Healthy Snack Foods

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For many of us, “snack” has become like a four-letter word (though it technically has five letters). When we think about snacks, foods like potato chips, chocolate bars, and sodas come to mind. But snacks don’t have to be unhealthy! In fact, if you have the munchies, you can choose some healthier alternatives to snacks loaded with salt, sugar, and fat. Here are some of them.

1. Cheese and crackers.

Look for low-face cheese and whole wheat crackers. This will help to ensure that the snack’s a healthy one. What’s fantastic about this snack is that while it tastes heavenly, it’s actually quite healthy. Make sure to eat healthy varieties of these foods. Too much fat in either the cheese or crackers (or both) can cause regrets when you step onto a scale next time.

2. Ice cream.

While many of us have the notion that full-fat dairy products are unhealthy, it turns out that they seem to lower your metabolism! But this doesn’t mean that eating a gallon of ice cream after every dinner will help you to lose weight. Make sure to keep your portions small. Also, look for ice creams that only contain natural ingredients. If you can’t pronounce some of the ingredients in certain ice cream brands, then it’s probably not the best type of ice cream to consume. The best option is to make your own ice cream, so you can be 100% certain that you’re eating some healthy frozen stuff.

3. Popcorn.

Avoid microwave popcorn brands, as they tend to be overloaded with fat. As an alternative, look for prepackaged popcorn that’s nearly fat-free. If you make the popcorn yourself, drizzle it with a little (trans fat-free) margarine or butter. Also, make sure to go easy on the salt. While we need a certain amount of salt in our diets, there’s no need to drown your popcorn in it. Instead, simply salt to taste.

4. Smoothie.

When you think of snacks that give you a boost of energy, candy bars, and sodas probably come to mind. As an alternative, make a smoothie instead. Simply blend your favorite fruit, along with some low-fat milk. The fructose in the fruit will give you a sugar rush-but without the sugar. Among the tons of smoothie recipes out there, you’ll find one that suits your tastes.

5. Trail Mix.

It’s not just for hiking trails! This oldie-but-goodie healthy snack includes some basic ingredients, including nuts, dried fruit, grains, and chocolate chips. Besides tasting terrific, trail mix is also low in fat and provides you with a burst of energy. Determine which ingredients you want to include (and exclude) in your personalized trail mix.

6. Yogurt.

This is one of those foods that can be healthy if you eat it properly. Choose plain yogurt, since the other varieties tend to be loaded with sugar. Then add your own fruit and low-fat granola.

When you choose the right foods, snacking won’t just be good-tasting, but also good for you. These are some all-time favorites that will satisfy your hunger without loading on the calories and fat.