Swapping Snacks for Better Nutrition
It’s just a snack, right? Actually, snack foods are just as important to select carefully as those in any other meal. Choose foods that are delicious, keep you energized, contain an abundance of vitamins and minerals, and are easy to transport or prepare quickly. Sounds like a tall order, but you can do it.
We’ve taken some typical snack choices and replaced them with better-for-you options.
|Instead of :||Choose:||Why|
|Chips and creamy dip||Veggies and salsa||There’s more fiber and flavor in this combo so you’ll walk away satiated and eat less.|
|Ice cream sundae||Low fat frozen yogurt, melted dark chocolate and wheat germ||You’ll satisfy your sweet/chocolate craving with fewer fat and calories while also adding nutrients and antioxidants to your diet.|
|Nachos and cheese sauce||Baked tortilla chips and guacamole||The good fat in guacamole will keep your heart healthy and you'll get the same crunch from baked chips that you do from fried.|
|Candy such as licorice or gummies||Edamame with a sprinkle of salt||Instead of a quick sugar fix, choosing a snack food rich in protein like edamame will keep you feeling full and won’t cause an energy crash soon after consuming.|
|100-calorie snack cookies||Peanut butter or almond butter on celery with a sprinkle of wheat germ||100-calorie snacks are filled with empty calories and do not provide lasting energy. The combination of protein, carbs, fat and fiber in the nut butter and celery will satiate you and provide you with nutrients at the same time.|
|Slice of pizza||Roast turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato and avocado||Pizza can be a caloric nightmare; try a sandwich on 100 percent whole wheat bread instead. It will save you a lot of calories and keep you full longer.|
|Microwave popcorn with butter||Plain popcorn you pop yourself in a pot or in a brown bag in the microwave.||Read the label: Artificial butter can be a chemical and fat nightmare. Make it yourself and save calories, fat and all the additives.|
|Granola bar or candy bar||Make your own trail mix with almonds, walnuts, unsweetened cereal, some raisins and a few dark chocolate chips||Granola bars seem healthy but they’re more likely closer to a candy bar than granola. Make your own trail mix with protein-rich nuts and you won’t be hungry for some time.|
|Instant cup of soup||Homemade soup||Soup is a great snack—but avoid cheap, salty instant soup and take a bit of time to make your own. For some additional flavor and nutrients, sprinkle some wheat germ on top.|