When choosing snacks, it’s important to pick food that will not only curb your appetite but will be good for you, too!
Instead of reaching for that pint of ice cream or bag of potato chips sitting in your cupboard, choose snacks that are low in cholesterol, sodium, calories, and saturated fat but high in fiber and other good-for-you nutrients.
Treat your heart right (and your waistline) with these delicious heart-healthy snacks the whole family will enjoy.
Snacks Rich in Fiber
When choosing a convenient, heart-healthy snack to munch on during the day, look for foods rich in fiber. Unfortunately, most of us don’t know how much fiber we should eat each day, (about 25 grams a day for women, and 35-38 grams a day for men).
To up your fiber intake, reach for snacks that are chock full of fiber such as low-fat popcorn, fresh fruit, whole grain crackers, or a handful of nuts to keep you going until dinner.
Along with fiber, look for snacks that are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help protect your heart and curb your snack cravings.
Trail mix, hard boiled eggs, flax seed, walnuts, and soybeans are all good sources of omega-3’s (and are a lot more portable than fish for snacking!).
Other Heart-Healthy Snacking Options
Many people are under the impression that heart-healthy snacks are devoid of flavor or just plain disgusting, but that’s not true. Simply making a few substitutions when the munchies strike can mean the difference between a good-for-you snack and one that isn’t.
For example, substitute fresh veggies with a small serving of hummus in place of a handful of potato chips and dip or reach for a few apple slices with peanut butter instead of a less healthy snacking choice.
Raisins, low-fat cottage cheese, low-fat yogurt, pretzels, and rice cakes are also good snacking choices when the mood strikes.
Making smarter snacking choices are not as difficult as you might think, and the previous suggestions are great foods to reach for. Not only are they good for your heart, but you won’t feel guilty after eating a handful of nuts or loading up on fresh fruit and vegetables!
What heart-healthy snacks do you turn to when you crave something to munch on? Do you have any creative recipes to turn an otherwise “eh” snack into something fabulous (yet still healthy)? Leave your thoughts in the comments!