Healthy Homemade Snacks Minus the Guilt

by Yoga Digest | September 27, 2017 5:51 pm

Snacks are almost synonymous with junk foods, but if you go for healthier food choices, you can reap the benefits of snacking. Healthy snacking does not have to be a high-fat, high-sugar and high-calorie indulgence. Instead, it can help supply your body with much needed nutrients, increase your energy and control your appetite sans the guilt. Healthy homemade snacks [1]offer a good start to a healthier lifestyle. It lets you avoid unhealthy options while allowing you to stick to a moderate portion of food come mealtime.

DIY Trail Mix

Prepare your own trail mix[2] and you have a readymade snack you can bring with you to work or eat at home anytime you feel like eating in between meals. This offers fiber from whole grains, protein from seeds, good fat from nuts, energy from dried fruit and antioxidant from dark chocolates. The advantage of building your own trail mix is that you can add your preferred nuts, seeds, dried fruits and a little amount of the fun stuff such as pretzels, unbuttered popcorn or dark chocolate. Pecans, cashews and almonds are good choices for nuts while sunflower and pumpkin seeds are smart choices for seeds. Just make sure to add unsweetened and unsulphured dried fruits.

Peanut Butter in Apple Slices

For your sweet craving, you don’t need to ditch desserts from your diet at all. Use freshly sliced apples and spread it with some creamy peanut butter[3] like a sandwich. Apples can provide you with fiber and other nutrients, while peanut butter has monounsaturated fat that keeps harmful plaque away from your arteries, helping you lower your cholesterol and blood pressure.

Baked Sweet Potatoes

Kids will surely enjoy this vitamin-A rich snack that substitutes bad carbs with good ones. You can slice the sweet potatoes into wedges and season with kosher salt. Brush them with some olive oil and they’re ready to bake. Aside from being an excellent source of vitamin A, orange sweet potatoes are also rich in beta-carotene[4]. Sweet potatoes also have antioxidants concentrated in the flesh and are good sources of dietary fiber, potassium, niacin, phosphorus and vitamins B1 and B2.

DIY Pizza

The best thing about DIY pizza is that you can make it healthier yet still delicious. You can use whole grain pita bread as your base and top it with chopped tomatoes, fresh basil leaves and low fat mozzarella. Other options for toppings include zucchinis, mushrooms, bell peppers and cooked chicken breast slices. This will already provide you with protein, calcium, iron and other nutrients. The trick is to always be cautious of the ingredients to add to your pizza.

Homemade Popcorn

Popcorn is also a good alternative to potato chips and fries. Studies[5] have shown the many benefits of this snack. It provides the body with whole grain, fiber and polyphenols that are good for the heart. Polyphenols also offer protection from cancer, osteoporosis and diabetes. However, note that not all popcorns are created equal. Make sure to prepare your own popcorn and do away with microwaveable varieties. Pop your own and lightly season with sea salt and a small amount of unsalted butter.

Eating small amounts of food frequently is better than binge eating that makes you consume more calories overall. When snacking, snack for your health and choose a variety of nutrient-filled foods. Snacking can keep your energy levels consistent, so you can be at your best all day. If you are concerned about weight gain, choose snacks with 100 calories or less, with a good combination of carbohydrates, healthy fats and protein.

Endnotes:
  1. Healthy homemade snacks : http://www.snacknation.com/blog/guide/healthy-snacks/
  2. trail mix: https://www.thehealthymaven.com/2015/08/how-to-build-a-healthy-trail-mix.html
  3. peanut butter: https://www.prevention.com/food/smart-shopping/healthy-eating-why-peanut-butter-good-you
  4. beta-carotene: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=64
  5. Studies: http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/healthy-benefits-popcorn-4376.html

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