The mood to snack can strike whenever, wherever. Suddenly that bag of sugary junk food from the vending machine sounds too good to resist. But before you grab that bag of fake sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and red number 5, consider your options! There are many healthy snack alternatives that are just as good as junk food, but not as bad on your body that can satisfy your sweet tooth.
In this article, you’ll learn the benefits of healthy eating, different snack options to choose from, and how to choose a snack that is both healthy and tasty!
Benefits of Eating Healthy
Ice cream can make a good treat occasionally. However, there are some other sweet treats that can actually lead to some benefits, like improving your quality of life.
By making small changes such as snacks between meals, anyone can better develop a well-balanced diet. Eating healthy has some amazing benefits according to the CDC.
- Keeps skin, teeth, and eyes healthy
- Boosts immunity
- Strengthens bones
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Supports muscles
- Lowers the risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even some cancers
Health benefits are not only one reason to choose a healthy snack. There are plenty of options that can satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.
Options to Eat Healthy
A classic snack option is a fresh fruit, which can come in a cup or cut from home. MyPlate has discovered that eating fruit has amazing health benefits, like reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases. To fight against these diseases there are several fruity options that can help, like bananas, apples, grapes, and watermelon.
Perhaps the texture of fresh fruit might be off-putting to some people. Luckily, dried fruit provides an alternative to the texture, but not to the taste and benefits. The firmness of dried fruit can be found in another snack option if fruit does not sound good for a snack.
Dark chocolate is another healthy option that gives people a reason to grab a chocolate bar. This snack has cocoa powder which (in moderation) provides several benefits. As Healthline shows these benefits include, but are not limited to, helping protect against heart disease, possibly improving brain function, and helping protect the skin against the sun. These benefits are best received from a brand that is focused on the health benefits of dark chocolate. Healthline has also provided a guide to finding the best dark chocolate in a helpful guide. But not everyone is a chocolate lover, so another good healthy snack option is peanut butter.
MedicalNewsToday has found benefits of eating peanut butter that include but are not limited to boosting heart health, managing blood sugar levels, and helping with weight loss. Try spreading some peanut butter on crackers. Some people might not be able to have peanut butter, but luckily there is an alternative.
Almond butter is a great alternative for those with an allergy to peanuts. You can try substituting almond butter for peanut butter on some whole-wheat toast. Just like peanut butter, this snack gives benefits such as heart disease prevention, blood sugar control, and lowering the risk of some conditions such as obesity. WebMD provides a complete list of the health benefits that can come from this snack.
There are great options that can give the satisfaction of a sweet snack, while also being healthier for you!
It is possible to satisfy your sweet tooth while avoiding that tempting box of chocolate chip cookies! We understand how tempting a good snack can be, but we have some tips in mind to help!
Snacking Or Not
Snacks are meant to give a small boost of energy between meals. So what you snack is just as important as how you snack. ToTaste has a great list on how to snack smarter.
- Snacking out of boredom: Some people accidentally find themselves snacking out of boredom. This can lead to myriad health problems. Rather than eating out of boredom, practice eating with mindfulness.
- Mindfulness: Mindlessly eating can be a bad habit people can experience. It all starts with a few chips before that bag of chips becomes empty. To combat this, it is suggested to pre-portion the snack.
- Planning out and portioning: Snacks should be small and aren’t meant to replace a meal. Instead, snacks are meant to help curb hunger and provide energy to make it to the next meal.
- Focusing on nutrients instead of calories: While it is important to be mindful of calories, a low-calorie snack doesn’t mean it is automatically healthy. Think of food as fuel for the body, providing it with quality food is better instead of giving the body a small bite of food. Quality snacks that are healthy can give the body energy and can contribute to a healthier life. Another way to add quality to life is by staying hydrated.
- Hydration: According to Healthline, one of the benefits of staying hydrated is an aid in weight loss. Water can help boost metabolic rate and drinking prior to meals can also make a difference for those interested in losing weight.
These are guidelines and any personal concerns can be addressed at an appointment with a nutritionist.
A well-balanced diet doesn’t just last a few months, but instead it is meant to last for life.
We at MCR Health understand everyone is different from a young adult starting their career to an older adult enjoying retirement. Our nutrition specialists are equipped to help all patients with their diets through an individualized approach. If you would like more information on our nutritional services please reach out and schedule an appointment.