Whether you are at work or done with school hours, snack time is probably the best time of your busy day. You grab a packet of chips or have pastries from your favorite bakery down the road.
But, are these healthy for your body on a daily basis? Definitely not! Processed foods and refined carbohydrates may lead to that unnecessary weight gain and have almost negligible nutrient value.
So, what foods can you eat for snacks? It can’t be too boring because then it defeats the whole purpose of it being the best part of your busy day. Let’s examine some healthy snacks you can grab onto the next time you are hungry.
Healthy Foods You Can Have For Snacks
The best part about nuts is that they can be eaten whole or even sprinkled onto dishes. These are nutritious snacks, being rich in fiber, proteins, and essential minerals. They can also help with weight management.1 Some nuts lower cholesterol levels while some are good for those with diabetes. So, nuts are a good snack if you have existing medical conditions as well.
Some of the nuts you can have for snacks include almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pistachio, pecans, walnuts, etc. Although these may be good for health, make sure not to go overboard with them. Nuts have high caloric values; so, limit them to a handful or two for snacks. Try to avoid the salted nuts whenever possible. These may increase your sodium intake, which is not good for your body especially if you have blood pressure issues.
Raisins are another healthy snack you can munch on without doubt because of its numerous health benefits. Raisins are dried grapes and packed with nutrients including fiber, carbohydrates, and essential minerals like potassium, iron, and calcium. Raisins, because of their dietary fiber, help improve digestion. If you are diabetic, they may be one of best food choices for your snack time.2
Raisins can be eaten whole or also taste well when added to baked goods like muffins and cakes. You can also sprinkle some raisins in your salads. If cereal is your idea of a snack, add raisins to them as well for an enhanced flavor.
Yogurt is filling and does not affect your health adversely. Low-fat yogurt may be the best choice for a snack if you’re feeling hungry. It is low in calories and also contains good bacteria that can help in digestion. However, if you are lactose intolerant or experience an allergic reaction to milk, it is best to avoid yogurt. Some low-fat yogurt may be loaded with added sugars; therefore, it is important to read the labels before you purchase them. You can have yogurt with fresh fruits like blueberries or strawberries.
4. Dark Chocolate Chips
As long as you purchase dark chocolate chips, especially with the highest percentage of cocoa, they can be a healthy snack. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and also contain healthy fats. Therefore, dark chocolate in the form of chips will offer the same benefits to the body.
If you find dark chocolate chips too bitter to have as such, add them to whole wheat cookies and bake them. This can fill your stomach and curb your chocolate cravings too!
5. Whole Grain Cereals
If you want to feel full for a longer duration and eat healthy at the same time, whole grain cereals should be on your snacks list. These are low in the bad fats and are also cholesterol free. They are also rich sources of fiber and carbohydrates, which can aid digestion and provide energy, respectively. These are also good choices of food for diabetics and those who are overweight.
You can prepare whole grain cereals like any other bowl of cereal. To enhance the flavor, add your favorite fruits, honey, or even dark chocolate chips.
So, the next time you are hungry after meals or in between meals, don’t forget about these healthy, delicious snacks you can have without compromising your health.
|↑1||Damasceno, Nagila RT, Aleix Sala-Vila, Montserrat Cofán, Ana M. Pérez-Heras, Montserrat Fitó, Valentina Ruiz-Gutiérrez, Miguel-Ángel Martínez-González et al. “Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts reduces waist circumference and shifts lipoprotein subfractions to a less atherogenic pattern in subjects at high cardiovascular risk.” Atherosclerosis 230, no. 2 (2013): 347-353.|
|↑2||Bays, Harold, Kathy Weiter, and James Anderson. “A randomized study of raisins versus alternative snacks on glycemic control and other cardiovascular risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.” The Physician and sportsmedicine 43, no. 1 (2015): 37-43.|