What Are Your Healthy Snack Options?

healthy snack option

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What are you snacking on lately? Snacks are an important part of a healthy lifestyle. But it is very important that you don’t snack up on oily and junk foods.

Healthy snacks can help provide extra nutrients and also count towards our five a day target of fruit and vegetables.

Healthy natural snacks should be eaten between meals and will help towards your health and nutrition.

Nutritionists recommend that healthy snacks should contain vegetables, fruit, nuts or cereal grains. They will also cost you less than buying junk food that has little nutritional value and is bad for your health.

The keys to healthy snacking are to select foods that:

Can satisfy your hunger,

Supply your body with energy, and

Provide important nutrients

By pre-planning for snacks and eating the right food you can use snacks in your favor instead of feeling guilty afterward.

Here is a healthy snack tip. A key to losing weight and keeping it off is eating more negative calorie or fat burning foods with lots of volumes but few calories.

Eating fat burning compatible or negative calorie foods creates a calorie deficit that requires your body to use stored fat as energy.

Here are  just some examples of healthy snack ideas that are negative calorie foods:

apples

cantaloupe

carrots

cod

corn

crab meat

grapes

lobster

low-fat yogurt

mangoes

pineapple

raspberries

strawberries

watermelon

Avoid late night snacks because your body’s metabolism slows way down when you sleep. That means anything you eat just before you go to bed will turn to body fat.

If you eat vending machine snacks they contain high fat and you can forget about reducing body fat because these snacks can sabotage your weight loss quickly.

Also, beverages like smoothies, sweetened coffee drinks, soft drinks, fruit drinks, sports drinks and flavored teas contain a lot of sugar that will end up as body fat.

raspberries

Snacking on blackberries, peaches or red and green peppers can help you meet your daily recommendations of fruits and vegetables. You need two to four servings a day.

Dates, mangoes, papaya are very sweet and natural. You can easily eat them if you have got the urge to much on any candy. These can also be eaten in dried forms and you would love their taste.

They are also rich in vitamin C, A, and iron. So if you eat them you can keep your body safe from any harmful and fattening chocolate and candy bars.

You can eat low fat crackers instead of the standard rich biscuits. You can easily use them as your snacks whenever you are hungry and just feel like munching on something. These can keep you away from fatty chips and Doritos.

If you want more refreshing snacks then you can make yourself a bowl of salad. You can all your favorite fruits and vegetables and mix it.

In the end, you can add lemon, low-fat yogurt, or olive oil as dressing. The salad bowl would be very refreshing and you would also feel very full.

Just like the salad you can also have small or mini sandwiches with low-fat cheese and it would taste as good as anything else.

sandwich-healthy snack

Combining healthy snacks with a good diet and exercise lead to an improved wellbeing.

The ideas below, for healthy snacks, are suitable for everyone from school children to those at work.

Avocado and Cheese Sandwich made with Wholemeal Bread

Avocados are a good source of vitamin E and C as well as being high in fiber and potassium. They also contain folic acid, an important vitamin for pregnant women. Cheese contains important levels of calcium and wholemeal bread is high in fiber.

Dried Banana Chips

Dried banana chips are often fried in coconut oil and coated in honey. Bananas contain high levels of vitamin A and C. They are also rich in potassium. You can often find banana chips included in muesli. Great for a carbohydrate boost.

Crackers and Cheese

This is a very popular snack after dinner. Cheese is high in calcium. Crackers also come in wholemeal varieties and these are a good source of extra fiber.

Fruit Salad

You can combine any of your favorite fruits in this snack such as kiwi fruit, apples, pear, and nectarines. This snack will help you towards your five a day of fruit and vegetables.

Hummus in Pita Bread

Hummus is made from dried chickpeas, garlic and sometimes tahini. Hummus contains fiber and iron while tahini is made from sesame seeds and is high in calcium.

Turkey Sandwich

Lean turkey or chicken on whole wheat bread with mustard will provide you with energy-boosting carbs as well as valuable protein that will ensure you feel full longer. A full sandwich would be approximately 400 calories while a half a sandwich would be around 200 calories.

Popcorn

Popcorn is a whole grain food, which makes it a high-quality carbohydrate source that is not only low in calories, but a good source of fiber.

 

This means it takes longer to chew and makes you feel full sooner and for a longer period of time compared to non-whole grain snacks. Compared to many snack foods, popcorn is also low in calories.

Air-popped popcorn provides only 30 calories per cup. When oil-popped, it contains only 55 calories. Even drizzled lightly with butter, it’s only 90 to 120 calories per cup.

mixed-nuts

Try these power snacks for a quick pick me up, that’s good for you, too.

Mixed Nuts 

Nuts are an excellent source of Vitamin E, which is good news for your heart. They are high in good fats that offer a great boost of energy. Just be careful not to eat too many, as they are high in calories, too. Aim for about a ¼ cup.

Raisins 

Raisins are cholesterol-free, low in sodium, and totally fat-free. They provide many necessary vitamins and minerals, including iron, potassium, calcium, and certain B vitamins.

They are a good source of fiber and rich in antioxidants. They are also easily digested, for quick energy. A ¼ cup of sun dried raisins is about 130 calories and the perfects portion for a snack. Try mixing raisins, mixed nuts, and a few other foods such as cheerios for a great take-along.

Nutrition Bar

Nutrition or protein bars have dramatically improved in taste over the years. Today, many offer the perfect balance of carbs and proteins and are packed with beneficial vitamins and nutrients, including calcium, folic acid, iron and much, much more.

Check the nutrition facts and beware those that full of fats and sugars. Go to your trusted health store to be safe.

Milk

Milk contains 9 essential nutrients, including calcium, vitamins A, D, and B 12, protein, potassium, riboflavin, niacin, and phosphorus.

This powerful package of nutrients does more than just build strong bones. 8 ounces of low-fat chocolate milk will give you the sugar you need for energy, and the protein to sustain it.

Yogurt 

Yogurt is an outstanding source of protein, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamins B6, B12, niacin, and folic acid. It contains just as much potassium as a banana does.

This special dairy product contains a lot of friendly bacteria that benefit your health tremendously. A 16-ounce container of yogurt is usually 100-200 calories, depending on whether you choose fat-free or low-fat

Fruit 

Go for fruits that are high in natural sugar, without the fat. Grapes, bananas, cantaloupe, and watermelon are all good choices. These fruits supply the burst of energy you need without the fat you don’t need.

Cut up some pieces of fruit to add to your yogurt for a nutritiously packed afternoon goody.

Fruit, such as oranges, bananas, and apples, are packed with vitamins, including Vitamin C; minerals; antioxidants; good carbs; and fiber. Plus, they are easy to carry with you! A piece of fruit or a cup of berries is usually 80-120 calories, depending on the fruit.

Whole Grains

Whole-grain snacks are rich in complex carbohydrates and fiber, which give you immediate energy that has some staying power. Consider items such as low-fat whole-grain crackers and whole grain crispbreads.

Low-Fat Dairy Products

Cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products are good sources of calcium, protein, and other nutrients. Be sure to choose low fat versions.

Mix up your snacks a bit, so that you never get bored. Try new fruits, yogurts, and nuts often. Try out different power snacks together to reap the benefits of a diverse diet. You can truly treat yourself without feeling sinful!

smart snacking

Tips for Smarter Snacking

There are smarter ways to snack throughout the day where you can lower your calories and still fill the hunger gap.

Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, author of the American Dietetic Association’s Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, goes over some common snacking times and makes a few smart suggestions on what healthier items we can replace those “filler” foods with.

When you need a wake-up or need a quick energy jolt:

Eat a small breakfast of carbs and protein (cereal, egg, milk) or have an AM snack of proteins like peanuts or cottage cheese.

Before leaving the office for a meeting:

A quick piece of fruit or chunk of cheese is good if you don’t know when lunch is coming.

Before working out:

You might want pump up with a piece of fruit and a big glass of water.

After school or work:

A small sandwich and a glass of milk will work, otherwise, people eat all the way until dinner, a cookie, a cracker, a soda, and are never satisfied.

If you are cutting calories have some cut-up veggies or a rice cake with peanut butter or cheese.

When out with friends:

Try splitting a dessert or snack when you go for dessert or grab a bite with your buddies.

Before partying:

A cracker and cheese or little carrots are a good choice to take the edge off. Drink an equal amount of water after every drink when you can.

Before bed:

Milk contains tryptophan, which makes some people sleepy, and chai tea can be soothing.

Snacking not only helps ease those nasty hunger pains, but it relaxes and softens stress. Snacking should not be used to escape boredom. Find the smart snacks that fit both your individual needs and the occasion at hand.

child friendly snack

Child-Friendly Healthy Snacks

Make snack time nibbles attractive and hassle free. Prepare small portions of snacks and leave them in easy to find places like kitchen shelf, fridge or dining table.

The healthiest and simplest choice for snacks is fresh fruits and raw vegetables requiring minimum preparation time.

Some good suggestions of kid-friendly healthy snacks include:
1. Make fruit salads with kid’s favorite fruits. Prepare them in small batches from fresh fruits and freeze them.
2. Dry fruits like raisins or apricots and fresh fruits like apples, oranges, watermelons, and bananas.
3. Sandwiches with peanut butter, tuna or lean meat cuts.
4. Yogurt, plain or flavored or milkshakes made with low fat or skimmed milk. Dry cereals or cornflakes served with fruit and low-fat milk.
5. Fresh fruit juices like orange, watermelon, grapefruit or frozen juice bars.
6. Hard-boiled eggs with a slice of whole wheat bread, peanuts, pretzels or crackers.
7. Ready to eat cut up veggies like carrots, cucumbers, and celery. Unbuttered popcorns, wheat crackers or whole grain muffins served with low-fat cheese dip.
8. Fruit Smoothie made in a blender with fresh fruits, juice, and yogurt.
9. Yogurt dessert with layers of low-fat yogurt, fruits, and veggies.

 

Try out different things and you would be able to make things up yourself. Just look for bad and good carbohydrates and you would achieve your goals.

So next time when you are hungry think of the possible low-fat items that you can make instead of just opening the fridge and filling your mouth with high-calorie chocolate bar or sandwiches.

Don’t keep your body hungry but always keep it satisfied with the healthiest of food around.

Just like this, you can look for other low-fat snacks which can keep you fit. If you start thinking before putting anything in your stomach then you would be really able to keep a watch on your weight.

People who don’t really notice what they are eating are the ones who have got most problems with their weight and then they regret later. So it is better to think today and have a healthier tomorrow.

Believe it or not, small changes like these can have a huge difference in your weight loss results. Remember, successful weight loss is just a combination of the right choices.

So the next time you have a snack attack at home or at work you’ll know how to use it to your advantage for healthy and weight loss success.

 


POINTS TO REMEMBER

Healthy natural snacks should be eaten between meals and will help towards your health and nutrition.

The keys to healthy snacking are to select foods that:

  • Can satisfy your hunger
  • Supply your body with energy
  • Provide important nutrients

Avoid late night snacks because your body’s metabolism slows way down when you sleep.

Some Ideas of Healthy Snack

  • Avocado and cheese sandwich made with wholemeal bread
  • Dried Banana Chips
  • Crackers and Cheese
  • Fruit Salad
  • Hummus in pita bread
  • Turkey Sandwich
  • Popcorn

Examples of power snacks for a quick pick me up

  • Mixed Nuts
  • Raisins
  • Nutrition Bar
  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Fruit
  • Whole Grains
  • Low-Fat Dairy Products

TAKEAWAY QUESTIONS

– Are you eating some healthy snacks?

– Do you always choose healthy snacks?

– How often do you have some snacks?

– Are you snacking for your advantage?


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