Healthy Snack Ideas

If you ever walked down the snack aisle at your local supermarket, you would see a surplus of snack foods, munchies and candy. With all the bright colors and alluring slogans, you might be tempted to throw one or two in your shopping cart, especially if you are suffering from a snack attack. The labels say "low carb snacks", "fat-free" or "diet snack". It's easy to think that these little snacks won't do you any harm.

Despite their low-this and free-that talk, relying on these types of food whenever you are hungry could actually contribute to you putting on some pounds. Not to mention the fact that they contain little to no nutritional value. If you think eating healthy means eating food that is not appetizing or tastes gross or bland, you should think again. There is wide array of healthy snack food that is not only good for you, but tastes good too.

Expand Your Options
To avoid becoming extremely hungry, you should eat healthy snacks throughout the day. Not only will this help keep you full for longer, but healthy snacks offer you more nutritionally. You should choose snacks from a wide variety of food groups including whole grains, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds and low-fat dairy products. Whole grains are high in fiber and carbohydrates while fruits and veggies have lots of vitamins and fiber. Nuts and seeds are good sources of protein as are dairy products, which also have plenty of calcium, something that many women just don't get enough of.

But, while it may be easy to talk about the different food groups, what exactly are you suppose to eat? No need to play dumb anymore! Here is a list of healthy snack choices you can make instead of the packaged goods in the snack aisle.

Instead of Try this
1 oz bag of chips (160 calories, 11g fat) 1 oz bag of rice cracker chips (100 calories, 0g fat)
1.48 oz of M&M Milk Chocolate Candies (207 calories, 8.9g fat) 2 tablespoons of peanut butter (190 calories, 16g fat [good source of protein])
1 slice of pumpernickel bread (70 calories, 0.8g fat)
1 banana, sliced (105 calories, 0.4g fat)
1 can of soda (207 calories, 0g fat) 1 cup of tomato juice (41 calories, 0.1g fat)
1 slice of pepperoni pizza (250 calories, 9g fat) fat free Italian salad dressing (6 calories, 0g fat)
2 cups of garden salad (15 calories, 0g fat)
1/2 cup of water chestnuts (60 calories, 0g fat )
1 cups of chocolate ice cream(286 calories, 14.6g fat) 1 cup of chocolate frozen yogurt (199 calories, 1.5g fat)
1 cup of raspberries (60 calories, 0g fat)
1 blueberry muffin (313 calories, 7.3) 2 tbsp of whipped cream (16 calories, 1.4g fat) 1 poached egg (74 calories, 4g fat)
1 slice of raisin bread (71 calories, 1.1g fat)
2 tbsp. of light cream cheese (55 calories, 6g fat )

More Great Snack Tips
As you can see it is quite easy to substitute high-calorie snacks with healthier, tastier replacements. Just so you're not stuck for ideas, though, consider having one of these healthier alternatives next time your stomach starts rumbling.

  • Stuff a one green bell pepper with chunks of left-over chicken, add ½ cup of cottage cheese and top it off with a tablespoon of salsa.
  • Spread 6 oz. of tuna over 1 toasted slice of whole wheat bread, finished off with roasted soy nuts.
  • Combine 1 cup of raspberries, 1 cup of blueberries, 1 cup of low-fat yogurt and ½ cup of low fat or skim milk in a blender to make a delicious smoothie.
  • Cut up 4 oz of turkey breast, 3 cups of spinach, 1 cup of garden salad and light Italian or vinaigrette salad dressing.
  • Give an old favorite a protein punch update: spread peanut butter on a sliced apple and add some shelled sunflower seeds on top.
  • 1 cup of oatmeal mixed with light strawberry yogurt and 1 cup of strawberries
  • Microwave 1 cup of raw green beans in the microwave and eat with light blue cheese or ranch dressing

These are just a few of the thousands of healthy snack recipes available to you. Remember, snacking does not need to be your enemy! You can enjoy most healthy fruit and vegetable snacks at any time of the day. Choose from all the food groups and do not be afraid to try new foods. Just because you have never tried it before doesn't mean it won't taste good.

The key to smart snacking is to stay away from the snack machine at work and the popular snacks at the grocery store. Read up on nutrition and soon you will be making easy, healthy snacks for yourself and for the whole family!




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