I refer to chips, pop and chocolate bars as the holy trinity of junk food. I made up this term to help people become more aware that these three ‘foods’ feed upon each other and can cause overeating. Chips can be addictive on their own with their salty crunch in small pieces you eat by the handful. Take a sip of sweet tasting pop with a touch of acidity in between and your taste buds reset for more salt, which is satisfied by more chips. Then, you want a little sweetness, so you reach for a chocolate bar. A person could easily cycle through the chips, pop and chocolate bar several times and barely register feeling full, as you are moving from one taste sensation to another. These are foods we like to eat for the taste and texture sensation they provide. The salty crunch of the chips, the effervescence of the pop and the creamy, sweetness of the chocolate bar.
Perhaps you do or do not eat the holy trinity of junk food together. I will confess here that I love potato chips, a bubbly drink and chocolate, but I don’t tend to eat all three of them in the holy trinity format at once. I prefer to enjoy each of these foods separately. Sometimes, I have flavoured club soda with chips. My recommendation is to have high quality, real food that satisfies all the taste and texture sensations mentioned above.
Here is my recommendation list for the holy trinity of junk food, real food options:
For Chips: Try ‘fresh’ chips (which have a short shelf life) such as the handcut potato chips at Leah’s 621 St Clair Avenue West www.leahs.ca or the brown bag potato chips at the Whole Foods www.wholefoodsmarket.com sandwich counter. Any freshly made chip you can get your hands on is a good choice.
For Pop: Try sparkling water with added flavour. A squeeze of lemon, lime or orange works well in bubbly water. For an extra burst of flavour try Minisyrup http://www.zavida.com/minisyrup, an unsweetened, natural flavouring product on its own or in addition to the squeeze of lemon, lime or orange for a healthy calorie free soda or pop. Natural minisyrup flavours are: grape, lemon, mango, pear, orange, raspberry, strawberry kiwi. Many testers have really enjoyed a mango lime soda just for the taste. ‘It’s like pop!’ has been the response and they have been pleasantly surprised that it was calorie free with no (artificial) sweetener.
Mixing a little real fruit juice with bubbly water also makes a great pop alternative. The San Pellegrino sodas are also a good choice, as they contain fruit juice and sugar. I discovered Bottlegreen soda while in the UK http://www.bottlegreendrinks.com/products/presses/sparkling-presse/
They are a delicious lower sugar soda. Their cordials mixed with bubbly water would also be a great pop alternative.
For chocolate: Try dark chocolate, which has less sugar. Stick with milk chocolate if that is what you prefer. I love Gallerie au Chocolat www.galerieauchocolat.ca, which is available at Whole Foods. Green and Blacks, Cocoa Camino are also great organic chocolate bars with interesting flavours. Lindt has a good variety of dark chocolate and is widely available.
You may find that you will be naturally inclined to eat less chips and chocolate if you have a less processed real food version. The lower sugar pop alternatives are also helpful in guiding your appetite. Please thoroughly enjoy your holy trinity of junk food in moderation, free of guilt.