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How to Snack Smart with Flavor-Filled Choices

By Sandy Schroeder

In a busy world, snacks are often the fourth meal of the day. Ask yourself when you snack and what you eat. If the answers are “nonstop,” and “mostly junk foods,” you may want to work on a better plan.

Everybody has a salty, sweet or rich sticking point that leads to chips, candy bars, tacos, fries or pizza. Decide what trips you up, and then pick the ingredients that won’t sabotage your diet with tons of calories. At the same time, healthy choices may give you fresh energy and more brainpower.

Think in terms of whole fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and high fiber foods. Read the labels when you shop to check for trans fats, saturated fats, and sodium content. At the same time look for added sugars in corn syrup, sucrose and fructose. Wherever you can, make your own treats instead of settling for supermarket cakes, pastries and cookies.

Try sparkling waters, sugar-free juices, and green or black teas in place of sugar-loaded sodas or calorie-laden lattes.

Plan your shopping strategy to fit your tastes with choices like these from Tufts University.

Crunchy

  • Carrot sticks
  • Celery sticks
  • Apples
  • Cauliflower bites
  • Green pepper strips

Sweet

  • Frozen grapes
  • Raisins
  • Baked apples
  • Melons
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Bananas dipped in melted dark chocolate
  • Spiced oranges sprinkled with cinnamon
  • Grilled pineapple rounds
  • Dried figs stuffed with ricotta cheese
  • Cinnamon applesauce

Munchy

  • String cheese
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pistachios
  • Whole grain crackers with part-skim mozzarella cheese

Drinks

  • Fat-free Greek yogurt smoothies with fruit
  • Low-sodium tomato or vegetable juice
  • Sugar-free teas
  • Sugar-free juices
  • Fresh fruit-flavored water
  • Lime, lemon and cucumber water
  • Low-fat chocolate milk

Spicy

  • Jalapeno pepper dips made with low-fat cheese
  • Green onion and red pepper cottage cheese dips
  • Salmon dip spiced with low-fat mayonnaise and with spicy mustard
  • Pretzel rods with Dijon mustard
  • Hummus with spicy dried peppers

Special Treats

  • Sweet potato fries baked at 400 degrees in olive oil
  • Turkey roll-ups filled with pickles and honey mustard
  • Antipasto plates with cubed low-fat cheeses, pepperoni, lettuce chunks, olives and low-fat vinegar dressing
  • Pumpkin seeds spritzed with olive oil and baked at 400 degrees for 15 minutes
  • Mixed olives and feta cheese mixed with low-fat dressing

Keep looking for fresh, low-calorie choices that fill you up, not out. Wherever you can substitute flavor for fats, salt or sugars.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Loveland, Colo. 

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