Healthy Snack Essentials to Keep Around the House

What do potato chips, chocolate chip cookies and candy all have in common? They’re common snacks that many people reach for when hunger strikes between meals. But while each of those treats may be tasty, they won’t keep you full for long and are high in sugar and fat. The problem is when you’re hungry, you’re likely going to grab whatever is around. The key: keeping your kitchen stocked with healthy options to make wholesome snacking easier than ever and ensure your stomach stays full and waistline in check:

  • Air-popped popcorn: Pick up a bag of popcorn kernels (they are less expensive than microwavable packs) and you can make this snack whenever you want. The popcorn isn’t popped in oil, which keeps its calorie count low, and can be made using a heavy pan, air popper or brown paper bag. Drizzle on a little olive oil and sprinkle on a dash of garlic salt to jazz it up.
  • Trail mix: On your next trip to the grocery store, pick up some dried cranberries, plums or raisins (which have antioxidants that are twice as potent as the ones found in some fresh fruits) and make a homemade trail mix with nuts. Just be sure to avoid dried fruit that has added sugar and watch your portion sizes—1/4 cup is usually enough to tide you over. Use a measuring cup and portion out servings for an easy grab-and-go option.
  • Almond butter: Not only is this spread a great source of protein, but it also contains heart-healthy fats. Try pairing it with an apple or making your own frozen banana bites (slice a banana, spread almond butter on them, and freeze for 30 minutes until firm).
  • Lean meat: Sliced turkey, ham and lean roast beef aren’t just for sandwiches anymore. Take out a few slices and eat them with cucumber, carrot and celery sticks to stop midday hunger. Tuna is a great snack mixed with avocado or Greek yogurt.
  • Greek yogurt: This thicker variety of yogurt contains twice the protein of the normal stuff and is packed with essential nutrients like calcium. Eat it layered with fresh berries and topped with a drizzle of honey for a perfect parfait.

Looking for even more healthy snack ideas? Check out these blogs:

Photo credit: Joy

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  1. There’s a reason they fatten steers with corn grain. Popcorn is mostly starch. Starch is made up of sugar molecules linked together and, although it doesn’t metabolize as fast as simple carbs like sugars, it still converts to fat. Fiber, of which there is little in corn (and popcorn), is also a carb but it is indigestible and therefore does NOT contribute to fat. If you want to feel full and lose weight try whole milk, cheese and unprocessed meats like steak, chicken and fish. Obviously, vegetables and fruit should always be a part of a good diet as well.

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