The Seven Snack Swaps You Should Try The Next Time You're Hungry
Published March 3, 2024
Depending on your level of self-control, a "snack" may be considered a bag of chips or a serving of berries. Or it may take the form of a snack cake or cup of yogurt. Even if the formal term represents a small amount of food eaten between meals, the fact is that the word "snack" means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. If you're looking to make some long-term dietary changes and craft the healthiest version of you, let us get you started with seven simple snack switches.
Skip The Bagel, Grab The English Muffin
Bagels seem to have kept up with the "bigger is better" mentality for one reason or another. The same goes for its calorie count. These days, a plain bagel without any butter, spreads, or toppings start around the 300 calorie mark. Worse yet, this plain bagel has more than 60 grams of carbs due to the excessive refined carbohydrates.
To drastically cut back on the drawbacks of a bagel, opt for the muffin from across the pond, the English Muffin. For one, these English delights are only 3-4 inches in diameter and about 100 calories. With this reduced calorie count, you won't need to feel as bad when adding scrumptious spreads or toppings. Bonus points (and additional nutritional benefits) if you grab a whole-wheat English muffin instead.
Pour Out The Fruit Juice, Infuse Your Water
Despite its perceived health benefits, a glass of orange juice (or any juice, for that matter) is not as healthy as it seems. These store-bought processed juices are just concentrations of added sugars and calories. Juicing removes many of a whole fruit's nutrients and fiber content.
As mentioned a second ago, fresh fruit is always healthier than a glass of juice. Therefore, why not simply throw a few slices of fruit into your water directly and skip the juice? This infusion will add tremendous amounts of unique flavor to your glass of water, plus it will incentivize you to hit your daily hydration goal. You also have the chance to absorb some nutrients while skipping out on all the wasteful calories.
Venture Out Of The Country For Swiss cheese
Synonymous with "Kraft Singles," American cheese is highly-processed white or yellow cheese that is mild in flavor. Often consumed with crackers or in a sandwich, a single slice of American cheese has over 100 calories and nearly 20% of your daily recommended sodium levels.
Swiss cheese, especially the Alpine Lace Swiss cheese variety, is a much healthier cheesy option for your cracker and bread pairings. Unlike the American pick, this Swiss cheese is much lower in sodium.
Trade The Chips For Popcorn
Unless you're strict about your potato chip consumption, a serving of potato chips may range from a few to an entire bag. Multiple servings can be eaten in no time, paving the way for a higher high introduction of calories, sodium, and fat to your system.
Instead, trade your chips for some air or stove-popped popcorn. With complete control over your oil, butter, and seasonings, a serving of popcorn will entirely please your crunchy, salty, and even sweet-based taste buds. Plus, popcorn is an excellent source of fiber and antioxidants.
Let Your White Bread Sprout Grains
It's disappointing to realize how far the benefits of "white" bread have fallen. Believe it or not, bread was healthier before the advent of modern science. White bread of today barely contains any fiber or protein. Every slice is stripped of naturally-occurring nutrients, can spike blood sugar levels, and is heavily modified to increase its shelf-life.
Although white bread has been a staple for American families for decades, it's time for a healthier alternative. Sprouted bread, or bread made of whole grains that have begun germination, has several benefits. Expect higher fiber content, protein, and vitamin levels. Plus, sprouted bread has a delightful texture and earthy flavor.
Pitch The Mayo, Pick The Avocado
While lacking any notable nutritional benefits, mayo may be delicious but not entirely healthy, extremely high in fat and sodium. Even light and low-fat mayo have the disadvantage of using more sugar to compensate for the lack of fat content.
Whether you accept or refute it, an avocado is a berry. Regardless, this food is an incredible source of monounsaturated fatty fats for heart health, potassium for blood pressure control, folate for healthy cell growth, and fiber.
Keep The Shell & Ask For Pistachios
At first glance, tree nuts are plant-based and carry loads of fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Unfortunately, even a handful will quickly add up in calories.
Therefore, keep the speed of consuming tree nuts in check by choosing shelled pistachios. As de-shelling pistachios take time, the act will forcefully slow down your physical and mental consumption. A study by the American Pistachio Growers Association found that consuming shelled nuts resulted in less than 41% fewer calories.