Beyond Bacon: The Next Unhealthy Food Fads

Featured Article, Healthy Meal Ideas, Healthy Recipes and Nutrition
on June 18, 2013
Beautiful cupcakes sitting on surface.

Peruse Pinterest for more than five minutes, and you’re likely to find 50 new ways to use bacon: wrapped around veggies, dipped in chocolate and even blended into a milkshake! But that’s not the only unhealthy food fad you’ll find taking the Internet by storm. Here are five more to watch out for—and our suggestions for getting a similar fix for a lot fewer calories.

RELATED: Top Nutrition Trends of 2013

Compound Cupcakes


Cupcakes with a “surprise” inside have become so popular that there’s now an entire cookbook devoted to them. But while a plain cupcake made from a mix will run you a reasonable 300 calories, once you start filling them with cookie dough or cheesecake, the indulgence factor skyrockets. Unless it’s a super-special occasion, keep it simple with one of the six delicious recipes from our Healthy Cupcake Wars.

Doughnut Sandwiches


Paula Deen did it first, but now it’s catching on: Perhaps the most outrageous fad this summer is the practice of swapping sandwich buns for glazed doughnuts. First, Dunkin Donuts rolled out a Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich ringing in at 360 calories in honor of National Doughnut Day, while the Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joe showed up at the San Diego County Fair. Look, we’re not saying you can’t have some fun with your sandwich. But why not try one of our 30 Healthy Burger Recipes, instead?

Pork Rinds Everywhere


Pork rinds, deep fried hog skin, gained popularity as a snack few years ago thanks to the Atkins Diet. But now this low-carb treat is branching beyond the world of snacks: creative cooks are tossing them in a salad as a substitute for croutons or using them as a coating for onion rings. They’re hardly the worst food fad out there—a ½ oz. serving size of original pork rinds contains about 80 calories and 270 mg of sodium. But there are better ways to satisfy a salty, crunching craving, like baked beet chips or cheesy kale chips.

Finishing Butter


Plain ol’ butter just isn’t cutting it anymore. People want compound butter, which is butter with additional herbs, spices and ingredients to put a new twist on this kitchen staple. Some restaurants have even gone as far as adding butter tastings to their menus. As tasty as it is, butter contains extremely high levels of saturated fat. Why not spice up your heart-healthy olive oil instead, with this easy infusion method.

BBQ Sauce Fountains


Barbecue will always be a summer staple, but its stock is on the rise year-round these days, with competitions and TV shows dedicated to the art of BBQ. As with all fads, it’s inspiring people to get creative with recipes and presentation. Believe it or not, barbecue sauce fountains, a spin on the chocolate fountain, are popping up more and more at events. The good news? A barbecued meal can easily be healthy for you if done right. Try these tangy Asian Barbecue Turkey Thighs.