How to Turn Comfort Foods into Healthy Eating Options
By Brandi Swieter
Comfort foods are those that make people feel good. The often high calorie and high carb choices bring a feeling of well-being. They may even provide a feeling of nostalgia for childhood or a time when things were generally easier and happier. These foods are typically quite unhealthy, but with a few fixes some of your favorites can get turned into much healthier eating options.
The ultimate comfort food, ice cream has long been known for drowning sorrows. Watch any TV show or movie depicting a breakup or a woman having a hard day and you’ll see her with a spoon and a tub of ice cream. With lots of calories and fat, this dessert option is less than ideal. Make it from scratch to ensure a reduced sugar and calorie content. Frozen bananas make excellent ice cream. Simply blend the bananas with some flavor choices, such as peanut butter or cocoa powder, and the results are a healthy ice cream option.
Mashed potatoes are a common side dish offered at dinner time. They also make a great comfort food, reminding people of the potatoes they used to help their moms or grandmas peel for a homemade version. It’s definitely best to stick with the homemade choice rather than purchasing a box of potato flakes. Use olive oil instead of butter, and be sure to add the seasonings to get the desired flavor. Garlic works great, as does some simple salt and pepper. Some non-fat sour cream or fat-free milk would work as well to give it the desired consistency.
Chicken Pot Pie
The chicken pot pie options from the store are full of sodium and high in calories. Making the pie at home usually results in far fewer calories and a lot less salt. People can find whole wheat pie crusts that allow for a healthier start, filling it with more vegetables and a little less chicken. Carrots, peas, and celery are ideal choices for these types of pies.
It’s important to try and eat healthy always. While many people will have times in their lives when comfort food is desired, it doesn’t mean they have to return to old eating habits. Even typical comfort food options can be turned into healthy choices with a few substitutions and homemade solutions.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Anderson, S.C.