Potato chips were famously created in 1853, when George Crum became offended when a restaurant patron sent back his fried potatoes for being too thick. To spite the patron, Crum sliced potatoes paper thin, fried them in oil, added salt and became the unwitting creator of the modern potato chip. Today, chips are still fried in oil and salted, making them high in refined carbohydrates, sodium and fat. While eating chips in moderation is fine, giving into your chip cravings doesn't bode well for a healthy diet. Stop your cravings with healthier alternatives or indulging infrequently instead.
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Identify the situations and moods that tend to trigger your potato chip cravings. Since eating unhealthful foods can cause the release of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that make you feel happy, potato chip cravings can often occur when you feel sad, stressed or tired. By understanding your triggers, you can be ready when the craving hits and recognize it as the result of another emotion which you can then treat separately.
Swap potato chips for a food that helps to fulfill some of your cravings. For instance, if it's the salt you crave, reach for nuts which are full of healthful oils and fats. Or, if you prefer a crunch, air-popped popcorn can be a fulfilling snack. If it's the carbs you love, choose a baked sweet potato, which is high in vitamin A and fiber.
Snack often to keep your blood sugar stable. Allowing hours to lapse between meals can create a dip in your blood sugar levels, which explains a craving for carbohydrates in general. By keeping snacks on hand for between meals, you can avoid the craving. Fruits and vegetables, whole wheat crackers and cheese or hummus can help stop cravings before they start.
Drink a glass of water or chew a piece of gum to distract your mouth from your potato chip craving. A mint or gum is especially helpful, because they keep your mouth busy and add a flavor that is incompatible with salty potato chips -- so you're less likely to indulge.
Portion potato chips into snack bags for moderate snacking. If you simply cannot shake a potato chip craving, you can then use a preportioned bag to stop you from overeating too many chips. Once the snack bag is empty, you stop eating, rather than digging into a large foil bag for even more chips.
- "Time"; Health: How To Curb Your Cravings; Dr. Weil; June 2006
- Snack Food Association; The Potato Chip Is 150 This Year!; Christopher Clark; 2003
- "One Hundred Weight Loss Tips that Really Work"; Fred A. Stutman; 2006