15 Healthier Alternatives To Junk Food

| Healthy Eats

If you're like us and are trying to lose weight but can't get rid of your junk food cravings, you've come to the right place. We've come up with a list of healthy junk food alternatives so that you can enjoy healthier versions of your favorite recipes — we call them skinny swaps! From potato chip alternatives to healthy ice cream recipes, we've got you covered.

1. Potato chips: The crunch of potato chips is seriously addicting, but the added fat and calories are less than stellar. Check out the video below for 4 healthy chip recipes (beet chips, sweet potato chips, apple chips and kale chips)!

2. Mashed potatoes: Heaping piles of mashed potatoes and gravy — does it get any more satisfying than that? Yes, when you can have all the flavor at half the calories! Our Skinny Mashed Cauliflower recipe has only 87 calories and 9 grams of carbs.

skinny mashed cauliflower

3. French fries: Skip the drive-thru with our Crispy Veggie Fries recipe. We coated carrots and parsnips in an egg white, cumin, salt, pepper and panko bread crumbs mix for a healthy, crispy, crunchy and satisfying fry.

Root Vegetable Fries

4. Mixed salty nuts: Too many nuts, especially when they're salted to excess, can really pack on the calories and sodium. Try our three Roasted Pumpkin Seeds recipes for a similar crunch.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds - 3 Flavors

>> Read more: Best Foods For Weight Loss

5. Mac and cheese: Who doesn't crave the ooey gooey goodness of creamy mac and cheese from time to time? (And by "from time to time" we mean "every single day.") The good news is you can make your own for a healthier alternative! Try our Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese (with bacon!) for a recipe you can have seconds and thirds of.

Butternut-Squash-Mac-n-Cheese-with-Bacon_RESIZED-11

6. Queso dip: Our Simple Skinny Queso recipe is made from wholesome ingredients for a low-fat and low-calorie cheese dip. Check it out here!

simple skinny queso

7. Pizza: There are so many lightened-up ways to get your pizza fix, but our favorite pizza recipe might just be our Cauliflower Pizza Bites! Serve this as a game day snack to delight your tailgate guests.

Cauliflower Pizza Bites

8. Pasta: Everyone knows the carbohydrate dangers of pasta. While we do use whole wheat pasta for a healthy option, an even healthier choice would be zucchini noodles! Zucchini noodles, or zoodles, are incredibly low in carbs, calories and fat for a too-good-to-be-true pasta remedy. Try our Carb-Cutting Avocado Zoodle recipe here.

Carb Cutting Zucchini Noodles

9. Candy: Craving some M&Ms or a Snickers bar? Don't do it! Instead, reach for some chocolate chip-stuffed raspberries (seriously delish) or even our Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Bites.

Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Bites

10. Ice cream: While it may be tempting to grab a pint of Ben and Jerry's at the grocery store, take comfort in knowing you'll be saving your waistline with our 4-Ingredient Strawberry Banana Ice Cream — while enjoying it every bit as much.

Strawberry-Banana-Ice-Cream-_RESIZED-5

11. Cheesecake: The downfall of many dieters, cheesecake is full of creamy, satisfying deliciousness. We partnered with Elli Quark to make our own cheesecake recipe — with way less calories. More good news: This recipe is completely clean! Check it out here.

Elli Quark No Bake Cherry Garcia Cheesecake

12. Cookies: You better memorize our Skinny Monkey Oats Cookies recipe! It's about to be your new favorite.

monkey oat cookies

13. Cookie dough: Speaking of cookies, who isn't guilty of indulging in the raw dough from time to time? Throw the risk of salmonella away with the extra sugar, calories and fat by making cookie dough out of chickpeas. Hear us out! It's tastier than it sounds! Here's the recipe.

healhty cookie dough dip
(Photo: Chocolate Covered Katie)

14. Pudding: Long gone are the days we could eat pudding for dessert without any repercussions! But rejoice in knowing that you can get that same nostalgic dessert out of milk and chia seeds. (via Spoon University)

Chia Seed Pudding Spoon University
(Photo: Spoon University)

15. Pancakes: Yes, it's unfortunate that breakfast food can be junk food too. But our Vanilla Cinnamon Protein Pancakes and Quinoa Banana Pancakes recipes are just as tasty as buttermilk pancakes, and way more nutritious.

protein-pancakes