Feeling peckish? Here are some delicious alternatives to your favorite unhealthy snacks.
- Dark chocolate
Chocolate tastes good, but the majority of commercial chocolate bars contain large amounts of calories, saturated fats, and refined sugars. If you really need your chocolate fix, swap your usual chocolate bars for organic, milk-free dark chocolate to make sure you’re getting flavonoids which are good for the heart.
- Sweet potato wedges
Next time you feel like munching on some fries, try baked or roasted sweet potato wedges instead. Fries are high in calories, sodium, and trans fats. A large box can contain as much as 500 to 600 calories. Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, are an excellent source of antioxidants.
- Dried fruit
Before you reach for that candy bar, consider having some dried fruit instead. Candy is loaded with refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup, and palm oil, offering nothing but empty calories. Dried fruit can satisfy your cravings, while at the same time they can give you a good dose of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
A can of soda can contain an equivalent of eight to ten teaspoons of sugar. Drinking excessive amounts can cause cavities and insulin resistance, as well as put you at risk for heart disease and diabetes.
By comparison, tea contains no refined sugars and is rich in antioxidants. You can also sweeten it to your liking with stevia, a natural sweetener extracted from the leaves of the plant, stevia rebaudiana.
- Natural peanut butter
Natural peanut butter is free of added sugars, stabilizers, and soy protein, making it a great snack option. It’s an excellent source of protein and healthy fats and goes well with bananas, apples, and celery. Products bearing the labels “natural” and “butter” should contain 90% peanuts with no artificial colors, sweeteners, and preservatives.
Peanut butter, in general, contains mono- and polyunsaturated fats that can help lower cholesterol levels. Products that don’t have an added stabilizer are trans fat-free.
- Kale chips
Another healthy alternative to potato chips would be kale chips that can be bought pre-made or fresh to bake at home. What you get is a crunchy snack that contains as little as 100 calories, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, and 9 grams of fat. This superfood is also rich in iron and antioxidants.
Swap sugary cereals for a bowl of oatmeal. Most varieties of cereal sold in the markets are jam-packed with sugar and often lack fiber. Oats are rich in nutrients and fiber that make you feel full for a longer time. This healthy substitute can help lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar, and educe your risk of heart disease.
Hummus is typically made with chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, garlic, and lemon juice. Its main ingredient, chickpeas, is quite healthy – a single cup contains 269 calories, 15 grams of protein, 4 grams of fat, and 12 grams of fiber. It’s also an excellent source of potassium, magnesium, iron, folate, manganese, and vitamin B6.
- Dairy-free coconut yogurt
Ice cream is a wonderful treat, but it is essentially frozen fat and sugar. Dairy-free coconut yogurt contains probiotics and fermented sugars that bring a good dose of healthy bacteria to the gut and help regulate digestive health.
Portable and convenient, you can keep a bag of almonds in your bag, car, or office drawer. These nuts contain protein, fiber, and essential nutrients. Almonds are also rich in magnesium, riboflavin, and vitamin E – in fact, it contains the highest amount of fiber, riboflavin, vitamin E, and calcium among all nuts.
For natural, safe, and effective solutions to health concerns, get in touch with Dr. Ann Doggett at 617-328-6300.