Top 10 Healthy Snacks That Are Fast, Delicious, and Natural Too
7 minute read
A big part of eating healthy, staying on top of your diet, and feeling satisfied is snacking. It’s not always easy to stick to three meals a day, so having the right, nutritious snacks to fuel and satisfy you during the day is essential.
That’s where things get difficult for most people. Snacks aren’t usually preplanned, so they tend to be something you can grab quickly and easily. Learning these easy, nutritious snack ideas will help you get healthy.
Healthy Snacks That Taste Great
Changing your snacking habits requires a change in attitude, and it often requires a little preparation. The following snack ideas will set you on the right path, one that is equal parts healthy, convenient, and delicious.
Almonds are a nutritional powerhouse. They are known for their ability to improve your lipid profile, their anti-inflammatory properties, and their antioxidant effects. This is why almonds are touted as a heart-healthy food.
With a little preplanning, there are a lot of almond snack recipes that make them a healthy choice you will crave. If you enjoy the taste, the only thing to be careful of is how much salt is being put on them. Unsalted will be best, but salted almonds are still healthier than potato chips and the like.
2. Zucchini Chips
Skip the potato chips and try these instead. Slice zucchini and dip it in low fat milk, then dredge it through a mixture of breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and your favorite seasonings. Bake in the oven at 350° for about 15 minutes.
These are not the best grab-and-go snack, but they’re amazing when you’re watching TV at home and just about to grab a huge bag of chips and dip.
3. Mediterranean Snack
You’ve probably heard that a Mediterranean diet is a healthier way to eat. How about snacking like a Mediterranean? A one-inch cube of cheese and about five dried apricots gives you a little sweet and a little salty in a healthy combination.
This doesn’t take much prep, just toss them in a baggie and bring them with you for later.
4. Energy Bar
Yes, most energy bars have the same number of calories as your favorite candy bar, but if you choose wisely you can find some with lots of protein and simple healthy ingredients.
You want to avoid lots of sugar in lieu of better energy sources. This will fuel your body correctly and keep you energized—meaning you avoid the sugar crash of the candy bar.
This is not permission to go to the movies and get the big tub of buttered popcorn. But one cup of air popped popcorn is packed with healthy benefits and only around 30 calories. When air-popped, popcorn is low in calories, high in fiber, and loaded with antioxidants.
Add flavor without calories to your popcorn by spritzing it with butter spray or olive oil spray, and then sprinkle with your favorite seasonings for a bold snack that’s really satisfying.
6. Cottage Cheese Veggie Dip
A half a cup of cottage cheese is loaded with protein and doesn’t pack too many calories. Sprinkle your cottage cheese with chives, pepper, garlic salt, and your other favorite seasonings. Then grab a couple celery sticks and you’ve got a crunchy treat that is reminiscent of chips and dip.
These simple soybean snacks are packed with protein, healthy fiber, high in vitamins and minerals, and a natural source of estrogen. They’re also low in calories so they make a great taste treat in the middle of the day, especially with just a dash of salt.
8. Hard-Boiled Egg
This quick snack is easy to make ahead of time and carry with you. Both the egg white and yolk are loaded with nutrients. While more than half of the protein of an egg is found in the white part, the yolks should not be omitted.
We are long past the days of believing egg yolks are bad for us. While they do have cholesterol, not all cholesterol is bad. The current belief is that whole eggs in moderation is the way to go. Basically, one per day is perfect.
9. Low-Fat Greek Yogurt
Give your yogurt a little extra excitement and more appeal with the addition of chopped nuts and honey. Packed with healthy probiotics, Greek yogurt helps your body establish bacterial balance that’s key to fighting off bad bacteria.
In addition, there are a wide variety of nutrients to be found in yogurt, like protein and calcium. Sprinkling some nuts and honey on top add sweetness, antioxidants, phytonutrients, crunch, protein, omega 3 fatty acids, and more.
10. Dark Chocolate
While dark chocolate may be high in calories, no snack list should exclude chocolate. The trick is to opt for dark chocolate rather than milk chocolate, and stick to 1 or 2 small squares as opposed to a whole bar.
| Related: Is Rejuvenation Through Chocolate and Wine Possible? |
The health benefits of a small amount of dark chocolate include flavanols for heart health, as well as iron, copper, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus.
The Bottom Line
Sticking to healthy snacks can be the key to making a change in your nutrient and caloric intake. Snacks can easily derail all of your good intentions, so the best way to keep on track is to be smart about your snack choices and pre-plan as many of them as you can.
Once you retrain yourself to make thoughtful snack choices, you can begin to introduce new things and see which ones get you most excited. If you love a handful of nuts, there’s no reason you can’t have that every day as a treat.
As long as the rest of your meals are well balanced and nutritious, you’re still on track with your new, healthy approach to eating.