Unhealthy cravings suck because they won’t go away until you satisfy them. They also come at awful times, like when you want to be healthy, but can’t get the thought of every greasy, salty food imaginable out of your head. Salt cravings are often caused by dehydration, so you may be able to curb them by drinking water and replenishing electrolytes. Also, swapping out salt for garlic powder, black pepper, ginger or citrus flavors on a daily basis may help prevent future cravings. If you’re still feelin’ salty foods, skip the French fries and potato chips for these healthy swaps.
1. Baked Sweet Potato Fries
When you’re really feeling the need for fries, try out baked sweet potato fries instead. If you’re not a fan of sweet potato, at least make your French fries at home to avoid the grease and excess salt of fast food fries.
2. Air-popped Popcorn
Popcorn is a great snack, as long as you skip the butter and salt. If you’re too lazy to make your own, Skinny Pop and Boom Chicka Pop are healthy brands that you can buy in stores. And when you get bored of plain popcorn, try these fun recipes instead.
3. Kale Chips
Kale chips are a great replacement for potato chips because they’ll still satisfy your need for something crunchy and salty without the guilt. Try adding in different spices and make them at home using this recipe.
4. Hummus and Carrots
The main ingredient in hummus is chickpeas, which are packed with protein and antioxidants. Hummus is great because it’s easy to make your own and switch it up when you get bored. Dip them with carrots for that extra crunch.
5. Honey Wheat Pretzels
Pretzels aren’t necessarily unhealthy, but eating wheat pretzels is a better option. Whole wheat pretzels have more fiber and tend to have less sodium. If you’re in the mood for salty and sweet, use pretzels to make these.
Edamame is often seasoned with a sprinkle of salt, and is full of protein, so it is the perfect choice for when you need something salty. Switch it up while still getting the health benefits with this edamame dip.
7. Avocado with Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is packed with protein, but also contains a good dose of sodium. This snack will help fulfill your cravings while also getting the benefits of avocado.
Nuts are a great source of protein and make for a great snack. Walnuts, almonds, peanuts, cashews and pistachios are the “best” in terms of nutritional value and least amount of calories. For more on nuts, give this a read.
There are a ton of reasons you should be eating olives other than to satisfy a salt craving. Olives are a good source of iron, improve skin, hair and eye health, and provide cardiovascular benefits. Here’s your go-to guide about which olives you should be eating and when you should eat them.
10. Apples with Peanut Butter
Peanut butter-lovers will tell you that apples and peanut butter make the perfect combo — you get crunch from the apple and a bit of saltiness from the peanut butter. If you want to make sure that your peanut butter isn’t filled with added sugar and mystery ingredients, try this DIY healthy peanut butter.
Pickles supply probiotics and are full of antioxidants, which is why they are a great food to snack on or add to a meal. Also, you can use the pickle juice to cure the hangover that probably started the salt cravings in the first place.
12. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
This is a great healthy and salty snack, especially when the cravings come in the fall. Go out, buy a pumpkin, and make your own roasted pumpkin seeds at home.
13. Turkey with Cucumber
Deli meats tend to be high in sodium and will satisfy your need for salt. Wrapping turkey around cucumber gives you the crunch, along with the added health benefits of cucumber. Cucumbers rehydrate you, flush out toxins, aid in weight loss and much more.