Smart substitutes for unhealthy pregnancy cravings

February 25, 2014 12:00 AM by

When you're going through pregnancy, you can't really help the things you crave. Sometimes your body just won't listen to reason, and you find yourself noshing through an entire pint of ice cream while watching the latest episode of "Downton Abbey." It's OK. It happens. But you don't always have to give in to those greedy little voices in your head. Next time something inside you is whispering to you about getting a bag of Doritos, consider these healthy substitutes instead.

When you want chips:
Resist the urge to buy high-calorie, low-nutrient chips and use those calories for something better for you, like pretzels, popcorn, baked options or even dried fruit or vegetable chips. Thinly sliced apples sprinkled with cinnamon and baked in the oven can make a pretty awesome snack.

When you want ice cream:
Opt for Greek yogurt. It has the same creamy, dessert-like level of indulgence, but with low or no fat and tons of protein. Add fruit, granola or a handful of nuts on top for some extra fiber.

When you want a candy bar:
Skip these fat bombs for a better-for-you alternative: dark chocolate. A square or two of pure dark chocolate will satisfy your cocoa craving and give you the added benefits of antioxidants.

When you want a cupcake:
Cupcakes are all the rage these days, but they're not the most nutritious things for you and your unborn child. Unless you're indulging in one of the mini varieties, eat something like banana bread instead. Even angel food cake topped with fresh strawberries and a dab of whipped cream is a better choice.

When you want a doughnut:
Forget about that frosting-covered diet killer. Instead, have some cinnamon raisin toast or a small whole-grain bagel with a small amount of strawberry cream cheese.

When you want soda:
If you're craving carbonation, step away from the soda and opt for sparkling mineral water or seltzer water with some fruit added in for taste. You'll get the same sweetness without all the sugar and empty calories.

When you want pizza:
Pizza's not always bad, but if you want a healthier version, make it yourself. Take a whole-wheat wrap or English muffin and top it with tomato sauce, a little cheese and then load it up with veggies or low-fat protein. Pop it in the oven for a few minutes and you have a just-as-tasty meal or snack.

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