Let’s break down the scientific reason we love chips
Processed foods are scientifically engineered to be hyper-palatable. This means that they are made to elicit an incredibly pleasurable response in the brain of the consumer, one that is far beyond natural. They urge the body to produce unusually large amounts of feel-good hormones during digestion that natural foods would never do.
Turns out, there’s something to be said about calling something a “comfort food.”
In addition, these brain responses keep us coming back for more. They have addictive qualities, and processed food manufacturers are keen to this notion. They spend lots of money to find the winning recipe with the exact ratio of salt, sugar, and fat to keep that brain-response high. Therefore, we keep eating more, which means we’re buying more.
Now, I’m not advocating hyper-palatability, but if you are a lover of processed foods and are looking to cut back (which I very much hope you do), there are ways to make tasty treats that are WAY healthier. And to find pleasure in eating without the unhealthy, messy side effects.
SO, want all the crunch and none of the trans-fat and chemicals? I have answers.
The Dip Dilemma
Dip is fun. It’s an interactive food. Great for parties and apps. And, done right, it can even provide you with some serious health benefits. Guac is good and good for you. Hummus is healthy and delicious. And whip up some black beans, spices, and lime juice for a healthy tex-mex version, too.
Tired of your traditional chip/dip alternatives? Well, move over baby carrots, there's a new dipper in town. Enter: Jicama.
Tons of Vitamin C and Fiber, a great source of Vitamin E and folate, phytonutrients, and minerals, Jicama is a crunchy and refreshing alternative to traditional (and tired) veggie dippers.
- Buy the globe-shaped root from the grocery or farmer’s market (avoid the leaves! They’re poisonous).
- Peel the bulb with a veggie peeler
- Chop up the white flesh into sticks for dipping!
Add a sprinkle of sea salt for the same crunch/salt combo that traditional chips give, without all the yuck. You’ve got a seriously healthy snack that will keep you full and happy.