Junk food substitutes for health: trade potato chips for pistachio nuts

Anissa Ford's picture

Once an ideal weight is achieved, a dieter is keenly aware of foods the body needs versus foods the body craves. Junk food substitutes are a must to keep successful dieters at their ideal body weight.

Potato Chips are a favorite junk food. 15 potato chips = 160 calories, 2 grams of protein and 1 gram of fiber. In general, few people eat 15 potato chips and put the bag away. Most eat the whole can of Pringles or a whole bag of Lays.

Nuts are a satiating alternative to potato chips. It takes 49 pistachios (some pistachio nuts come 100 per bag) to deliver 160 calories, 6 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber. Moreover, it's a safe assertion that 49 pistachio nuts will satisfied between meal cravings in ways potato chips won't. As long as a dieter doesn't have nut allergies, pistachios are the perfect alternative to potato chips.

Pistachios are labeled a heart healthy food. But that doesn't mean eating 1/5 ounces of pistachio nuts lower risk of heart disease. Pistachios are heart healthy foods because the nuts are low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Eating pistachios definitely supports healthy cholesterol levels in people whose lipid levels are already in the safe zone. Pistachios are often advertised as cholesterol free foods.

Small snacks throughout the day are key for dieters. Pistachios are also excellent sources of vitamin B6, copper and magnesium--vitamins long considered brain vitamins because are believed to improve memory and brain function.

Pistachios are also antioxidants, a healthy food must. Pistachios are also a source of fiber,a food that many Americans don't get enough of.

Some add pistachios to salads and yogurt. Be careful with the yogurts, though. It's on the natural food eater's watch list because the ingredients are often complex and sugary. Ingredients in yogurt should be really simple.

Eating the nuts straight from the shell, according to pistachiogrowers.com, is also healthy and cuts down on the energy it takes to open the shells. (Not to mention disposing of the shells).

Potato chips are not good for people because for one, it's deep fried and incredibly addictive. Potato chip addiction has been linked to increased risks for stroke. The sodium levels in potato chips make it especially dangerous.

Like most junk foods, potato chips are highly processed, often with refined grains and sugars. Man's engineering of food products is not a possibility with with natural foods, like nuts and veggies.

The CDC says Americans get 11.3 percent of their nutrient intake from junk foods. Potato chip addiction is hard to break. If the price of chips and the poor nutrient value are not reasons to quit, consider switching to pistachios. You can eat a lot more of it and kill an appetite quicker.