Food + Drink

Candy Cravings: 7 Not-So-Junky Junk Foods to Grab on the Go

Halloween is just days away. And if we're all honest, we'll admit to the candy cravings being at the top of our list of reasons to love the holiday. Even if you're not a fan of junk foods, the temptation is nigh this season. Thankfully, our expert Dr. Chris Calapai, a board certified expert in osteopathic medicine, has some alternatives that we can less guiltily dig into. So we can have our treats without the tricks this year. Read on for a list of junk foods even a doctor can approve of.

Candy Cravings: 7 Not-so-Junky Junk Foods You Can Grab On-the-Go

7 Not-So-Junky Junk Foods to Grab on the Go

#1. Blue M&M’s and Blue Gatorade: Don’t get the blues about all food dyes.From candy to sports drinks, the unnatural colors of foods today can make you cringe at the thought of what’s making them colored. But, not all colored dyes are as bad as you may think. Research done by scientists at the University of Rochester found that Brilliant Blue G (BBG), found in blue M & M’s and blue Gatorade, could help reduce damage from spine injuries. When BBG was injected into lab rats with spinal cord injuries, it sped up their recovery time and ability to walk.

#2. Cheez Whiz: Fat isn’t always a bad word.The FDA has stated that not only are all trans fats not bad, some are actually good for you. Conjugated Linoleic Acids (CLAs), although high in calories can help fight cancer, weight gain, diabetes and arthritis. It’s hard to believe, but CLAs are found in Cheez Whiz.

#3. Pork Rinds: Just the words pork rinds sound like instant heart attack. However, did you know they are a fantastic source of protein? A one-ounce serving of this fried snack has seventeen grams of protein, seven times the amount of found in a serving of potato chips. Plus, 43% of the fat found in pork rinds come from oleic acid, the same healthy fat found in olive oil.

popcorn

#4. Beer: Some studies have found that beer can actually help increase bone mineral density because it contains silicon, making bones stronger and less likely to fracture. A Harvard University study found that beer could prevent blood clots and reduce the risk of stroke. Italian researchers found that beer can raise HDL, the good cholesterol in your body. Opt for a light beer with fewer calories to avoid that full feeling.

#5. Graham Crackers: They are the next best things to cookies if you’re trying to keep your health in mind. Graham crackers contain much less sugar than regular cookies and are still sweet enough to satisfy a craving. Plus, they are made with flour that undergoes a special milling process, preserving more of the whole wheat than in usual milling.

#6. Popcorn: This is a snack that gets two thumbs up. Popcorn is packed with fiber and polyphenols, which are antioxidants that help to protect us from heart disease and certain cancers. Surprisingly, popcorn has more iron than eggs and spinach! It is also gluten-free, which makes it an option for those with Celiac Disease and other gluten allergies. Lastly, popcorn is mostly air. This means it fills you up, helping to stave off hunger cravings.

#7. Beef Jerky: Forget about the leather-tasting jerky of years past, today’s gourmet jerky is delicious and can be healthy. Beef Jerky, just like its non-dried version of meat, is high in protein, iron and zinc. It, also, contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Be sure to look for natural beef jerky as the newer gourmet styles that are packed with flavor and free of nitrates.

What are you craving?