Healthy Hack Your Food: Tips for Making Unhealthy Options Better


After a crazy week of work and other projects, sometimes junk food is just calling your name. Everywhere you look you see advertisements for cheesy pizza paired with pints of beer or decadent chocolate cake 3 inches deep in frosting.

Instead of blowing your entire diet on a plate of loaded cheese fries, hack your favorite bad-for-you foods with these easy tips.

Sweet Potato Fries

Sadly, potatoes have hardly any nutritional value and are only made worse when they’re deep fried in peanut or canola oil. Thankfully, most restaurants are now serving sweet potato fries that are packed with vitamins and minerals.

As you could have guessed from the name, sweet potatoes taste sweeter than their counterpart and can also satisfy your sugar cravings. Just be careful of the dipping sauce restaurants offer – the maple syrup dip can be loaded with sugar. If all else fails, make your own fries by cutting them up, adding a few spices and baking them in the oven.

Extra-Thin Crust Vegetarian Pizza

There inevitably will be a Saturday night when you’re relaxing at home with a friend or your significant other and you’re both suddenly hit with the powerful urge to get pizza. Instead of going with a double stuffed, pepperoni-topped pie, choose vegetarian or thin-crust options, maybe with spinach, artichoke and feta as a topping.

Lettuce Bun

Sometimes the only thing that can satisfy your meat craving is a juicy cheeseburger. Instead of giving up the good fats in cheese, switch out your carb-laden bun for a lettuce wrap. You still get all the fatty goodness of cheese and red meat, but you won’t be weighed down with bread calories. Using a lettuce wrap has the potential for messiness, so check out the best way to fold all that yummy goodness neatly in the wrap.

Mediterranean-Style Pasta

Ravioli is often a favorite Italian treat, but the fact that they’re stuffed to capacity with cheese makes them a less than desirable choice. Instead, opt for a Mediterranean-style pasta dish that has whole-grain pasta, plenty of olive oil and a variety of veggies.

Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

Cauliflower can pretty much turn any unhealthy food into something that’s both good for you and delicious. Cauliflower pizza crust or mashed potatoes is often a go-to recommendation. You can also use cauliflower to satisfy your hot wings cravings. Instead of bingeing on chicken fried and drenched in esophagus-burning sauce at your favorite dive bar, follow this recipe to satisfy your cravings and get some much-needed nutrients.

Greek Yogurt on Fajitas

Fajitas are often a good choice when you want Mexican food and are trying to eat healthy. The tortilla wrap is lower in calories than its hard taco shell counterpart because it’s not fried. Plus, fajitas are usually packed with veggies to add more taste for hardly any calories. Turn the health factor up another notch by swapping your go-to sour cream and use Greek yogurt instead. Greek yogurt has a similar tanginess and can be used as a substitute for sour cream in most dishes, particularly dips.

Banana Ice Cream

Ice cream is the answer to all woes, but excessive amounts of sugar can leave you feeling less than your best. Instead of buying a carton of Rocky Road at the grocery store, put a frozen banana in a food processor with milk and vanilla extract for a much healthier treat. The banana creates a similar texture to traditional ice cream, so you’ll be able to indulge your craving without missing the creamy goodness.

Know of some more ways to make your meals healthier? Tell us about them in the comments section below!

Kayla Matthews
Kayla Matthews is a healthy living blogger who has a passion for living well, happily and productively. You can follow her on Google+ and Twitter, or find her at