The words “healthy” and “junk food” are not usually associated with one another.
If it’s sweet and salty -- it's junk food and can’t be healthy, right?
This assumption is absolutely wrong, said Cynthia Sass, a registered dietitian based in Manhattan.
“If fried in pure vegetable oil, potato chips and French fries provide heart healthy unsaturated fats,” Sass said, citing two examples of “healthy” junk foods. “Potatoes are a good source of potassium, vitamin B6 and antioxidants.”
RELATED: 7 'Healthy' Junk Foods
Not craving salty foods, but still want a snack that will leave you feeling a tad bit guilty without really harming yourself?
“Dark chocolate provides heart-protective antioxidants called flavonoids. [Also] dark chocolate contains small amounts of minerals including magnesium, iron, zinc, copper and potassium,” Sass said.
Perhaps the most surprising “bad” food with the most health benefits is pizza, Sass revealed.
“Pizza can be a way to get every food group and a huge spectrum of nutrients and antioxidants into one meal,” Sass said. “(The) healthiest pizza is made with thin, whole grain crust, extra virgin olive oil, tomato sauce, lots of garlic, herbs and veggies, lean protein and reduced-fat dairy or no cheese.”
Another way to make your pizza healthy: “You can even add fruit to pizza like pineapple chunks or make a chocolate pizza with dark chocolate sauce, fresh fruit and slivered almonds,” Sass said.
Just remember -- portion size is extremely important. It's OK to cheat, but size matters when it comes to enjoying your favorite “healthy" junk foods.