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8 Healthy Junk Foods

It's a gluten-free, non-fat and reduced-calorie world we're living in these days. But it doesn't have to be that way. Did you know that there are junk foods that are healthy? Don't get all excited thinking that a bag of Skittles is now categorized as a fruit. Common sense still prevails. However, there are some foods that are traditionally thought of as "junk food" that now fall into the "healthy food" category.

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1. Chips

Chips done right can actually be good for you, that means either preparing your own homemade potato chips or choosing a healthier version of a traditional chip. Kettle chips are a great choice because they are made from high-fiber, high-protein beans and whole grain. Eat them with some delicious guacamole and you'll never miss greasy chips again.

Image via Jolly Tomato

2. Chocolate

Yeah, right. Chocolate. Healthy? Nonsense! Your eyes are not deceiving you. Chocolate has many health benefits. The key is selecting a dark chocolate, not a Cadbury Egg. Dark chocolate contains a bean called cacao which packs a big punch. It's good for your heart, helps in diabetes prevention, reduces stress and the list goes on. Just remember that moderation is important.

Image via Pixelated Crumb

3. Red Wine

Resveratrol is my new best friend. It's found in red wine and it has magical powers. In studies done on animals, it's been shown to prevent damage to blood vessels, reduce "bad" cholesterol and prevent blood clots. This has been shown in animals, not people, however I'm willing to consider myself an animal and assume these benefits transfer to me as well.

Image via Earth Times

4. Cookies

Oatmeal and ginger cookies are your healthiest choices for a down and dirty cookie. If you want to throw graham crackers into the cookie category, those are a nice choice as well. They are relatively low in sugar and calories. Top them with peanut butter and you'll kill two birds with one stone: sweet and salty.

Image via Crustabakes

5. Popsicles

Grab all of your favorite fruits and veggies. It's time to take the traditional popsicle to the next-level. Healthy popsicles are so easy to make, and the best thing is you can do them in batches and always have a healthy snack ready and waiting for you. Get all of your essential vitamins and minerals in a delicious treat. These are great for the whole family!

Image via Mama Papa Bubba

6. Coffee

All moms can attest to the magical powers of coffee. This must-have beverage is often the only thing that can power us through an entire day. No need to feel guilty indulging in this caffeine-packed beverage. Several studies suggest that coffee helps prevent diabetes and can lower the risk of liver disease. Go easy on the sugar and sip away!

Image via Starbucks

7. Ice Cream

There's no denying that ice cream isn't exactly a true health food, but stick with me here. Aside from all of the negative aspects, there are some silver linings to this delicious bowl of yum. Ice cream has bone-strengthening calcium and phosphorus, the potassium is great for lowering your blood pressure, B vitamins for energy and protein to aid in tissue repair and cell growth. So blind-eye to the negatives and enjoy all of the positives that ice cream brings to the table.

Image via Playbuzz

8. Cheese

I could eat cheese on anything. Cheese on crackers, cheese on veggies, cheese on cheese. Have you ever heard anyone say, "Stop. Stop! That's too much cheese!" Never. Calcium is one of the nutrients that is most lacking in the American diet. Especially when it comes to women. Lucky for us, it's one of the main ingredients in cheese! As if that wasn't enough to sell you on it, cheese also contains protein, Vitamin A and Vitamin B12. More cheese, please!

Image via Cowgirl Creamery

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As you can see, there are many junk foods that are healthy. It's simply a matter of moderation, common sense and throwing away preconceived notions. Food isn't something that we should feel bad about. Choose foods that are healthy, tasty and rich in nutrients. But just as important, choose foods that make you happy.

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