Snacking is a hard habit to break. But if you must snack, then make sure it’s on something healthy. Healthy snacks can actually be good for you, especially if you are working non-stop, throughout the day. Here are 10 Healthy Snacks that will give you the energy boost you need, and which will not make you fat.
10 Great Healthy Snacks to eat, that will not make you fat include…
Eating nuts as part of a healthy diet can be good for your heart. Nuts, which contain unsaturated fatty acids and other nutrients, are a great snack food, too. They’re inexpensive, easy to store and easy to take with you to work or school. The type of nut you eat isn’t that important, although some nuts have more heart-healthy nutrients and fats than do others. Walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts — you name it — almost every type of nut has a lot of nutrition packed into a tiny package. If you have heart disease, eating nuts instead of a less healthy snack can help you more easily follow a heart-healthy diet.
People who eat nuts as part of a heart-healthy diet can lower the LDL, low-density lipoprotein or “bad,” cholesterol level in their blood. High LDL is one of the primary causes of heart disease. Eating nuts reduces your risk of developing blood clots that can cause a fatal heart attack. Nuts also improve the health of the lining of your arteries. The evidence for the heart-healthy benefits of nuts isn’t rock solid — the Food and Drug Administration only allows food companies to say evidence “suggests but does not prove” that eating nuts reduces heart disease risk.
Yoghurt can be good for you – it’s a valuable source of calcium and zinc, which are good for the bones and immune system. But unless you go for natural ones, they often contain things that are not so healthy, particularly added sugar. Even organic yoghurts can have more than the 10g sugar per 100g which is really the cut-off point. Any more than this can aggravate behaviour in sugar-sensitive people (it can make me feel a little wired, for instance) and can lead to obesity and tooth decay. The natural or ‘intrinsic’ sugars in a fruit yoghurt usually amounts to about 5-7g and doesn’t have as strong an effect on blood sugar levels as added or ‘extrinsic’ sugars. Still opt for plain yoghurt if you can stomach it – it’s way more healthy!
But is the roti or chapati healthy? It depends- on what it’s made with and how it’s made. The traditional roti is made from ground whole wheat, and is roasted on a pan, or in an oven. This roti is healthy. Its got soluble fiber to help clean the plaque from your blood vessels, plenty complex carbs to give you sustained energy, proteins to help build and maintain muscle and almost no fat (till you add ghee to it). It has a low glycemic index, so it doesn’t make your blood sugar shoot up and then crash. Some people are allergic to gluten, so for them roti can be made from bajra. Again, very healthy- contains fiber, complex carbohydrates, protein and low fat. What you should watch for is that your rotis should not made from maida. Maida is refined flour and has the same effect on your body as sugar, and will make you fat.
Garbanzo beans (chickpeas) provide an excellent source of molybdenum. They are a very good source of folic acid, fiber, and manganese. They are also a good source of protein, as well as minerals such as iron, copper, zinc, and magnesium. As a good source of fiber, garbanzo beans can help lower cholesterol and improve blood sugar levels. This makes them a great food especially for diabetics and insulin-resistant individuals. When served with high quality grains, garbanzo beans are an extremely low fat, complete protein type of food.
5. FRUIT and 6. VEGETABLES
It’s hard to argue with the health benefits of a diet rich in vegetables and fruits: Lower blood pressure; reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and probably some cancers; lower risk of eye and digestive problems; and a mellowing effect on blood sugar that can help keep appetite in check. But how do you make a snack out of them? For fruits, it’s pretty easy – apples, bananas, grapes, berries, peaches, plums, pears, oranges, tangerines, clementines, grapefruit, melon, kiwi, pineapple, or mango will all do the trick. Serve whole or mix up into a salad, or line up chunks on a skewer for a fruit kabob (use a wooden skewer and snip off the sharp tip before serving to young children). For vegetables, it gets harder.. and harder to swallow! Try serving raw veggies with, a low-fat dip or dressing (for extra protein). Or serve with guacamole, baba ghanoush, or salsa which are essentially dips made of veggies. Carrots, celery, sugar snap peas, cucumbers, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes or avocados are my favourites.
7. HALF A SANDWICH
Healthy snacks are meant to tide you over or give you a boost of energy before a workout. An entire sandwich in between breakfast and lunch might be too much, but a half sandwich packed with lean protein and veggies is perfect. Try something with an avocado spread instead of mayonnaise or mustard.
Popcorn can be a healthy snack depending upon how it’s prepared. Some people make popcorn with extra virgin olive oil. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s good to prepare popcorn with oil, even healthy oils, since I strongly believe in avoiding the heating of vegetable oils, including olive oil. Heating olive oil can cause it to oxidize and damages its delicate polyphenol antioxidants. A more nourishing way to prepare this same snack would be to air-pop the popcorn in an air popper and then to add extra virgin olive oil and, if you want, a little sea salt after the popcorn was popped. Popcorn is a whole grain with 1 g of fiber per cup. Air-popped popcorn also contains a small amount of some B vitamins, which help with energy production. Popcorn provides a number of minerals, including magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc and manganese.
Bright-green edamame (soybeans) have been popular for centuries, appreciated for their sweet, mild and slightly “beany” flavor. Edamame were used as a vegetable in China as early as a few hundred years B.C. In Japan, edamame are often boiled in salty water still in their pods and served as bar food (the pods are inedible, but it’s fun to pop the beans out and eat them between sips of beer). Edamame is an excellent plant source of high-quality protein. In addition, edamame delivers fiber, some iron and the phytoestrogens daidizein and genistein, which are thought to have a wide range of health benefits for immune function, cardiac health and menopausal symptoms.
Sushi is also a great snack and it really works for me, before my workout! Nothing energizes me like sushi, I tell ya. There are many different types of sushi, which are made with a wide variety of ingredients, including different types of vegetables, sea vegetables, and seafood. The basic ingredient for all sushi is rice; therefore, the other ingredients you choose to have on your sushi will determine its comparative nutritional value. For example, many restaurants offer sushi made with a variety of cold water raw fish (sashimi), shiitake mushrooms, avocado, cucumber, burdock, umeboshi plum paste (a pickled plum suggested to have stomach health-promoting properties), and even natto (a fermented soybean food that contains isoflavones and has been found to help promote bone health). Other varieties of sushi are wrapped in nori, a type of sea vegetable. Sea vegetables are rich in nutrients, including minerals (such as iodine) and phytonutrient lignans. While all types of sushi can be healthy, you will receive more vitamins from sushi made with vegetables, more minerals from sushi that is wrapped in seaweed, and more protein (and omega-3s, depending on the type of fish) from sushi topped with fish.
These are my favourite healthy snacks.. what are yours?