As anyone on a diet knows all too well, the hardest times to eat healthy snack foods are when you are on the go. Given an hour to prepare a meal, even a terrible chef can craft a healthy and nutritious dinner.
Tip: Make sure to check out our list of the 10 best healthy foods
In today’s fast paced world, however, such situations rarely present themselves for three square meals a day. As such, snacking plays a very important role in the diet of most Americans. Unfortunately, snacks have gained a nasty reputation over the years. With the advent of trans-fats and Twinkies, snacking has quickly became one of the fastest and most consistent routes to obesity.
Fortunately, there is a plethora of healthy snack foods available to those simply wishing to give them a try. Not only are these snacks healthy, but often even tastier than their fried and processed counterparts. As with any food that has to be eaten on the go, they are portable, durable, and most of all nutritious.
Healthy Snack Foods: Nuts and Seeds
No list of healthy snack foods would be complete without nuts and seeds. Simply put, they are easy to find, easy to transport, and one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet.
The fiber in them will help keep you feeling full and satisfied, while the energy content will keep you going for hours. Seeds and nuts pack a tremendous punch for their size. Peanuts and almonds, in particular, are among the healthiest options. Look for low sodium or unsalted versions.
Healthy Snack Foods: Fruits and Vegetables
A bag of carrots with all-natural peanut butter or even just apples or oranges both great choices for healthy snack foods. Apples provide vital nutrients and fiber, while oranges pack a tremendous dose of Vitamin C which helps support a healthy immune system. Broccoli and low fat ranch, celery sticks, or even grapes can make for simple and healthy snacks.
There are many “health drinks”, such as V8, which can be bought at a convenience store and have all of the vitamins and nutrients of a serving of vegetables. While they are hardly a replacement for the real thing, sometimes such solutions are the only ones available to a person perpetually on the move.
Alternatives To Snacks
When counting calories, there are a number of “100-calorie” snacks available at grocery stores. While these may be low in calories, they are often very low in everything else too. When looking for snacks, don’t just check to ensure that there are few calories in the product, but rather that the item also contains fiber, vitamins, and nutrients.
To this end, there are a number of healthy pre-packaged foods available. Meal replacement shakes, depending on the brand, can keep you full and healthy. While a general rule of thumb is the less processed the food the better, there are still some healthy choices that are only slightly less optimal than their unprocessed counterparts.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there is water. Often times the compulsion to snack is driven by thirst rather than hunger. Ensure that you are always properly hydrated and you will quickly find that many of your hunger pangs are actually thirst. Drinking water with healthy snack foods is the best way to go.