Resolved to eat better this year? To stick to your resolution, you’re likely going to have to battle some addictive foods. You know which foods I’m talking about: those foods you think about even after you’ve just eaten a full meal. The ones you crave like french fries, pizza, soda, and ice cream. Specifically, sugar, fat, and salt trigger your brain to say, “Mmm, I like this. Give me more!” And after a while, you need a greater amount more to get the same fix, which can result in excess lbs and health problems down the road. This year resolve to curb your cravings by avoiding processed foods and opting for low-glycemic index, whole foods like these easy food swaps below.
Check out this post I helped write for the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute to learn more about addictive foods and how to combat them!
Eat roasted sweet potatoes instead of french fries. Why? Sweet potatoes have more micronutrients than white potatoes. Roasting requires less fat than frying, and by making them at home YOU control the amount of sodium. Bonus: leave the skin on for extra fiber to help slow digestion and keep blood sugar levels more constant.
When eating pizza, opt for a whole grain crust with lots of vegetables. Why? Vegetables offer delicious, nutrient-packed flavor without a lot of extra kcals. Whole grains provide dietary fiber to help slow digestion helping you stay fuller longer and have been associated with longevity. Try this recipe for a cauliflower crust, or my mom’s whole wheat crust. Many pizza parlors are offering a whole grain crust now, all you have to do is ask!Ice cream is one of my all-time favorite foods. I’ve spent a quarter of a century tasting any and all potential substitutes (research is rough, but someone has to do it), and haven’t found a swap out there that comes even close to a scoop of my favorite flavor. My suggestion: Just don’t buy ice cream from the store. Why? If there’s ice cream in my freezer I’ll eat it. Forcing myself to go out to the local ice cream shop for a scoop of the real thing makes it a special treat and helps with portion control. For those of you for whom that suggestion just won’t do, try banana ice cream. It’s not ice cream, that’s for sure, but it’s the next best thing I’ve found. Most importantly, it’s made from nutrient-packed frozen bananas and avoids all of that artificial crap and added sugars found in “low fat” ice creams.
Really serious about eating better this year? Book an appointment with a Registered Dietitian for help creating a plan that will work for you. You can find a dietitian near you at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The site allows you to filter your search by location, expertise, and language to easily help you find a dietitian that can meet your needs.