The crunch of a salty potato chip. The crispy finger-licking heat of a chicken wing. The first frosty sip of beer after a long day at work. Is your mouth watering yet?

It sucks that traditional “guy” foods tend to be packed with fat, carbs, and salt. We all know that too much of a good thing can add up to a Buddha belly, but tasty snacks for men don’t have to be bad for you. Healthy snacks can be delicious, too!

For a quick and simple food reboot, check out these 5 smart food swaps that satisfy cravings without sacrificing taste.

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1. Whole-grain bread instead of white bread

If you eat white bread, you’re getting about as much nutrition as chewing on a piece of cardboard. OK, it’s not that bad, but white bread is stripped of a lot of nutrients before it’s even baked. Avoid the white stuff and grab a loaf of whole-grain bread.

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2. Club soda instead of pop

Avoid a sugar crash! Pop goes down smooth at lunch, but it packs as much sugar as a Mr. Big candy bar. Try calming your carbonation cravings with fizzy club soda instead.

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3. Nuts instead of potato chips

Potato chips are a guy’s go-to salty snack. So kick the chip habit by replacing them with salted almonds or cashews. Nuts contain healthier fats and more fibre and nutrients than potato chips, so you can eat less and feel full longer. It’s just another awesome example of what smart food swaps can do!

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4. Chicken fillet instead of chicken wings

To cut your fat intake, swap chicken wings for homemade chicken strips. It’s super-easy:

  • Slice a raw boneless chicken breast into strips.
  • Crack an egg into a bowl and whisk it up.
  • Dip the strips into the egg, and roll the strips around on a plate covered in a mixture of flour and breadcrumbs (about one tablespoon of each).
  • Lay the strips flat on a pan that’s been greased with cooking oil, and then bake ‘em at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or so.
  • Once your chicken strips are fully cooked, lather ‘em with your favourite hot sauce if you’re craving some heat. With less than half the fat of chicken wings, you’ll get your hot wing fix without inflating your spare tire.

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5. Avocado instead of mayo

This one’s too easy to pass up. Upgrade your burger with some peeled and sliced fresh avocado, or zesty guacamole instead of fat-heavy mayo.

Do you know any other healthy food swaps that kick all kinds of butt? Feel free to share them in the comments below!

This article was originally published on January 26, 2015.

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