People on a diet don’t usually look forward to snack time. This is because the craving for the usual chips, cookies, pastries, and other salty-sweet food is at its peak during this period. A healthy diet is often ruined or negated by unhealthy snacking habits, and as such, it is important to have healthy snack alternatives nearby.
Many people complain that it is difficult to find healthy but tasty and enjoyable snacks, but this is not really true. Right inside your kitchen or pantry, you will find readily available foodstuff that can be made into healthy snack alternatives. Here are just some quick examples of what you can munch on instead of the usual junk food:
Eating popcorn is a great way to satisfy the need to pop something in your mouth during snack time or off-meal hours. Corn is whole grain, which means it provides you with lots of fiber. It can help you feel full without actually taking in lots of calories or carbohydrates. Of course, to keep popcorn snacks healthy, you still have to control portions and do without the butter and salt. You can go with flavorings like cinnamon instead, or use a very light sprinkling of grated parmesan cheese.
Popsicles are simply flavored ice or hardened water! It will help you rehydrate and satisfy your hunger, making it a perfect option for a snack. Making your own popsicles at home is not only economical but fun as well. A healthy mix that you can use is natural fruit juice (which provides added vitamins) plus some non-fat Greek yogurt. Mix and blend it well and add some water to make delicious and nutritious ice pops.
Contrary to what you might think, peanut butter is a healthy foodstuff to snack on. The natural variety of peanut butter—one made without added sugars, sodium, or fats—is a great source of protein and good cholesterol. You can lick a spoonful to keep hunger pangs at bay, or spread it on fruits like apples or bananas, or even vegetables like celery.
A little wedge of cheese is a nice snack if you are craving for something salty or savory. Cheese is packed with flavor, plus it also takes away hunger pangs for full meals. Eating it is a great way to get calcium and protein into your daily diet, and even better if you pair it with healthy munchies like vegetable sticks or fruit slices.
In general, nuts are a good source of protein, fiber, and good types of fat. Nuts have even been found to help reduce the risk of heart disease. Among the healthiest types of nut that you can snack on are almonds, which not only help lower bad cholesterol but also has vitamin E and magnesium.
Pistachios are also similar to almonds in regulating cholesterol levels, plus they also help prevent blood sugar levels from rising especially after a meal. Walnuts are particularly good for the brain and have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids as well as alpha-linoleic acid or ALA. Other nuts you can munch on are cashews, macadamia nuts, and pecans.
Snacking at home
Keeping a healthy diet is as simple as having these snacks prepared and within reach. The key to snacking healthy is to be aware of your hunger, control your portions, and find ways to satisfy your cravings in a beneficial way — avoiding fat, sugars, and salt. Snacking healthy is easier than you think if you just use some creativity and resourcefulness in making do with common ingredients and foodstuff in your kitchen or cupboard.