10 Ways to Munch Healthier
Since we know that calories – more than metabolism – account for a healthy weight, it’s important to be conscious of the calories you consume per day. Mindless grazing can eventually pack on the pounds, but healthy snacks can keep your energy levels up throughout the day and add necessary daily nutrients.
Plus, research suggests that snacking can make your metabolism more efficient and can even burn a few calories. Here are a few ways to snack smarter.
1. Add a glass of milk. A sweet snack, like fruit, will leave you more filled and satisfied when paired with milk. Whereas a sugary drink will leave you crashing soon after, the protein in milk will sustain your energy.
2. Try some tuna. Good heart-healthy fats and protein make tuna (try a can packaged in water) a great snack option.
3. Whip up a smoothie. Berries, yogurt, and a bit of protein powder will fill you up while keeping calorie count down. Just be careful of added sugars!
4. Pick up a pear. Pears are a great source of fiber and can be paired with anything from goat cheese to chicken.
5. Bring a protein bar. Protein bars are a great energizing snack on the go. Just make sure you’re checking the nutrition facts and choosing a bar that is low in calories and sugar. An even better option is to make some yourself and freeze them!
6. Grab some popcorn. Popcorn is filling, low in calories, and can help you reach your daily recommended serving of whole grains.
7. Snack on nuts. Snacking on nuts as opposed to chips and pretzels adds nutrients like protein and healthy fats and can keep you feeling full. Try to go for the unsalted version to keep sodium intake down.
8. Go whole grain. Whole grain snacks, like crackers or bread, can provide lots of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. In contrast, refined grains, like white bread and white rice, are processed and full of empty calories – so opt for a food that lists a whole grain as its first ingredient.
9. Dip with veggies. Instead of using chips to eat your favorite dip, swap them out for veggies like carrots or bell pepper strips. Hummus makes a great snack dip, and with lots of fiber it’ll keep you full until your next meal.
10. Try out olives. Olives might not be your first thought when reaching for a snack, but the flavorful fruit (yes, they’re considered a fruit!) is a low-calorie option boasting heart-healthy fats and a salty flavor.