3 Snacks that Benefit Health

Americans really love snacks, and high sugar and fat consumption, which is one of the banes of US citizens, makes a great contribution to obesity rates. Though many people do not realize it, meals are not the only thing which shapes our nutrition patterns. Snacks are no less important, and making them healthy is a step towards better eating habits.

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Americans really love snacks, and high sugar and fat consumption, which is one of the banes of US citizens, makes a great contribution to obesity rates. Though many people do not realize it, meals are not the only thing which shapes our nutrition patterns. Snacks are no less important, and making them healthy is a step towards better eating habits.

Say no to extra sugar!

According to statistics, the share of snacks in daily calories makes up about 1/3, or 31% and 32% for men and women respectively, to be exact. Snacking is a common habit, which is associated with decreased intake of nutrients and water and increased calorie intake. These contrasting consequences of eating unhealthy snacks can lead to health problems, such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity – enumerating all diseases with which bad diets are associated would take another dozen of pages.

The key to choosing healthy snacks at a supermarket is to avoid food that contains salt (say, salted peanuts), extra sugar (for example, chocolate bars), and a lot of fat and additives (like potato chips).

Eating habits of Americans are constantly changing, and while consumption of some fruits, dark greens and chicken increased (which indicates that promotion of a healthy lifestyle is kind of fruitful), obesity rates are still raging. Even after beef consumption decreased along with margarine and whole milk intake, there are still a lot of aspects in which those living in the US can make their diets better. That being said, turning common snacks into packs of nutrients can be the first step to losing weight. Really, why eating all those fats and sugars if you can have a refreshing smoothie (with no added sugar, or course) or a green salad that can boost your energy and help you work more effectively?

What healthy alternatives are there?

You can opt for organic snacks that are offered in stores, but the green labels, eco package design and leafs painted all over the place do not mean the snack you are going to buy is really additive-free, or that it was not grown using pesticides or other chemicals.

The best way to prepare a healthy snack to feel full between meals is to make it yourself. Don’t be afraid – it is not as difficult as it may sound.

  • Whole-wheat crackers and canned tuna. This species of fish is rich in Omega-3, and the ratio of Omegas in it is beneficial, which makes it a good candidate as an ingredient for a healthy snack. Tilapia, for example, won’t do, and not only because it’s not canned: the ratio there is not optimal. Now back to the crackers: they should be made from whole wheat in order to preserve as many nutrients as possible. Add some greens, and you have a tasty snack ready to become a good substitution for burgers. There are only 200 calories (or so) in it.
  • Berry smoothie. Use plain yoghurt which is low in fat. Greek yoghurt is a good option. Mix it with berries and add avocado if you want to make it thicker. Sweetness can be achieved with the help of honey, but it is better to drink it without sugar apart from that contained in the berries. Such a smoothie can make a magnificent snack providing only 140 calories.
  • Almonds. Yes, just that. No salt, no additives – just almonds. This nut is rich in proteins (1 ounce provides 6 g), healthy fats, and vitamins. Yet you must be careful when eating nuts, as they are rich in calories too. A handful will be enough. If you are wondering whether your hand is big enough, then you should know a handful means about 22 nuts.

Creating your own healthy recipes can be fun, and the rules of the game are easy: mix veggies, nuts and lean protein to get a snack packed with nutrients! One more hint: bright colors of veggies can be another bonus.

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