Healthy food substitutes for popular junk food

Photo by MCT Campus.


Photo by MCT Campus.

Alexis Pfeifer

Popular junk foods that appeal to your taste buds can be substituted for equally delicious healthy foods. Try these 10 snacks as an alternative healthy option.

Chocolate Bars

This high-sugar and high-calorie snack is perfect for people on the run who need a quick-grab treat. However, there is a large chance that U.S. chocolate companies are cutting the cocoa from these chocolate bars and adding less costly alternatives, according to

Substitute: Organic or milk-free, dark chocolate. It guarantees high cocoa content.

French Fries

A fast-food favorite, french fries are one of the unhealthiest foods out there, according to The calorie-rich, salty and deep-fried dish is an alternative to solely potato-made fries. This high trans fat food is at the heart of the American fast food industry but can help add the pounds to your body quickly.

Substitute: Sweet Potato Fries. These are a healthier alternative to white potatoes that are made into french fries.

Potato Chips

There are thousands of different flavors of potato chips that everyone loves. Many companies produce this guilty-pleasure snack, and each company has its own assortment of flavors. However, there are certain companies in particular to watch out for.

Substitute: Baked Potato Chips. The best alternative to eating chips is reduced-fat or baked chips. Baked chips generally have 30 less calories than regular chips.


A popular snack at the movie theater, popcorn can contain as much fat as three to five Big Macs, according to Popcorn with butter or caramel flavoring are the unhealthiest types. A whole bag of buttered popcorn may contain 400 to 500 calories.

Substitute: Air-popped regular popcorn or organic stovetop popcorn. Although this alternative is better without butter, a non-fat butter spray can be used in a limited amount: one to two sprays.


This artery-clogging addition to meals can be transformed into a healthier option. By adding butter to every meal, the large amount of trans fat hurts the body. There are healthier versions of butter, however.

Substitute: Peanut Butter or Light or Whipped Butter. Peanut butter can be added to healthy snacks, like celery, to add flavoring. However, take caution when dealing with butter because, although these options are healthier, most kinds of butter are high in fat.


Cookies, which are caked in butter and trans fat, are very unhealthy snack choices. According to, two peanut butter cookies can contain 200 calories. Watch out for the peanut butter, nuts and chocolate chip options.

Substitute: Oatmeal cookies or Fig Newtons. While Fig Newtons are the healthier option, oatmeal cookies contain almost 40 less calories than the peanut butter ones.

Ice Cream

This creamy delicious snack can cause disaster for counting calories, especially a container with extra toppings. Just a single scoop of ice cream can contain anywhere from 140 to 350 calories along with enough saturated fat to cover the allowance for half of a day.

Substitute: Plain ice cream or Organic Probiotic Yogurt. Plain ice cream can contain over 200 calories less than a premium brand of ice cream chalked full with extra toppings. The best option is to substitute in yogurt. This healthy snack is full of calcium.


This dangerous snack or meal can cost almost 1,000 calories out of a diet. In addition, frozen pizzas can be worse than pizzas from restaurants. Carbs, fat and calories are buried in deep-dish, deluxe pizzas.

Substitute: Thin-crusted pizza, pizza loaded with veggies or homemade crisp-bread pizza. Thin-crusted and vegetable-loaded pizzas can be as much as 650 calories less than a deep-dish deluxe frozen pizza. The healthiest alternative is a homemade crisp-bread pizza. Use crackers as a crust and pile veggies on top along with a low-fat cheese and sauce.


This breakfast food is almost pure fat. One piece can contain about 40 calories. Bacon is also packed with nitrates, which can contribute to the cause of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. This disease can make it hard to breathe over a long period of time. However, by including bacon in everyday meals, this disease may come about sooner rather than later.

Substitute: Turkey Bacon. Turkey is much higher in protein, and it offers a low-fat alternative to regular bacon. It can contain about half the calories in one serving as regular bacon.


Regular salted pretzels can contain about 400 mg of sodium, according to The salt on pretzels can destroy a diet.

Substitute: Unsalted pretzels or low-sodium pretzels. There are many different flavored pretzels; however, plain unsalted or low-sodium pretzels contain less than half of the amount of sodium in regular salted pretzels.

Contact Alexis Pfeifer at [email protected].