. Now, the bad: there was an even bigger jump in the amount of junk food consumed. So we found 15 ways to lessen the junk in your diet. These swaps give you the guilty pleasures you crave—minus the guilt. (And trade your junk food for The 50 Best Snacks for Weight Loss.)

Photo: Corbis Images

Pizza

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The damage: Just one slice sets you back 275 calories and contains 22 percent of your daily saturated fat—and really, who ever has just one slice?

Dig in!
CiCi’s Pizza
While they’re not exactly a health food, these slices all have 160 calories or less: Alfredo, BBQ Pork, Buffalo Chicken, or Deep Dish Pepperoni.

Whole Foods Market Wood Fired Pizza: Buffalo Mozzarella with Cherry Tomatoes
There’s lots to love about this pie: It’s made with authentic ingredients and cooked in a wood burning oven—and half a pizza will only set you back 310 calories.

Photo: Corbis Images

French Fries

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The damage: Americans eat potatoes more than any other vegetable—most often in the form of fries, according to the USDA.

Dig in!
Burger King French Fries
While they don’t have many other redeeming qualities, order a small size order as an occasional indulgence for only 128 calories.

Cascadian Farms Wedge Cut Oven Fries
With virtually no sodium or added junk, you’re essentially eating a French fry that’s as close as it comes to its original potato form.

Photo: Corbis Images

Chips

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The damage: Nope, we can’t stop at just one—Americans eat 1.2 billion pounds of potato chips a year!

Dig in!
Harvest Snaps Pea Crisps
We swear you’ll never know you’re eating peas. One bite of this crunchy, salty snack and you’ll ditch the potato for good (and you’ll love that they’re packed with protein, fiber, and B vitamins). Plus, they contain 1/3 of the amount sodium in regular potato chips!

Kashi Sea Salt and Olive Oil Hummus Crisps
Crunchy, savory, and a with subtle hummus taste in each bite, you can eat 27 crisps for a mere 120 calories and 3.5 grams of fat—plus protein and fiber to boot!

Rhythm Superfoods Cool Ranch Kale Chips
These kale chips are anything but bland! With flavors like Cool Ranch, Zesty Nacho, and Texas BBQ, they hit the spot for any chip you’re craving. (Check out these 40 Crunchy and Creamy Healthy Snacks Under 200 Calories for more healthy options to satisfy your snack cravings.)

Photo: Corbis Images

Muffins

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The damage: Basically an excuse for eating cake for breakfast, grabbing a muffin at your local coffee shop can easily set you back 500 plus calories.

Dig In!
Deep Chocolate Vitatops
These treats make it acceptable to eat chocolate with your morning coffee. Each muffin top is loaded with chocolate flavor for only 100 calories, and a whopping 9g fiber and 4g protein.

Garden-Lites Blueberry Oat Muffins
The perfect blend of sweet and healthy—you’d never guess the first ingredient is zucchini. Bonus: they’re only 120 calories each!

Photo: Corbis Images

Candy Bar

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The damage: Sometimes, the kid in all of us just can’t resist the chocolate bar when checking out at the grocery store.

Dig in!
Kind Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt Bar
The perfect blend of sweet and salty, these satisfy chocolate cravings for only 5g of sugar.

Enjoy Life Foods Cinnamon Bun Decadent Bars
You’d be hard pressed to find something that tastes this good that’s also free of gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts, and soy.

Photo: Corbis Images

Fast Food

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The damage: Even the occasional drive through can do damage to your waistline. The average order contains 836 calories, according to a study in the British Medical Journal. (Add fast food to the list of The 10 Fattiest Foods in America.)

Dig In!
Red’s All Natural Chicken and Cheese Burrito
Your eyes will love the short, pronounceable ingredients list, and your waistline will love that it’s only 250 calories.

Applegate Natural Big Apple Hot Dog
At only 110 calories each and made without nitrates or fillers, this hot dog—we dare say—is good for you.

Wendy’s Jr. Hamburger
At just 230 calories and 8 grams of fat, it’s your best option for when a fast food burger craving strikes.

Photo: Corbis Images

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