We all have our junk food guilty pleasures with ingredients that we can’t pronounce. Double Stuffed Oreos and Diet Coke have most American’s wrapped around their finger, why? Because they taste good with ingredients that are addictive and artificial. “Food” shouldn’t be like that! Perhaps the choices consumers make could be because they aren’t aware of healthier alternatives. We’re not talking about an apple instead of that triple chocolate peanut butter fudge brownie cheesecake. What about equally delicious organic chocolate cookies instead of the chemical laden, additive filled ones? When Friday night hits and you want your favorite goodies, you might not want to look at other alternatives. But learning what exactly those treats contain may make you think twice.
We would like to introduce to you a helpful guide about choosing those healthier junk food items, while still indulging in favorite snacks. The creators at Naturally Savvy.com, were so kind to send us their book Unjunk Your Junk Food: Healthy Alternative to Conventional Snacks. The title itself is quite intriguing and the minute we flipped open the cover, we dived in! It was so impressive how much knowledge and great ideas were packed into this conveniently sized book (small enough to tote it with you to the grocery store). It’s easy to read, brightly colored and filled with helpful tips and information about how and why reading food labels is crucial for our health.
Our favorite part of this book was it’s detailed guide of popular guilty pleasure treats with straight forward facts about why they are unhealthy, shown with a similar, much healthier alternative on the proceeding page. They show an alternative that isn’t only healthier, but still accessible and just as tasty as it’s junky counterpart. Their healthier suggestions are still “junk food”, but they don’t contain those super toxic dyes, addictive chemicals or artificial sugars. It was helpful to see the differentiation and what ingredients make a product so harmful. It was also a very nice surprise to learn that most popular junk foods have a natural option, free from nasty chemicals and filled with real ingredients.
Unjunk Your Junk Food has other great things to offer. It shares a helpful glossary of products from toxic ingredients like nitrates to healthy sweeteners like date sugar. “The Worst Ingredients” chart is a definite must read, sharing additives and chemicals that should be avoided at all costs. The chart can make a great cheat sheet when you’re debating which brand of chips to buy at the grocery store. Another page that caught our attention was the “Reasons You Might Be Craving…” tips added under each junk food category. Ever have ice cream cravings at night? It could be your body’s search for serotonin- a factor in helping you sleep soundly. Chocolate cravings could be a need for energy (caffeine) or for the amino acid tryptophan- a crucial factor for producing serotonin to reduce stress. On the same page, read about healthy suggestions to alleviate these cravings without turning to the pint of double chocolate ice cream.
In some respects, there’s really no great alternative to junk foods. The organic french vanilla ice cream may be free from high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors, but it’s still not the very best choice you can make. Even though the products listed here are better alternatives, they aren’t exactly healthy and we were surprised that Breyers ice cream made it to the healthy choice option (still high in fat and refined sugar). However, when you are confronted with not so good options, (often on a daily basis!) Unjunk Your Junk Food will be able to help you pick the less harmful of the two evils by arming you with the knowledge needed to decipher that ingredient list.
The bottom line- it’s important to know what we are eating. But we don’t have to sacrifice tasty treats to be healthy and to avoid unsafe ingredients- because there are alternatives! We always have the power to choose what we put into our bodies and with a little extra effort, we can still indulge once in awhile in our favorite guilty pleasures without filling our bodies with chemicals and disease promoting ingredients! A little effort goes a long way. As we spend a few extra seconds to look at what we are eating, our bodies and our health will show for it!
Many many thanks to NaturallySavvy for the sweet gift! We are so happy to have something like this at hand and have the opportunity to share it with others. We recommend this book to all our awesome readers and hope it empowers you to always choose healthy alternatives!