Healthy Alternatives to Some Popular Snack Foods
It’s two o’clock and your stomach is on a rampage, grumbling and growling its dissatisfaction at you—those infamous afternoon munchies are at it again. There’s only one problem: snacking is unhealthy, right? Well, not necessarily. Snacking is actually good for your body and your metabolism if you do it right, and with all the healthy snack alternatives out there today, you can munch away to your heart’s—and your stomach’s—content. Here are a few healthy (and tasty) alternatives to some common snack foods:
Swap out the Ice Cream for some Frozen Yogurt
Most ice creams are high in fats, preservatives, and additives—not exactly the stuff that will have your body jumping for joy. Instead of this gut-busting frozen snack, try another tasty treat: frozen yogurt. Frozen yogurt comes in a variety of flavors, from passion fruit to peanut butter—and it hasn’t got any of the drawbacks that ice cream does. In fact, frozen yogurt helps you meet your daily calcium requirement, and it’s loaded with probiotics, live bacteria that are beneficial for your health. Need a little more convincing? It’s cheaper than ice cream, too, so while you’re slimming down, your wallet will be fattening up.
Potato Chips for Pop Chips
Potato chips are the cardinal sin of all snacking—loaded with sodium, fat, and tons of calories and cholesterol, the classic potato chip is one of the worst things you could choose to munch on—just take a look at all the oil covering your hands after you’ve chowed down on a bag of them and you’ll get the point. But, despite all that, the fact remains: chips just taste good, so what to do? Luckily, a great alternative to the traditionally bad-for-you potato chip is available: PopChips. PopChips aren’t baked or fried, but popped with heat and pressure—meaning that these crunchy flakes are made with a lot less oil and contain a lot less fat than traditional chips: less than half the fat, in fact. They offer the satisfying crunch of a chip and some great seasoning options including sea salt and vinegar, barbecue, salt and pepper, and original.
While normal candies are loaded with sugars, fat, calories, and all kinds of additives and preservatives, dark chocolate is good for you when eaten in the right amount. 2 ounces or 50 grams of dark chocolate a day can provide protection against heart disease and high blood pressure, and give you some essential vitamins, like vitamins A, C, and D. And the best part? Eating dark chocolate actually makes you happier—it’s been proven to stimulate the release of endorphins in your body, hormones that lift your mood and give you a little extra pep in your step.
Alternative to Soda: Fruit Smoothies
Soda is chock full of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and tons and tons of calories. So instead of gulping down the fizzy stuff whenever you’re thirsty, try a fruit smoothie instead. Blend one with some fruit and fat-free frozen yogurt and drink up—the fruit will provide you with vitamins and the dairy will fill your stomach and give you energy throughout the day. And best of all? It’s a delicious drink that won’t make you feel guilty. Be careful with calorie content though, you may want to try sparkling water or add some club soda to light juice to get that fizz you crave.
Photos from thebittenword.com, f10n4, bastique, and cantwork via flickr