Dr. Fuhrman Dr. Fuhrman

How to satisfy savory cravings without junk food

When you do not want to eat something deliciously sweet but rather crave something salty or savory, or if you want something to serve your guests instead of potato chips, try one of these treats:

  • Air Popped Popcorn: Spray with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt or nutritional yeast or your favorite spices.
  • Papads: Roast them without fat in a non stick skillet. Papads are high in sodium (about 200 mg per piece) but if you eat an otherwise healthy diet this should not pose too much of a problem. They are very low in fat, and relatively high in protein. They are made from lentils and sun dried, so as long as you do not burn them they are quite OK as a snack. I recommend Lijjat's, a wonderful company.
  • Roasted chickpeas: Mix cooked or canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans) with spices of your choice and bake in a hot oven (350 F/180 C) until done. Watch closely. walnuts
  • Roasted soy nuts: See roasted chickpeas, but use soaked (not cooked) soy beans.
  • Boiled peanuts: Soak raw peanuts for one hour. Boil them for 20-30 minutes with your favorite spices.
  • Raw or dry roasted nuts: If you want to eat roasted nuts, you should roast them yourself in an oven. Commercially roasted nuts are usually deep fried. This adds unhealthy fats, and the deep frying process makes the unsaturated fat in the nuts less healthful.

While these foods are much healthier than most snacks, they are still high in calories, so make sure to compensate with lighter meals.

If you find you often crave savory things, it may be helpful to change your overall diet. I find that if I eat a balanced diet, my cravings go away. A filling soup is a great lunch. Add some miso for extra savoriness (miso is high in sodium, so don't overdo it).

March 14, 2006