Enjoy a healthy snack!
A universal belief is that food choices are dependent on environment, friends, beliefs and customs. Whatever the reason, snacks are meant to bring pleasure. Enjoy snack attacks with a variety of healthy and flavorful foods eaten in moderation.
Healthy snack options
Snacking on fruits and veggies, raw and cooked
Fruit satisfies a craving for something sweet while providing vitamins, minerals and fiber not found in most baked goods or candy. For something different, try chewy, dried fruit. Dried fruits have concentrated calories, so a little goes a long way. Keep broccoli, carrots, and sweet peppers in the refrigerator as household staples. Buy or make a low fat dip as an accompaniment, but be aware of the serving size.
The truth about fat-free or low-fat foods
People often feel that it is okay to eat more when eating fat-free foods, but the fact is, calories are calories. Fat-free foods should be eaten in normal portions and should not serve as a license to over-eat. Keep this in mind while considering some of the following snack options.
Healthier ice cream "clones"
Look for products with less than 3 grams of fat and fewer than 130 calories per half cup serving. Nonfat frozen yogurt is a great substitute for ice cream.
Fat-free or low-fat cookies often have as many calories as the fattier versions. Read the label for comparisons. Many old favorites, such as gingersnaps, graham crackers, and fig-bars, are already low in fat.
Healthier potato chips
The fat and calorie savings in fat-free potato chips can be substantial. A one-ounce serving of olestra chips contains only 70 calories and no fat. A word of caution, though; a small percent of the population will experience side effects from over eating these chips. Baked chips are low in fat, but they still have substantial calories. Read the labels carefully to determine the calories per serving.
Nuts vary in the vitamins, minerals and protein they contain. All, however, are a concentrated source of fat and calories, and all are generally regarded as the best plant source of protein. The extra calories of most high fat nuts could cancel out potential health benefits of eating nuts. However, choosing low-fat chestnuts for only 13 calories per ounce is an excellent way to gain a rich source of fiber and protein. Keep higher fat nuts as a tasty addition to a recipe rather than a snack.
Grabbing a container of no-fat, sugar-free flavored yogurt for a snack will add a burst of flavor to help meet daily calcium and protein needs.