Healthy Snack Ideas for Better Health
By Debra Rodzinak
I love my snacks: Chips, ice cream, cheese and crackers, and chocolate make my life complete. However, along with adding to my life, they also add to my waistline. Therefore, I have discovered a few healthy options that allow me to still feel satisfied while minding my calories. A few nutritious snack ideas that are substituted for my “go to” snacks allow me to still satisfy my cravings while remaining on the right track when it comes to my overall nutrition.
Keep the portions small and well-balanced. Choose a little protein, a little healthy fat, and some fiber or fresh fruits and vegetables.
Protein can come from a variety of sources: Peanut butter, cottage cheese, hummus, and almonds are just a few of the protein sources you can combine with other foods to create a protein-filled snack. Just remember to control the portion to keep a check on the calories. Some protein-packed snacks include:
- Peanut butter spread on six whole grain crackers along with an ounce of low-fat cheese
- A whole grain pita cut into six wedges spread with a couple of tablespoons of hummus along with some fresh berries
- Almond butter and pure fruit spread, which is spread over a piece of whole wheat bread or toast along with a glass of fat-free milk
Fruits and Vegetables
- An apple cut into chunks mixed with a half-cup of low-fat cottage cheese sprinkled with a small bit of walnuts and a little honey for sweetness
- A fruit and cheese plate made of apple, pear, grapes, whole grain crackers, and a few slices of cheese sliced thin
- Olives and red peppers served with one piece of whole grain bread, warmed
- Small salad made up of spinach, broccoli, tomato, a bit of shredded cheese, and one tablespoon of a low-fat dressing
- Smoothies made with fresh fruits and vegetables
- Soups made with fresh vegetables, just beware of the salt
- Tortilla chips served with salsa that contains filling mango and black beans
- Steel cut oatmeal with berries, non-fat or almond milk, or a sliced banana and a drizzle of honey and a few almonds
- Control portion size to prevent over-eating by eating just enough to get you to your next meal
Some experts suggest allowing yourself the occasional candy bar or cookie, but just limit the portion to one square of chocolate or one cookie. This may work for some people, but I have found that substituting fruit or honey is better for my weak willpower and also satisfies my sweet tooth. Get creative and find out what works for your overall nutritional needs.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.