The Guide to Healthy Snack Ideas – Smart Snacks

What Makes A Smart Snack?

Do you tend to take multiple snacks in between meals? Snacks help to curb the hunger when it’s still some time left for the next big meal of the day. Unfortunately, unhealthy snacks are making people sick, these days. You must make it a point to avoid unhealthy snacks at all costs. You need to know what are the healthy, yet tasty snacks that you can consume. Snacks can also help to fill the gaps in the nutrients that often remains even after eating proportionate meals throughout the day. That is the reason you need to be sure of the things that you are eating and get ample healthy snack ideas. Eating too much of unhealthy snacks in between meals will only lead to unhealthy weight gain. However, if you consume healthy snacks, you will be able to avoid adding those extra pounds and will also make sure that you are doing good to yourself. Given below is a list of smart and healthy snack ideas:

  • You must chew the snacks well. Weird tip, I know! According to a recent study, people who chewed more, feel full longer than those who just gobble their snacks in no time. That is the reason you need to eat slowly and chew your food properly.
  • You must snack on citrus fruits and vegetables. It will help to reduce the extra weight. If you are planning to lose weight, you need to eat sour things like grapefruit and lemon. It will help to reduce those extra pounds. However, you should consult with your dietician before taking too much of sour foods.
  • You need to combine protein and carbohydrate. If you are preparing snacks, you need to make a combination of protein and carbohydrate. You can snack on roasted chickpeas, which is rich in protein and high amounts of fiber. It is suggested by the dieticians, if you eat more fiber, it will help in weight loss, and will prevent unnecessary gaining of extra weights. Carbohydrates are healthy for both the body and the brain. That is the reason you need to pack in more of those as snacks.
  • Keeps foods ready in the freezer. You can keep a few bunches of grapes in the freezer. You can also keep other fresh fruits and vegetables that you can eat raw. Enjoy chilled fruits slowly. This will do some good to your body and will also give you the sweet satisfaction. By eating fresh fruits, you will be able to accumulate a few healthy calories and will be able to avoid a lot of unhealthy saturated fats that you’d have otherwise eaten as snacks.

Indulge in small treats – one at a time. If you are planning to drink wine, then skip the sweets for the day. You can also eat low-calorie chocolate once in a while. You need to make room for all the things that you want to eat. However, you need to make sure that you are balancing your snacks properly. This will prevent unnecessary packing of extra fats and calories.


banana-dippersSome Useful Healthy Snack Ideas

Even though we eat a healthy lunch, dinner, and breakfast, most of the time we tend to eat unhealthy snacks. Unhealthy snacking is one of the many reasons for unwanted weight gain and various health issues. That is the reason you need to know how to eat healthy snacks and what are the things that you should include during your snacking time. Healthy snacking can be much more that consuming sprouts and almonds.  Given below are some healthy snack ideas:

  • Pear, horseradish and roasted beef: This is one of the easy-to-make recipes that you can eat as snacks. You can mix together 1 tbsp of low-fat sour cream and prepared horseradish. You need to add around 3 slices of deli roast beef and fresh herbs on top of it all to get that amazing flavor. This snack will be around 149 calories and you will get around 15 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and around 4grams of fat.
  • Curried yogurt and beet chips: If you love chips, make sure that it is beet chips you are eating. You need to mix together curry powder and yogurt. This you can consume with the beet chips as dips. This snack contains around 180 calories. It is one of the healthiest alternatives for evening snacks.
  • Bread crackers with chocolate spread and banana: On top of crisp bread crackers, you need to spread the chocolate. You can top it with sliced bananas for enhanced taste.  This is a snack that contains around 214 calories, but all of that is healthy and fulfilling.

Choose snacks like this along with healthy food during the three large meals of the day – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Soon you will feel and look more healthy and energetic. Here are certain important healthy snack ideas that you need to remember while choosing snacks:

  • You must eat regular meals. You must remember that if you skip your lunch or breakfast and try to compensate those with snacks, your body will not get the required amount of nutrition.
  • Wherever you go, you must carry healthy snacks along. By doing this, you do not have to eat fast foods from the streets or vendors. You must resist buyi8ng unhealthy snacks from the market. To avoid that, stock your fridge with healthy snacks. Eat too much of yogurt, fruits, nuts, and various vegetable dips.
  • If you enjoy cooking, look for healthy snack ideas and try different recipes and add your own ideas to prepare snacks for yourself. You must remember that healthy home-made alternatives are always preferable over poor quality snacks from outside.
  • Whatever you do, do not eat too much of snacks at one go. Do control your portions. This will help you to have a healthy meal plan. However, you mustn’t go hungry as it will lead to the consumption of a large amount of snacks, which is definitely not good for your health. You need to eat a balanced diet.

There is another important thing that you must remember, do not skip breakfast. It has been found that people skipping the first meal of the day tend to eat more snacks.

healthy Snacks That Your Kids Will Love!

When it comes to snacks, children tend to eat unhealthy. Most of the time, they eat out in between meals and this often lead to health problems and issues. It is not always to be by their side when they are in school or out with their friends. It is then they gobble such unhealthy foods the most. The only way you can prevent them from eating unhealthy snacks is preparing health and tasty snacks at home and stocking your fridge with lots of healthy snacks and food items that they can eat. Wondering what can you prepare easily at home? Given below is a list of 4 healthy snack ideas that are easy to make and are great for eating:

  1. Jicama and Ham wraps: To prepare this you need to wrap around 3 slices of ham with celery or jicama. You must divide the fillings and wrap evenly. You can serve this with a dip of mustard. It is very tasty and kids will love it. They will be consuming around 74 calories and the recipe is rich in protein and fat.
  2. Nuts: Nuts are healthy snack ideas. You can bring home a lot of different types of nuts from the market and stock those in the pantry. Your children can eat those snacks whenever they are hungry and thus will consume a lot of fibers, protein, and vitamins. Eating nuts will also give them energy. While it will effectively curb hunger, it will not affect the appetite for the next big meal.
  3. Smoothies: Smoothies are loved by all! You can make the banana, almond milk, and kale smoothie for your children. In a blender, put a banana (medium sized), 1 chopped kale, and 1 of almond milk. Now, blend these well together. You can serve smoothies chilled or at room temperature. It is tasty and your children will not feel the urge to have anything else after having this. A glass of smoothie contains 201 calories. It is also rich in good amount of fiber, protein, and fat.
  4. Minty pea dip eaten with Pretzel Chips: To prepare this snack, you need to mash about half a cup of peas and 1 tbsp of fresh mint leaves. You can serve this dip with pretzel chips. This makes for healthy afternoon snacks. This is healthy as well as tasty enough for the kids to love.

These are some of the snacks that you can make for your kids. You must make it a point to keep healthy snacks before the eyes of the kids so that they can munch on those when they are hungry. If the healthy snacks are easily available to them, they will not move to unhealthy snacks when they are hungry.

So, you are all set to make snacking healthy for your kids. Below are a few more healthy snack ideas:

  • Vegetables sliced and dipped in hummus
  • Dried nuts and fruits
  • Popcorns (to enhance the taste add parmesan cheese)
  • Fruits and almonds with cottage cheese
  • Fruit smoothie made with milk of yogurt.

Simple Tips to Help You Make and Follow a Healthy Eating Plan

Whenever people think of dieting, the first thing they tend to think is a strict plan that eliminates everything they enjoy. This is not true at all. Instead, a healthy eating plan is about improving your energy levels and feeling good without gaining weight or suffering from other dietary problems.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of information out there about dieting much of which is contradictory and conflicting. Therefore, it is easy to get confused with the advice. You can make use of the following tips to help yourself create a proper and healthy dietary plan that is varied and delicious.

The Effects of Healthy Eating on Your Emotional and Mental Health

It is a well-known fact that a proper diet can help in the maintenance of a healthy weight. At the same time, you can avoid a few health problems. However, studies have also noted the tremendous effect that the diet has on the moods and mental wellbeing of a person.

Fast food has been linked with higher rates of stress, depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. Unhealthy diets can even increase the risk of development of various mental health problems like Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia and ADHD. On the other hand, healthy meals such as fruits and vegetables can decrease such risks of mental health disorders.

Certain nutrients and foods have been noticed to benefit the mental well-being of a person. However, the overall dietary pattern is more crucial for such benefits. In other words, following a healthy diet does not necessarily mean that you need to eliminate all of the foods that you enjoy. You can make a few changes and still get the health benefits you want.

Make a healthy eating Plan

The first step to following a healthy eating plan is to actually make the plan. The plan does not have to make a major overhaul of your diet. Instead, break it down into short steps that can be managed easily. It is easier to develop a habit out of small changes and habit is crucial for sticking to the diet.

  • Cook Your Own Meals

By cooking your own meals, you take control over the foods that you are eating. You can track the nutrients and make better changes to the food.

  • Correct Changes

You need to change your diet in the correct manner. You should not just eliminate unhealthy foods. Instead, you need to replace the foods with healthier alternatives. For example, olive oil can be a healthier alternative to butter.

  • Streamline

It is easy to get obsessed with calorie counts while following a diet. You should instead focus on ensuring the freshness and variety in your foods. Choose fresh ingredients instead of processed and packaged items.

  • The Labels

Be aware of the items in your food by reading the labels properly. There are a few legal loopholes which allow manufacturers to add large amounts of salt and sugar.

  • Water

You should never forget to drink a lot of water over the course of the day. Being dehydrated can only be harmful as you will only end up feeling tired or with headaches.

Moderation is Vital

Moderation is essential for a healthy eating plan. The amount of food consumed should fulfill the needs of the body. After meals, you should not feel stuffed. Balance is also crucial to being moderate. The body needs to get a balanced amount of all nutrients in order to remain healthy.

For many, moderation is akin to eating less than normal. However, it does not mean that you have to eliminate your favourite foods. You can certainly enjoy a spicy or sugary dish once in a week provided that you keep the rest of your meals healthy for that day. You should not forbid yourself from consuming certain foods as that will make you desire those foods all the more. Instead, decrease the amount of unhealthy foods consumed while increasing the portions of healthy foods slowly. It will help you curb your cravings for the unhealthy foods.

You should make sure that you are consuming smaller portions. Avoid any jumbo or supersized versions of dishes. Your aim is to eat as much as your body requires and not to stuff yourself. You can always finish off your meal with fruits or leafy vegetables if you are left feeling unsatisfied. Remember that it takes the brain a few minutes to realize that the body is satisfied. Therefore, take your time while eating.

The time of your meals also play a vital role. You should have a healthy breakfast and follow it up with smaller meals for the rest of the day. Small and healthy meals will keep up the energy levels better than the three large meals people generally have in a day. Late night meals should be avoided.

Fruits and Vegetables

healthy-heartFruits and vegetables are easily one of the best food groups and must be included in your healthy eating plan. They do not only have a low amount of calories but they are also filled with nutrients. You get ample amounts of minerals, vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. You only need to consume five servings of this food group each day as it can reduce the intake of unhealthy foods by filling you up.

Ensure that you eat lots of colorful vegetables and fruits as they tend to possess higher amounts of nutrients. You can replace your processed snacks with vegetables and fruits for a better and healthier diet.

  • Greens: Green vegetables such as broccoli and kale are filled with zinc, potassium, iron, magnesium and a variety of vitamins.
  • Fruits: Fruits are delicious and they are filled with vitamins, antioxidants and fiber. Some fruits have other health benefits such as berries which can fight cancer.
  • Sweet vegetables: There are many vegetables that are naturally sweet like beets, carrots, sweet potatoes and squash. These vegetables can sweeten your dishes and help you avoid sugar cravings.

Healthy Carbohydrates and Whole Grains

If you want your energy levels to last for a long time, you should include foods that can provide you with fiber and healthy carbohydrates. Whole grains are a good option as they have both of these nutrients. They are also good sources of antioxidants and phytochemicals.

Sources of healthy carbs include whole grains, fruits, beans and vegetables. It takes time for healthy carbohydrates to be digested which makes you feel full for longer. At the same time, your insulin and blood sugar levels will remain stable. Unhealthy carbs are generally processed foods such as refined sugar, white rice and white flour. Although they can be digested quickly, they end up causing spikes in the levels of energy and blood sugar.

Healthy Fats

You need to include sources of healthy fat in your diet in order to nourish your heart, brain, skin, nails and hair. Omega-3 fats are capable of reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and even help in the prevention of dementia.

You should add monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats include olive oil, peanut oil, almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, avocados and sesame seeds. Polyunsaturated fats include Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids which can be found in various fishes such as mackerel, salmon, herring and sardines. You can also find them in sunflower, soybean and corn.

At the same time, you need to decrease the amount of saturated fats in your meals. Saturated fats are generally found in animal based food items such as whole milk dairy products and red meat. You also need to reduce the amount of trans-fats which is found in candies, snack foods, fried foods, baked foods and vegetable shortenings.

Reduction of Sugar and Salt

Excess of sugar can lead to multiple problems. It can cause weight problems and energy spikes. Sugar has already been linked to depression and diabetes. Simply reducing the amount of desserts and other sweet dishes consumed will not be enough as sugar can be found in a wide variety of other dishes, mostly processed ones. Sodium or salt is another common ingredient as it is used as a flavoring. However, the recommended daily sodium intake is less than a gram. Excess sodium consumption can lead to high blood pressure and increase the risks of cardiovascular problems such as strokes. Here are some tips for helping you avoid salt and sugar.

  • Reduce the amount go sugar and salt in your diet slowly in order to let your body adjust.
  • Processed and packaged foods should be avoided as they tend to contain a lot of sugar and salt. It is better to enjoy homemade meals.
  • You should ask the restaurants to prepare your dishes with low or no salt. Some do offer such options.
  • Instead of sugary drinks, opt for sparkling water or fruit juice.
  • You can make your own snacks to ensure that the salt level is kept to the minimum. Instead of sweet dishes, you can opt for foods that are naturally sweet such as fruit and peanut butter.

It is not too difficult to create a healthy eating plan. However, the key is to ensure that you stick to the plan. Of course, by simplifying the plan, you can find it easier to maintain your healthy eating habits as you can take one step at a time.

 

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