February 18, 2015

12 Junk Foods That Are Healthier Than You Think


Although many people consider potato chips a junk food item, there are healthy ways to eat this food. Choosing potato chips that are plain and do not have monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the best option. Other options to make this junk food healthier include baked chips, kettle chips, and those made from other foods, such as beans or vegetables.


When it comes to eating chocolate, there are ways that you can get nutrition and health benefits. Dark chocolate and almonds covered in chocolate are the best options to make this junk food healthier because of the added antioxidants and unsaturated fat. Choose brands with no added sugars to reduce unhealthy ingredients even more.

Snack Cakes

Packing your lunch or your kids' lunches can be difficult when it comes to choosing healthy options to satisfy a sweet tooth. There are different types of snack foods that are slightly healthier. Look for 100-calorie packs with at least 7 grams of fiber. Cereal bars are also a great option, adding nutrition from fruit and oats.


Milk and cookies complement each other just right, but no one thinks cookies are health food. However, there are ways to make eating cookies better for you. Choose graham crackers, oatmeal cookies with fruit or raisins, or ginger cookies. You want to pack as many healthy foods into a cookie as possible, while letting it still be a cookie.


You can also get fruit content from different popsicles. In most instances, you can find varieties that have no added sugars as well, which decreases the junk food factor.

Ice Cream

Frozen treats are definitely a junk food that has plenty of healthy options. You can choose frozen yogurt as opposed to ice cream. Top with fresh fruit and nuts. If you want real ice cream, choose plain vanilla.

Gummy Fruit Snacks

Although not as healthy as a gummy vitamin, gummy fruit snacks do come in healthier varieties. There are organic brands available in most stores that have less sugar and more natural fruit juices, decreasing the calorie and fat intake. This option does allow you to curb that sweet tooth.


Pizza does add some nutrition to your diet, but only if you choose the right kinds. To turn this junk food healthy, choose thin crust, leave off the extra cheese, and top the pizza with vegetables, such as peppers, onions, mushrooms, and olives. When available, choose a low-fat cheese and a whole-grain crust.

French Fries

Fast food French fries don't provide much nutritional benefit. But you can have your French fries if you make them at home. Cutting your own potatoes and baking them in the oven allows you to turn this into a healthier food. Keep the salt to a minimum, and dip in organic ketchup or a low-sugar condiment for the greatest benefit.

Sweet Potato Fries

An even healthier variation of french fries is sweet potato fries. Cut your own sweet potatoes and bake with cayenne and chili powder for a tasty and healthy snack. Sweet potatoes are high in fiber and Vitamin A and have been shown to help reduce the risk of cancer.

Chocolate Cake

During celebrations, it is often difficult to resist the moist, rich, chocolate cake sitting in the center of the table. Instead of indulging yourself, wait until you get home and make your own. Substitute applesauce for the oil, and use whole-wheat flour. Swapping out these few ingredients can turn this from junk food to healthy indulgence.


Watching a game or having a get together often means snacking, such as eating nachos. There are ways to make this junk food healthier, however. Instead of topping the tortilla chips with cheese and sour cream, opt for peppers, beans, a little cheese, and Greek yogurt. You will still get the creamy, crunchy texture you love, but these nachos will include healthier foods.


Cheeseburgers are an American staple, but they are also high on the list of unhealthy junk foods. Swap the beef for chicken or turkey, use low-fat cheese, and forget the bun to change this from a junk food to a healthy food. If you must have a bun, however, choose a whole-grain alternative. Top it with lettuce, tomato, and onion, but leave off the mayo.

Candy Bars

Candy bars are a go-to item when you are in a hurry and need something sweet. Although these little bites have lots of calories and fat, there are ways to make this junk food healthier. Choose candy bars that have dark chocolate to start with. If possible, opt for a fruit filling as opposed to nuts, caramel, and nougat.

Beef Jerky

Even though it can be loaded with preservatives, beef jerky is high in protein and makes a great in-between-meals snack.
When it comes to eating junk foods, the motto should be everything in moderation. Always remember to choose the healthier options to ensure adequate nutrition consumption. Try to keep all snacking to 100 calories or fewer.

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