Snacking isn't bad for you if you do it right and in moderation. You can snack on all sorts of surprisingly healthy foods that will satisfy all your cravings, whether they be for something salty, sweet or crunchy. Some healthy snacks include:
When you're craving something crunchy, it's hard to believe that popcorn can really be a healthy snack and curb those cravings! Try air-popping your own popcorn in a popcorn pot or a heavy, cast-iron, deep pot with a lid. All you have to do is put a tablespoon or two of popcorn kernels into the pot, give them a shake occasionally until the popping stops. Then transfer to a bowl and eat as is, or add a tablespoon of coconut oil for that rich, buttery flavor. 3 to 4 cups of air-popped popcorn is only 100 calories! Not only is it low in calories, but it also contains tons of antioxidants and fiber that can help you battle that stubborn belly fat. Add a touch of cayenne pepper to your popcorn to jump-start your metabolism!
If you're craving something sweet, try a couple squares of dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. Dark chocolate has actually been proven to reduce stress and it's actually a super food! Just make sure you are buying 70% or more cacao. Dark chocolate is actually claimed to have cardiovascular benefits. In a 9-year Swedish study of more than 31,000 women, those who ate one or two servings of dark chocolate each week cut their risk of heart failure by as much as a third. Most of the credit goes to flavonoids, which are antioxidant compounds that increase the flexibility of veins and arteries. But that doesn't mean you can chow down on large quantities of the heart-healthy stuff. Moderation is key! One or two squares should curb your craving.
Craving something salty? Try a handful of almonds, cashews or other types of nuts that are heart-healthy and curb those cravings. Nuts are great for your heart and contain unsaturated fatty acids and other nutrients. People who eat nuts as part of a heart-healthy diet can lower their LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and they may help reduce blood clots that can cause a fatal heart attack. Just make sure you are consuming these heart-healthy nuts in moderation, as they do contain a significant amount of fats, even if they are healthy fats!
Weight Management Programs
At WE CARE, we offer nutritional counseling to help get you on track to a healthy you! Contact our WE CARE team today for information on metabolic testing, body composition analysis, and meal planning.
Our NICE program is a weight management program in the Capital Region specifically designed for adolescents ages 11 to 18. The NICE Weight Transitions Program is a weight management and lifestyle modification program that incorporates a health coach, personal trainer, nutritionist and behavioral counselor to help teens and preteens achieve better health. Learn more about the NICE program today.