TODAY   |  August 20, 2013

How to satisfy cravings for crunchy or greasy food

Nutritionist Keri Glassman explains how we actually crave certain textures of food and suggests healthy swaps for greasy, creamy and crunchy cravings, such as Greek yogurt, baked sweet potato fries, and roasted chickpeas.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> foods like crunchy chips or creamy peanut butter or do you despise certain food textures? like you.

>> here's a fact about al that you don't know.

>> i don't know if this is interesting.

>> i find it fascinating. you do not like gummy foods .

>> or gummy bears or gummy worms or anything.

>> swedish fish .

>> i could live on swedish fish .

>> i don't like the texture.

>> i'm getting support because experts say how a food feels is nearly as important as how it tastes. whether it's chips or mac and cheese we have healthy swaps to save pounds of fat. she is a contributor to women's health magazine. good to see you.

>> good to see you.

>> i don't like it.

>> i don't like gummy bears .

>> i love them.

>> all right. we have to get off of you.

>> sorry, sorry.

>> how important is it?

>> well, it's important because we all know we crave certain tastes like chocolate or salty foods like french fries but texture also we cravement t.e the way it feels in our mouth. when we touch something like cashmere or sandpaper, we have fine tuned organs that effects what we cream.

>> creamy foods like mac and cheese and peanut butter . those are things we might crave and we crave them when we want to curl up in a blanket. when we're sad. so these are better swaps. we have fresh mozzarella or a butternut squash soup. but if you make a swap like this every single day, if you crave -- instead of the mac and cheese you go for one slice of fresh mozzarella you could save 34 pounds.

>> that's disgusting.

>> i want to say this is symbolic. we know it's not just calories here. a lot of other things go into it.

>> this is yogurt mixed with peanut butter so you get the creamy flavor but not as many calories.

>> drinks.

>> okay, fluid, the more fluid something is, the faster we consume it. it comes in less context with our system so it doesn't register with our brain and gut and we drink faster. that's how we can throw back a lot of beers or sodas or juice.

>> swap out.

>> a celtzer instead of the sew darr we could save 14 pounds.

>> where do you go to get this fat?

>> what's in it.

>> the "today" show producers got great fat.

>> i picture our producers running up behind people and sticking a needle in people and drawing that stuff out.

>> no one is ever going to eat any of this again after that imagine.

>> you're going to save even more.

>> you just saved so many calories.

>> greasy.

>> no surprise that fat actually triggers a place in our brain that registers pleasantness. so we feel more pleasant when we eat certain fatty foods which is why we eat more and more and more. so if you go for something like baked sweet potato instead of french fries , you could save about 34 pounds.

>> but also.

>> and the pizza.

>> the pizza also you're going to save. obviously if you go for something with more vegetables and whole wheat crust but more nutrients.

>> they're better for you.

>> chewy candies.

>> when we crave chewy foods -- you don't like chewy?

>> i don't.

>> you're having feelings, a combination of tension and stress and maybe anger. so it's maybe a good sign. so instead of a candy bar you go for a healthier bar that's nuts with a little dried fruits, you'll save about 7 pounds .

>> oh.

>> it's your birthday.

>> i'm so angry.

>> it's your birthday. you can't be angry.

>> and crunchy.

>> crunchy foods . unlike the creamy foods like curling up with a blanket, crunchy foods you crave when you're angry. go for a better option like popcorn, a lot less calories and caramel popcorn you'll get a little fiber also and you'll save a couple of pounds.

>> it's like ground dog day .

>> always know your triggers and have controls and be prepared with them and exercise too.

>> thank you so much. when talking about healthy eating we'll start a new series today called to good to be healthy. we're looking for healthier versions of classic recipes. we're looking for healthy cheeseburger recipes.

>> go to to center and three finalists will be flown into new york to show us that food creation live.

>> that's right.

>> i can't talk right now. the winning recipe will be featured on our website -- i'm just angry.

>> carrie, thank you so much. still ahead, we're honoring the