Healthy snack food alternatives to eat while using marijuana

Published Mar 21, 2019 12:34 p.m. ET

Now that smoking marijuana is legal right across Canada and much of the western world, a lot more people are getting to experience the sensations that using pot can provide. This is excellent news for those who may potentially benefit from weed on a medicinal level in treating pain or anxiety. However, there are a few groups of people who may struggle with one of marijuana’s most common side effects. A bad case of the insatiable munchies. Snacking can be a great way to control a high and often helps to alleviate some of the more intense euphoric sensations that can be caused by consuming weed. It also staves off that tired, groggy feeling that makes you want to fall asleep as the buzz wears off.

The problem isn’t so much that marijuana induces appetite and more so that consumers tend to reach for the wrong kinds of high calorie, trans fat filled, and ultra-processed food choices which can cause weight gain along with a host of other health issues. We know how easy it is to reach for the closest bag of cookies or chips to binge rather than preparing something nutrient filled that will act as fuel for the body. To help, we have compiled a list of some of the least healthy snack options paired with a much healthier alternative that will hit your craving just as well while tasting good too.

1. Burgers

Burgers are one of the most popular fast food menu items sold today, and they aren’t healthy. The average homemade burger will have around 350 calories and take out burgers can go as high as 1000 calories on one bun. Hamburger can be incorporated into any diet in a healthy way, but only if it’s consumed in moderation. The healthier alternative to burgers is a fast swap of a patty for a chicken breast. A homemade chicken burger will only have around 200 calories, and even a fast food version will have approximately 350.

2. Chips

Chips seem to be a food group all their own these days. Of course, there are some brands that may appear slightly healthier than the rest, but the sad truth is that no potato chips are going to give your body real fuel to run on. Try a veggie slice or sweet potato wedge alternative instead that is oven baked using olive oil. Your heart will thank you and the boost in vitamins A, B6, C, and D will give you a healthy boost of essential nutrients to burn.

3. Beer

Beer seems to be an option almost everywhere you go and is one of the most frequently offered beverages at gatherings. Unfortunately, one single pint of beer will contain an average of 180 calories which can work against you and your waistline. Red wine is the next healthiest alcohol-based choice ringing in at 159 calories, but the absolute best option will be spirits instead, which only has 61 calories per serving. It’s also full of antioxidants that beer doesn’t have at all.

4. Popcorn

Popcorn is cheap, fast, and easy which makes it one of the most popular snack choices out there. Prepackaged popcorn is one of the least healthy ways to prepare this treat, and a lot of people don’t realize that popcorn isn’t all that terrible for you. It’s the butter flavored topping that is full of trans fats, sugars, and empty calories. The best way to enjoy popcorn in a way that isn’t detrimental to your health is to buy a machine and make it fresh at home without the butter. That doesn’t mean you can’t have flavor though! Consider powdered taste alternatives instead that can be easily measured so that you know how much you’re eating. Popcorn plain eaten by itself is incredibly low in calories and full of fiber and antioxidants.

5. Ice Cream

Ice cream is cold, sweet, creamy, and pretty much everything you could ever want on a hot summer’s day. Luckily, there are healthier alternatives that can keep you just as cool. Frozen yogurts will contain an average of 50% less sugar and calories while still tasting great. For the healthiest alternative make your own at home using fresh berries, whole cream, and natural flavors which will give you the sweet taste without the addition of unnecessary sugars.

6. Pizza

Pizza seems like an excellent way to feed the group, especially after a few hits of some good weed. Unfortunately, it is nowhere near as healthy as it appears with its layers of seemingly harmless cheese and veggies. Though it isn’t quite as simple as placing an order for delivery, simple DIY pizza pockets or bagels can be made at home using very few ingredients and no added grease. You will also gain the advantage in vitamins when using fresh ingredients rather than canned which are high in sodium.

7. Cookies

Cookies are great in a pinch and come in all different shapes and sizes to accommodate any craving you might be having which is likely why they are such a popular snack choice. Unfortunately, they aren’t very good for you, and most processed premade cookies will contain enough calories to fill your daily need after eating only four of them. That’s a lot! A snack that many people just don’t seem to think of that makes an excellent alternative to cookies is figs. You can make them yourself in a sheet or buy them premade in rows. Either one will be filled with healthy nutrients that your body needs to thrive. Figs are a sugarless cookie dough wrapped around dried fruits, and they are perfect for hitting that late-night cookie craving.

8. Candy

Candy is not only unhealthy, but it is also hard on the teeth and full of empty calories. The only things candy will give you is a rushed and short-lived sugar high that will keep you wanting more. They also tend to come in packages that make it difficult to see just how much you’ve eaten, and that’s done on purpose to make you eat more. If you are craving a sticky and chewy sweet the best healthy alternative to visiting your local convenience store would be to choose fresh fruit strips or chunks. They do contain sugar, but it’s natural sugars which are much easier for the body to process. Depending on the kind of fruit you choose the vitamins will vary, but any kind will offer more nutritional value than regular candies.

9. Cake

The cake is something that I think everyone craves once in a while. The soft, delicious goodness that crumbles apart as you eat it is hard to resist, but there are so many healthier options that won’t hurt the waistline nearly as much. Loaves of bread that are flavored with fruit and made using wholesome ingredients are sweet, soft, crumbly, and come equipped with vitamins and antioxidants that are excellent for the heart and won’t give you a nasty crash from the sugar.

10. Chocolate

Anyone who has a sweet tooth knows that a craving for chocolate cannot be satisfied with just any snack. So instead of suggesting a completely different alternative, consider trying dark chocolate that contains dried fruits and nuts. Dark chocolate comes loaded with nutrients like selenium, fiber, magnesium, iron, and zinc which are all incredibly beneficial to the body and relatively low in calories.

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