Healthy Snack Ideas
It has been a long time since you last ate and your stomach is growling. Your energy is starting to wane and you have that feeling where you know that if you don’t eat something pretty soon, you are going to lose it. You need a snack, but what are you going to choose?
One of the best ways to keep from choosing the wrong snacks is to not to go too long without needing something to eat. It seems strange, but the hungrier you get, the more you gravitate towards the junky side of the snacking world.
Here are some healthy snack ideas to help you get through the day:
- Spread it: Hummus, peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter (and for the adventurous: tofu pate) are great toppings. Grab any of these, or other healthy spreads, and combine them with fresh fruits or vegetables.
- Pop it: Popcorn, especially if air-popped, is a great snack. While popcorn is not especially high in nutrients, is does have a fair amount of fiber and if you choose air-popped it is actually a great filler snack. We suggest you avoid the pre-packed popcorns that go into the microwave as they are often filled with unhealthy oils and artificial flavorings.
- Yogurt: If dairy foods are not a problem for you, yogurt is a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. The best yogurts are those made from organic milk where the cultures (healthy bacteria) are alive.
- Nuts and Seeds: Packed full of good fats and proteins, nuts make a great addition to your snack-pack regime. Almonds, cashews, peanuts and other nuts are a tasty way to keep hunger under control. Walnuts are full of healthy omega-3 fats and are the one of the best nuts you can choose. Don’t forget the seeds such as sesame and sunflower.
- Dried Fruits: While dried fruits can be a bit high in sugar, when used in moderation they are a great high-nutrient snack and a good way to increase the number of servings of fruits and vegetables you have every day.
- Non-dried fruits: Americans don’t get enough servings of fruits and vegetables in a day and you should consider eating at least one fruit a day as a snack. We are lucky enough to be able to get many fruits year-round like apples, pears, bananas, and oranges, but don’t forget to mix it up and try new varieties and types of fruits.
- Vegetables: It is hard to say anything bad about vegetables, they are packed full of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Vegetables are known for their disease-preventing and disease-fighting abilities. The best snack vegetables are carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, red peppers and really anything you enjoy. There are plenty of dips and healthy salad dressings available to make vegetables more enjoyable.
- Dr. Cyndi’s Favorite Quick Snacks: Try an apple with 1% skim string cheese, or an apple with almonds or almond butter. Celery with hummus or peanut butter is another great, low-calorie snack.
- Go to Joes: Remember that Trader Joes has conveniently pre-packaged nuts and carrots and other healthy snack for people on the go. Trail mixes that combine nuts and dried fruits are a good choice, try to find the ones that don’t have too many sugars.
Snacks don’t have to mean a trip to the vending machine or the Quicky-Mart for something prepackaged and sugary. Choosing a healthy snack does take a bit more time and planning, but the rewards of a healthy snack are a better and healthier you.