Three Healthy Snack Food Ideas to Consider — guest post by Kitty Holman
Posted Feb 20 2011 2:23am
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The key to snacking healthy is to avoid the easy way out. When you buy unhealthy snacks and keep them around the house, you give yourself a way to avoid making healthy eating decisions. Instead, you should try to create your own snacks before hand and keep them around the house. That way, when you do get the urge to snack, the easiest thing to do is reach for the healthy snack you created instead of running out for fast food or a bag of chips from the gas station around the corner.
So, without further ado, here are a few suggestions to help you put together some healthy snacks. You can combine these any way you would like. In fact, some of them are great when mixed together! I’ve tried to pick out an assortment of snacks that will improve your health in different ways. Enjoy!
Nut and Fruit Mixes
Any assortment of nuts will give you a healthy alternative to other salty foods, such as potato chips, which are also high in saturated fat content. Nuts, on the other hand, have a naturally salty taste—you don’t need the salted variety—so you do not have to worry about upping your salt intake either. The wonderful thing about nuts is that they provide you with great protein, which will be good for maintaining muscle health.
Dried and fresh fruits are also great snacks to have around, because they provide you with natural sugars and energy. Also many fruits, such as blueberries, are high in antioxidants. It’s probably no secret now, but antioxidants are great for helping us prevent cancer and heart disease, among other health problems.
When combined together, the above two snack foods can create a great mix that is both tasty and healthy. You should try to experiment with various combinations until you find the right one for you. My favorite is to mix almonds with dried cranberries. You can probably find these premixed at your grocery store, but be wary of the high price. It might be cheaper to pick out each part and mix them on your own.
Fresh Fiber Snacks
Snacking on vegetables, like baby carrots, fresh broccoli, sugar snap peas, and even fresh green beans, is a great way to provide yourself with some solid fiber intake as well as an assortment of important vitamins. A combination of these vegetables is easy to take with you in a plastic container, and they are not messy to snack on at the office. You can combine them with a simple dressing—something not too fatty—to get a bit more taste into the meal.
You can also turn to a healthy cracker, like a wheat cracker, for your fiber content. These have a dash of salt in them as well to taste better, but they lack the saturated fat you would find in potato chips. Combine your crackers with some cheddar cheese and you can get some protein as well. You should be careful, though, about how much cheese you eat, as this can also give you some saturated fats as well. Select a richer cheese, say a shar chedder or pepper jack, and you can get the flavor without having to eat more of it.
Finally, you should consider ways to snack so that you get your carbohydrates and more energy for your workday. One thing you can consider is trading out whatever you normally eat for breakfast and replacing it with oatmeal. Oatmeal is high in carbs with a good balance of protein. If you enjoy it’s taste, then go for it; it’s really easy to fix. If you’d rather pass, then go for a bowl of whole grain cereal for a similar punch in the morning.
In the afternoon, instead of chugging an energy drink, try switching to a packaged energy bar, like a whole-grain fruit bar or similar. If you’re willing to spend the cash on an energy drink, then you should be okay splurging on a box of energy bars. After all, if you’re trying to get through that afternoon slump at the office, you’ll feel better after you treat yourself to a pre-made treat, especially if you put together all of your other weekly snacks the weekend before. Watch out for energy bars that are high in sugar and calories. The meal-replacement bars will up your calorie intake unnecessarily.
Of course, these are all pretty basic ideas. The great part is that you can mix and match them accordingly, and you can use them to create your own snacks. One of the most important parts of healthy snacking is having a variety of snacks to choose from while you replace the unhealthy snacks in your pantry.
This guest contribution was submitted by Kitty Holman, who particularly enjoys writing about nursing colleges . She is currently pursuing her masters in online Journalism. She loves to write health, environment, education, parenting-related articles. Questions and comments can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org