There isn't anyone who doesn't like popping open a bag of greasy, salty potato chips or enjoying a warm cup of instant ramen or mac and cheese. However, while the taste may be great, the contents of these items are not the best for your body or your health. Junk food tastes great and is easy to make while healthy food doesn't always taste as good and often takes more effort to make. However, that doesn't always have to be the case. These tasty and healthy junk food alternatives will be sure to satisfy your guilty cravings.

Jessica Kastin

The Ramen Alternative

Instant ramen is one of the easiest and tastiest things a college student can make. The only problem is that the salt content is out of this world. An average instant ramen, like the brand Maruchan, has 1,660 milligrams of sodium per package or 830 milligrams per serving. But no need to worry. A new company has surfaced and is taking ramen to a new level by creating healthy junk food alternatives for your favorite instant noodle. Mike's Mighty Good Ramen is exactly what it sounds like; a company that makes mighty good tasting ramen that's good for your health too. With half the milligrams of sodium than instant ramen, you can feel better about making a meal that's just as easy but comes with less guilt. Flavors of Mike's Ramen include Spicy Pork Tonkotsu, Fried Garlic Chicken, Savory Miso, and Vegetarian Kimchi. Even better, you can now order packs online and get the ramen straight to your dorm.

Mia Disano

The Easy Mac Alternative

Easy Mac is a staple college food because it's quick and easy to make. While it is great in terms of convenience, the product is lacking in terms of nutritional value. But as promised, there are healthy junk food alternatives. The brand Banza has created a Chickpea Pasta Mac and Cheese that is gluten-free, loaded with protein, and comes with no guilt. Banza compares themselves to average mac, promoting their 18 grams of protein, which is twice the amount of protein than your average mac. Not only that but it also has four times as much fiber (eight grams vs two grams) and half as many net carbs (total carbs minus dietary fiber). There are four kinds of Banza Chickpea Pasta Mac and Cheese: Classic Cheddar, Chickpea Spaghetti, Rotini, and Penne. Lucky for you there are only three super simple steps which involve boiling water, cooking the pasta and adding the sauce. As a bonus, they even have recipes where you can make more complex dishes with their yummy pasta. 

Mia Disano

The Potato Chip Alternative

Potato chips are the best snack to have when you don't feel like walking to the dining hall but need to snack on something. While the greasy, salty taste can bring you comfort, once you see the nutrition facts you won't be feeling anything but guilt. However, there is a new and yummy replacement that you can snack on without feeling guilty.

Crispy and crunchy Chickpeas are the new trend that has been popping up in many grocery stores including Trader Joe's. One company, The Good Bean, makes these new crunchy chickpea snacks that are "100% Goodness and 0% Badness." You can buy Sea Salt, Smoky Chili and Lime, and Thai Coconut, just to name a few flavors. Not only do they taste great but they also are great for you. The Good Bean takes pride in the fact that they have "as much protein as almonds, as much fiber as two cups of broccoli and as much folate as three cups of spinach."

If you cant find The Good Bean brand, Trader Joe's also has ranch seasoned crispy chickpeas. With all these options, there is no reason why you shouldn't be able to replace your boring old potato chips with these new trendy and yummy chickpeas. 

Mia Disano

With these three simple replacements, your college meals can go from instant and junky to fresh and healthy. You will no longer feel guilty when you want to snack because these snacks are all meant to make you feel good about what you eat. Hello yummy snacks, goodbye freshman fifteen.