What do you do when you’re craving food that’s not great for your health or waistline? You have three choices.
- Dive right in and don't worry about the consequences
- Eat the less-than-good-for-you food but do so mindfully, with a smaller portion.
- Have an arsenal of better-for-you snack options ready to satisfy your cravings without the guilt.
There are plenty of healthy foods to choose from as snacks. Some will satisfy your cravings, while others may not do the trick.
No More Junk Food
Here are four options that meet the need when you want something crunchy, chewy, or creamy – whether you prefer food that’s salty, savory, or sweet. They pack in more nutrition than their junk food alternatives. They'll also leave you feeling satisfied and energized.
Thanks to their pleasing combo of saltiness and crunch, nuts calm your cravings for other salty snacks. Their nutrition profile also reigns supreme over chips, pretzels, and crackers. They deliver plant-based protein and fiber for appetite control.
Their fat content leaves you satisfied, and the unsaturated fats are better for a healthy heart. Choose a lightly salted variety to avoid going overboard on sodium. Almonds and pistachios are higher in potassium than many other nuts, which can reduce the effects of sodium and naturally regulate blood pressure.
Your diet plays a big role in your diabetes, so learning how to manage it is important.
Skip the candy and choose chewy, sweet dried fruit when you need a sugar fix. Raisins, dates, prunes, and apricots all contain no added sugar. These treats deliver an intense sweetness from their natural sugar content. They also contain fiber to fill you up and keep blood sugar levels steadier.
Since dried fruit loses water and volume during the drying process, you should eat a smaller serving size than you would with fresh fruit. Enjoy it on its own or pair with whole-grain cereal, nuts, and seeds to make a snack mix.
When seasoned and roasted, chickpeas become the perfect food for a crunchy snack lover. A serving also supplies 5 grams of plant-based protein and fiber, so you’ll remain satisfied longer after eating them than other crunchy snacks. Look for packaged varieties in various flavors or make them yourself in just four steps:
- Rinse and drain a can of chickpeas; pat thoroughly with a paper towel to dry.
- Lightly toss with olive oil and your favorite dried herbs, spices, or seasoning blends and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
- Bake 35-40 minutes at 400°F, stirring and shaking pan midway through baking, until lightly browned and crunchy.
- Cool and enjoy. Store in a sealed container and eat within a few days for the best texture and flavor.
When you’re craving junk food that's creamy, hummus fits the bill. And with so many flavors available, you’re sure to find something to satisfy. Pair this smooth and savory bean-based dip with raw veggies and whole-grain crackers for a creamy and crunchy treat all in one bite.
In the mood for something sweet? You can now find dessert-inspired flavors of hummus like brownie batter, vanilla bean, and cookie dough. Pair these with fresh berries, apple slices, or graham crackers.
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