8 Guilty Pleasure Foods That Are Actually Healthy - DIY Active

8 Guilty Pleasure Foods That Are Actually Healthy

Guilty Pleasure Foods Chocolate

Guilty Pleasure Foods: Don’t feel too guilty…

We all have guilty pleasure foods that we just love (you can keep your non-food guilty pleasures to yourself). From chocolate to popcorn these guilty pleasure foods offer us comfort and hit the taste buds just right. But I’m sure we all have heard that we need to quit eating such foods in order to lose weight and not pack on the pounds.

Screw that, there has to be some guilty pleasure foods out there that we can eat and still achieve our goals. How much fun or sustainable can getting in shape be if you have to give up what you love? Let’s check out 8 guilty pleasures that you can keep in your diet that won’t break the scale:


Munch On These Guilty Pleasures Foods

Dark Chocolate

When it comes to dark chocolate, the darker the better. While milk chocolate can be fattening for you, dark chocolate contains more antioxidant powerful cocoa!

“It’s [dark chocolate] also packed with nutrients and minerals: fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.

Plus, unlike its milky counterpart, a small piece of dark chocolate can actually curb your chocolatey cravings faster, and with less sugar and calories.”

– Kim MacKenzie, called “Pilates Pro” by Oxygen Magazine, certified Pilates and fitness instructor, owner of Fitness with Kim

Popcorn

Guilty Pleasure Foods Popcorn

Okay this is one of my guilty pleasure foods. I hammer this stuff all the friggin time; I may be an addict when it comes to popcorn. I’m just super thankful it made the list of at least two of our experts!

“If you buy non-GMO popcorn and pop it yourself with coconut oil or raw butter it is actually very healthy for you.”

– Kusha Karvandi, CSCS founder of Exerscribe which monitors and adapts to the users preferences.

“Popcorn is getting some positive nutritional press these days with the focus on the health benefits of whole grains. That’s right, popcorn is a whole grain, plus it is naturally low in fat and sodium. It can be a very good source of fiber and very low in calories — if made the right way.

However, keep in mind that popcorn can also be a fattening, high calorie food. If you’re looking to add some personality to your popcorn, experiment with these ideas:

* Lightly mist with olive oil, then sprinkle with Italian seasoning and grated Parmesan cheese
* For a spicy snack, sprinkle with chili powder, cayenne pepper, and a dash of coarse sea salt
* Top with nutritional yeast, a vegan source of vitamin B-12, for a cheese-like flavor
* Make traditional air-popped corn into a modest-calorie sweet treat by mixing one cup of popcorn with dark chocolate shavings, dried cranberries, and ground cinnamon. You can experiment with any trail mix ingredient really. This mixture can be packaged in individual packets for snacks great for the kiddos. Just be sure to eat within a few days of popping”

– Rene Ficek is a Registered Dietitian who is also the Lead Nutrition Expert at Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating (SSHE)

Red Wine

Guilty Pleasure Foods Red Wine

We’ve all heard that wine can have some heart healthy benefits due to its powerful antioxidant content so it was no surprise it got mentioned by our experts.

“If you like wine, pick the sulfite-free, organic version. Sulfites are a preservative that your body can develop an allergic response to over time (such as severe migraines).

Also, organic wines are less likely to have as many mycotoxins (mold toxins) present.”

– Kusha Karvandi, CSCS, founder of Exerscribe which monitors and adapts to the users preferences.

Bonus points if it’s [wine] organic. Red wine is packed with antioxidants and a compound called resveratrol, which have proven heart health benefits.

– Kim MacKenzie, called “Pilates Pro” by Oxygen Magazine, certified Pilates and fitness instructor, owner of Fitness with Kim

Ice Cream…with Fruit

Guilty Pleasure Foods Ice Cream

Anytime we can keep ice cream in our diet (in moderation) is a win-win, right? What a great guilty pleasure food! One way, is to add a scoop to a bowl full of berries or fruit salad. This will help you with your cravings while also cutting down on your consumption.

Likewise, here is simple way to make your own fruit ice cream:

“Making banana ice cream is incredibly easy and it’s surprisingly decadent. All you need is a ripe, peeled, and frozen banana. Place the frozen banana in a food processor and blend until creamy. It’s great alone or you could spice it up with cinnamon, vanilla, mint, or cocoa nibs. An average sized banana (~7.5″) contains 105 calories.”

Erich Wegscheider, Professional Triathlete and Ultra Endurance Athlete

Red Meat

Guilty Pleasure Foods Red Meat

Because we know that lean protein (or lean red meat in this case) is thermogenic, meaning that it can help boost the body’s metabolism, we can keep this guilty pleasure as well!

“Aim for your red meat to be organic and grass-fed, in order for it to be packed with the most nutrients. Red meat is packed with Vitamin B12, B3 (Niacin), B6, Iron, Zinc, Selenium and many other vitamins and minerals. And, let’s face it, we humans are omnivores.”

– Kim MacKenzie, called “Pilates Pro” by Oxygen Magazine, certified Pilates and fitness instructor, owner of Fitness with Kim

Chips

Guilty Pleasure Foods Kale

Yup, you read that right: Chips. It might not be the kind you commonly eat though!

“If they [chips] are made of kale and baked in olive oil, and kosher salt. Get the crunchy, salty, fried taste with more nutrients than boring ol’ potatoes.”

– Kim MacKenzie, called “Pilates Pro” by Oxygen Magazine, certified Pilates and fitness instructor, owner of Fitness with Kim

Here is great recipe from out resident dietitian Dana Artinyan:

  • 2 cups chopped kale (washed and dried)
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

With the oven preheated to 350 degrees, spread kale on a separate baking sheet, spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with remaining ½ tsp. garlic powder. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until kale is crisped.

Crunchy Chickpeas

Guilty Pleasure Foods Chickpeas

Chickpeas are delicious by themselves even before they are made into delicious hummus. While not necessarily bad for you, you will love these so much you may think they are. Here’s a super easy recipe for you to try for an alternative use for chickpeas besides hummus!

“When craving something crunchy and salty, turn to roasted chickpeas. These crunch chickpeas can be quite addicting! Simply drain, rinse, and dry a can of chickpeas. Then add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and the spices of your liking.

Then bake in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes or until crunchy. This dish is packed with flavor and fiber making it a perfect snack to curb hunger. Plus, the garbanzo beans provide loads of potassium – a key nutrient for keeping blood pressure at bay. Feel free to season with whatever seasoning you love-cayenne pepper, chili powder, or a low sodium barbeque.”

– Rene Ficek is a Registered Dietitian who is also the Lead Nutrition Expert at Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating (SSHE)

Guacamole

Guilty Pleasure Foods Guacamole

Avocados are one of my all-time favorite foods and one of our favorite guilty pleasure foods. They are simply amazing and it is straight-up healthy for you even though it can be high in calories.

“Guacamole is, in general, quite healthy for you. It is made mostly from avocados, which really is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Avocados contain a high concentration of vitamins, nutrients and a beneficial ratio of heart healthy fats.”

“Guacamole gets a bad rap for being high in calories, which it is, but offers a lot of nutrition for the calories you are eating. Considering it is high in calories, it is important to watch portion size, and of course what you are eating with it. Baked chips are healthy and pair well with guacamole, or it can be used as a spread for wraps and sandwiches.”

– Rene Ficek is a Registered Dietitian who is also the Lead Nutrition Expert at Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating (SSHE)

Piece of Mind

A recent study just came to light that basically backs what we have been saying this entire article:

Keep the foods you love in your diet (your “vice” foods) in order to really develop a healthy diet.

The study found that eating smaller portions of your “vice” foods while increasing the portions of healthy food can actually convince you to eat healthier, improving your diet! Nothing like science to back the old adage of “when it comes to nutrition always eat in moderation”. So go ahead and enjoy those guilty pleasure foods, just do it in moderation!

Wrap-Up

Always remember that no foods are off-limits (unless doctors orders). If you love that food keep it in your diet but just control your consumption; moderation, moderation, moderation.

Keep those guilty pleasure foods; they may be actually helping you build a better diet!

Josh Anderson
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Josh Anderson

Founder at DIY Active
Josh is the founder of DIY Active - your at home fitness source! He enjoys blending the latest science and expert advice with health practices to help you exercise smarter at home!
Josh Anderson
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