Let’s be honest. Junk food just feels good. You turn to it to relieve stress, celebrate with family and friends, console you during a hard time.
But seriously, the regular junk food binges have got to go.
Inhaling a load of salt or sugar may be fun in the moment, but it can lead to a lifetime of, well, not fun times, because you increase your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes isn’t a condition that just goes away. If you have diabetes, and your blood sugar gets too high or low, you could have symptoms ranging from increased thirst to seizures and unconsciousness. And, you put yourself at a higher risk for kidney disease, heart attack, stroke, blindness or an amputation.
Type 2 diabetes can also mean pricking yourself daily with a needle to test your blood sugar. Do you like needles? Thought so.
The Junk Food Solution: Change Your Lifestyle
One of the best ways to prevent diabetes (or control it if you’ve already been diagnosed) is to control the junk food cravings.
The good news is, you don’t have to go through it alone. Our Change Your Lifestyle. Change Your Life. (CYL²) program matches you up with a lifestyle coach who will help you eat healthier and get moving. It’s a group program, so you can lean on others for support.
[blockquote background=”AC2376″] “There are so many recipes that allow you to eat healthy and lose weight—without sacrificing your taste buds.”
—Diane Collins, CYL² lifestyle coach[/blockquote] Here are a few of Diane’s recipe recommendations, as well as some other favorite healthy junk food recipes we’ve tried.
Don’t Get Salty With Me
Craving something salty? Instead of reaching for a bag of potato chips, grab a zucchini. Don’t worry. You’re not going to eat it raw. Cooking it with this recipe can satisfy that salt craving.
You may think of sweets as a no-no, but there are healthy ways to satisfy your sweet tooth. With these healthier recipes, there’s a huge upside—they don’t take long to make.
Quick Ways To Healthify Your Diet
When you’re cooking or baking, modify the ingredients to keep your food healthier:
- Who cares what the recipe says? Use as little sugar as possible.
- Use applesauce instead of oil when baking (but for cookies, stick with the oil).
- Use 4 tablespoons of soft margarine blended with low-fat cottage cheese and a small amount of fat-free milk instead of cream cheese.
- Use ¾ tablespoon of liquid vegetable oil or 1 tablespoon of soft margarine instead of butter.
- Bake with whole wheat flour rather than white flour.
- Mix whole wheat pasta in with regular pasta to start adjusting to the wheat flavor.
- Make sandwiches with avocado or hummus instead of cheese or mayonnaise.
You can also check out the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s free ebook, “Soul Food Makeover—Heart Healthy African American Recipes” for delicious (and healthier) versions of favorites like chicken gumbo or sweet potato pie.
Do you have a favorite healthy junk food recipe? Don’t keep it to yourself—comment here and let us know.