We’ve all been given the choice between this deliciously, unhealthy food or that amazingly, unhealthy food. In these situations most of us will think, “Hey, if I’m going to eat crappy, I might as well go all out!” Well, you might want to sit down for this because I’m about to blow your mind! No matter what amazing pile of sugary deliciousness or greasy goodness you happen to be contemplating, one of them is a healthier choice than the other.
Say you are handed a snickers and a milky way, and you only get to keep one. Which one are you going to choose? Snickers! Despite the sugar and fat content, there is a generous amount of peanuts to add healthy fats and protein to the mix. Here is a list of some of the most common food temptations that we might face on a daily basis and which one to pick if you’re trying to keep it healthy-ish.
Cheeseburger or pulled pork sandwich
Both are delicious, but given the choice, I would almost always choose the mouthwateringly, juicy cheeseburger. But I would be making the wrong decision. Pulled pork is the way to go. Less grease, less fat, but still has loads of flavor and you can add veggies by way of cold slaw right on top. Take the bread away and eat a mound of meat and slaw with a fork for bonus points!
Potato chips or pretzels
It may surprise you that pretzel sticks are typically fat free. Potato chips, not so much. Both are a delicious, salty, snackable treat, but you won’t regret killing an entire bag of pretzels as much as you will devouring a bag of chips. Dip your pretzels in some yummy hummus for a healthy burst of flavor.
Soda or juice
Both of these options are full of sugar. Of course soda will add caffeine to the mix, which can have negative effects on the body. If you can find pure fruit juice, with no added sugar, that is the better option. Still full of natural sugars, but a tasty alternative to soda if you’ve gotta have sweet! Pro tip – mix a little juice with club soda for a carbonated, sweet drink.
Cake or pie
Tough choice! I love a big, fluffy slice of cake any time of the day, but pie is usually made up of mostly fruit, so that’s the clear winner. Of course that fruit filling is packed with sugar and wrapped in a flakey, buttery crust, but at least there are beneficial vitamins in that fruit. Sorry; I have no advice on how to make any of this healthier.
Pizza or subs
I love subs! Take away the bread and you have a sad pile of meat and cheese and veggie junk. Put all of that on a thin pizza crust, and you get the bready crunch without all the calories of a hoagie roll. Take away the meat and add extra veggies for an even healthier pizza snack.
And last, but not least: Beer or wine
An ice cold beer on a hot summer’s day is just the best! But wine wins in the healthy war. However, it really needs to be red wine if you want to reap the health benefits. I’m totally ok with this. Give me a Big Carl sized glass of Malbec that would make Jules Cobb proud, and I’ll sing you karaoke all night long.
· Boosts heart health
· Improves cholesterol
· Fights free radical damage
· Helps manage diabetes
· Fights obesity and weight gain
· May help prevent Alzheimer’s disease
· Is delicious
So, if you’re going to do it, just do it slightly better. Eat the mound of pulled pork, the whole bag of pretzel sticks, a slice of pizza and a piece of pie. Drink some juice and then take it up a notch with a giant glass of red wine. Enjoy food and enjoy life! Just do it in moderation.
Babcock, Christine. “Piceatannol in Red Wine Destroys Fat Cells & Blocks Gene Activation for Fat Storage.” Dr. Axe, 16 Nov. 2017, draxe.com/benefits-of-red-wine/.