Road trips, gas stops, no time for lunch; we’ve all found ourselves at the convenience store for a fast bite on the go. While a bag of chips or a chocolate bar may be an option we later regret; there are fast bites that can actually offer some health benefits. Dr. Christopher Calapai, a board-certified expert in osteopathic medicine specializing in longevity, offers some junk food options to consider the next time there’s no time for an actual meal.
1. Blue M&M’s and Blue Gatorade
Don’t get the blues about all food dyes. From candy to sports drinks, the unnatural colors of foods today can make you cringe at the thought of what’s making them colored. But, not all colored dyes are as bad as you may think. Research done by scientists at the University of Rochester found that Brilliant Blue G (BBG), found in blue M & M’s and blue Gatorade, could help reduce damage from spine injuries. When BBG was injected into lab rats with spinal cord injuries, it sped up their recovery time and ability to walk.
2. Cheeze Whiz?? No way!!
Fat isn’t always a bad word. The FDA has stated that not only are all trans fats not bad, but some are also actually good for you. Conjugated Linoleic Acids (CLAs), although high in calories can help fight cancer, weight gain, diabetes, and arthritis. It’s hard to believe, but CLAs are found in Cheese Whiz.
3. Pork Rinds
Just the words pork rinds sound like an instant heart attack. However did you know they are a fantastic source of protein? A one-ounce serving of this fried snack has seventeen grams of protein, seven times the amount of found in a serving of potato chips. Plus, 43% of the fat found in pork rinds come from oleic acid, the same healthy fat found in olive oil.
Some studies have found that beer can actually help increase bone mineral density because it contains silicon, making bones stronger and less likely to fracture. A Harvard University study found that beer could prevent blood clots and reduce the risk of stroke. Italian researchers found that beer can raise HDL, the good cholesterol in your body. Opt for a light beer with fewer calories to avoid that full feeling.
5. Graham Crackers
They are the next best things to cookies if you’re trying to keep your health in mind. Graham crackers contain much less sugar than regular cookies and are still sweet enough to satisfy a craving. Plus, they are made with flour that undergoes a special milling process, preserving more of the whole wheat than in usual milling.
This is a snack that gets two thumbs up. Popcorn is packed with fiber and polyphenols, which are antioxidants that help to protect us from heart disease and certain cancers. Surprisingly, popcorn has more iron than eggs and spinach! It is also gluten-free, which makes it an option for those with Celiac Disease and other gluten allergies. Lastly, popcorn is mostly air. This means it fills you up, helping to stave off hunger cravings.
7. Beef Jerky
Forget about the leather-tasting jerky of years past, today’s gourmet jerky is delicious and can be healthy. Beef Jerky, just like its non-dried version of meat, is high in protein, iron, and zinc. It, also, contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Be sure to look for natural beef jerky as the newer gourmet styles that are packed with flavor and free of nitrates.
About the Doctor:
Dr. Christopher Calapai, D.O. is an Osteopathic Physician board certified in family medicine and anti-aging medicine. Proclaimed the “The Stem Cell Guru” by the New York Daily News, Dr. Calapai is a leader in the field of stem cell therapy in the U.S. His stem cell treatments have achieved remarkable results in clinical trials on patients with conditions as varied as Alzheimer’s, arthritis, erectile dysfunction, frailty syndrome, heart, kidney and liver failure, lupus, MS and Parkinson’s. He has worked with Mike Tyson, Mickey Rourke, Steven Seagal, and Gotham’s, Donal Logue; and as a medical consultant for the New York Rangers. Connect with him via twitter @drcalapai or at www.drcal.net