As midterm cram sessions begin, it’s easy to reach for your guilty pleasure. Do you go for sweet? Salty? I don’t know how you roll, but these seven food swaps are bound to satisfy your cravings without adding to your waistline. Freshmen: listen close unless you’re tryna rock that freshman 15.
Granola Trader Joe’s nut packets
As much as I love a big ol’ bowl of sugary granola, it’s loaded with fat, calories and sugar. Granola is deceptively posing as a health food and I personally think it’s quite rude. Opt for the small individual nut packets sold at Trader Joe’s. They come in several varieties and some even include dark chocolate (score).
Milk chocolate-covered raisins Dark chocolate-covered goji berries
We all know about the superiority of dark chocolate, but nutrient-rich goji berries have a special health benefit: they can boost your mood. Plus the vitamin C can help you fight sickness during those sleep-deprived weeks spent in the library.
Chocolate chip cookie Guilt-free banana chocolate chip oatmeal bites
Cookies have a crazy amount of fat, calories and sugar, even if they’re small. Try this guilt-free recipe that will literally take up ten minutes of your life. Mash two bananas with a heaping tablespoon of PB or almond butter, add a generous handful of chocolate chips and a cup of oats, and bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes. They taste like baked oatmeal on crack and you won’t be able to stop eating them, but it’s okay- we support you.
Ice cream Non-fat frozen Greek yogurt
Getting sick of those big cups of froyo? Yeah, me neither… but still, try Stonyfield brand non-fat frozen Greek yogurt at just 100 calories per half-cup. It’s creamy, delicious and has that slight tartness that you always find with Greek yogurt. Normal froyo is often fat free and low in calories, but Greek yogurt gives you the added benefit of protein.
Gummies and candy Dried strawberries or frozen fruit
Natural sugars > processed sugars, and dried strawberries taste just like candy. Frozen fruit is also the perfect healthy snack for a hot day. Simply buy a tray of fresh fruit from the grocery store and pop it in the freezer for a few hours. Frozen grapes and mango are especially delicious. Keep in mind that although these sugars are natural, they still must be consumed in moderation, just like anything else.
Artificial sweeteners Stevia sweeteners
Ignore those yellow artificial sweetener packets practically screaming your name at every coffee shop and make the switch to a natural calorie-free sweetener derived from the Stevia plant, such as Truvia or Stevia in the Raw. It tastes the same, if not better, and even dissolves in cold drinks, which is a game changer in my book.
Milkshakes Almond milk smoothie
If I had lived on the South 40 with that new milkshake machine, things would’ve gotten ugly. When you come face to face with that beautifully constructed hunk of metal, just walk away, friend. Instead, blend frozen strawberries with a banana and unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Add a spoonful of almond butter for thickness and protein or add agave nectar if you like things sweet. This smoothie is as creamy and rich as a milkshake, but sneakily replaces heavy ice cream with the natural sugars of fruit and low-calorie almond milk.