Healthy Snacks

Whether you’re on the go or just relaxing, it is always important to fuel your body the right way. According to many health gurus, you should be eating five to six small meals per day, but it can be difficult to achieve that goal.

Eating a variety of nutritious snacks filled with vitamins and minerals throughout the day is the best way to combat hunger and avoid giving in to unhealthy cravings.

Many people count the calories in each snack to decide if they’re eating healthy or not, but there is more to nutrition than counting calories. In order to maintain a well-balanced healthy diet, our food intake should consist of mostly carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, proteins, fats and water.

Carbohydrates fuel your body and should make up about half of your daily food intake, but be careful to consume mostly complex carbohydrates like whole-wheat pasta.

Complex carbs are high in fiber and low in fat, so they break down much slower in your body, leaving you with long lasting energy.

Vitamins and minerals like fruits and vegetables should make up the second largest portion of your diet. Eating a diet filled with nutritious fruits and vegetables will not only help you slim down, but also give you many other lasting health benefits.

According to WebMD, “Adults in the U.S. are encouraged to get at least 10 to 35 percent of their day’s calories from protein foods. That’s about 46 grams of protein for women, and 56 grams of protein for men.”

It is important to consume protein rich snacks in order to keep you full and functioning throughout the day.

Fat is another important nutrient that the body needs in healthy ways. Try to avoid saturated fats that come from processed foods. Instead, look for foods with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that lower cholesterol.

Instead of reaching for the Cheetos and Chips Ahoy 100 calorie packs, plan ahead with these nutritious snack options.

  • Hummus with vegetables or low-fat pretzels: Hummus is packed with tons of antioxidants and its high protein ingredients will help to keep your hunger at bay.

  • Laughing Cow cheese and your favorite high fiber crackers

  • Peanuts and dried cranberries

  • Almonds: They provide a variety of heart health benefits

  • Raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries: High in antioxidants, these powerful berries help you age gracefully.

  • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and celery

  • Greek yogurt and granola: It contains more protein and less lactose than regular yogurt.

  • Apples: The crunch and fiber make you feel full faster.

  • Tomatoes and feta cheese: A savory treat filled with vitamins and minerals.

  • Air popped kettle corn

  • Oatmeal: Buy regular oatmeal and flavor it yourself to eliminate added sugars.

  • Sargento cheese sticks

  • Edamame: Packed with protein, these soy beans are a great alternative way to increase your protein intake without eating fatty animal products.

  • Watermelon

  • A banana: This high energy fruit is a great post-workout snack.

References:

http://www.helpwithcooking.com/nutrition-information/introduction-nutrition.html

http://www.webmd.com/diet/healthy-kitchen-11/how-much-protein

http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/vitamins-minerals/how-do-antioxidants-benefit-me.html

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