Five Healthy Swaps for Smart Snacking
We all love to snack, but snacking on the wrong things can lead to some unhealthy choices. Before your next snack break, take a look at these five healthy swaps for smart snacking that are still tasty and delicious. From making simple choices like reaching for dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate and learning how to air-pop popcorn, you’re already on the road to a healthy lifestyle!
Replace peanut butter with almond butter
Peanut butter has been a pantry staple for a long time, but with other nut butters on the rise, it’s time to consider a healthier swap. Comparatively, almond butter is higher in vitamins, minerals, and fiber than peanut butter. Peanut butter is also often made with added sugar and hydrogenated fats. While peanut butter is traditionally higher in protein, the overall amount of nutrients offered in almond butter is better for you in the long run.
Dark chocolate vs. milk chocolate
Did you know that dark chocolate is considered healthy? You may have seen packages advertising “76% dark chocolate” or “89% dark chocolate” at the store. The higher the dark chocolate percentage, the better it is for you! Good quality dark chocolate is full of essential nutrients like fiber, iron, magnesium, and more. It’s also a powerful source of antioxidants and may help lower your blood pressure. Milk chocolate – which is full of sugar – certainly doesn’t deliver on that!
Swap dried fruit for fresh fruit
One of our favorite healthy swaps for smart snacking is swapping out dried fruit for fresh fruit. While dried fruit is certainly tasty and can be a quick snack for on-the-go, the drying process strips them of water and nutrients and instead increases the sugar and calorie count. Because of this, it’s important to watch portions when eating dried fruit. Popular dried fruits include dried grapes, cranberries (often known as “craisins”), cherries, and bananas.
Reach for sparkling water instead of soda
We’ve all heard that soda is bad for a number of reasons, and yes, this includes diet sodas as well! If you want something healthier but still crave the carbonation from sodas, try out sparkling water instead. Popular brands like La Croix, Pellegrino, and Spindrift offer a variety of flavors that are so good, it won’t be long before you’ve conquered your soda addiction.
Snack on popcorn instead of chips
Potato chips are a quick and easy snack to reach for, but they aren’t the healthiest. Substitute chips for some healthy air-popped popcorn – no fancy popcorn machine required! To make this yourself, set a non-stick pot on high heat over the stove then pour in your popcorn kernels. Be sure to place the lid on so the popcorn doesn’t go flying! Reduce to medium-low heat and shake the pot every 60 seconds to prevent the kernels from burning. This quick snack only takes 2-3 minutes to make and you can add your own favorite seasonings. Try nutritional yeast, sea salt, or crushed black pepper for a fun twist.
We hope you enjoyed learning about some healthy swaps for smart snacking! With so many great options for healthier choices, leading a healthy lifestyle is easier than ever.