Easy Snack Swaps for Better Health

How to Blanch Almonds 1

With the New Year upon us, most people are looking to make healthier eating choices. Here’s a tip: Instead of skipping snacks, swap them.

Keri Gans, a registered dietitian, released a list of popular snack swaps ahead of National Almond Day on Feb. 16. Whether you’re nuts about almonds or not, these tips can help you snack smarter while still feeling satisfied.

  • Instead of a flavored or pre-mixed Greek yogurt (which can be packed with sugar), buy plain low-fat and add your own fresh fruit, slivered almonds, and powdered chocolate. Perfect for sweet cravings!
  • Craving strawberry ice cream? Try strawberries with low-fat ricotta cheese. Low-fat ricotta is a good source of protein and can be the perfect addition to your favorite fruit.
  • DIY energy bars with your favorite flavors are an awesome snack option! Make yours with rolled oats, almond butter, dried cranberries or some of your other favorite, nutritious ingredient. Buying a bar? Look for more fiber and protein, as well as one that has less calories and saturated fat.
  • Try a slice of 100% whole grain bread with almond butter, a source of carbs and protein, which can help boost energy.
  • Do not eat a carbohydrate (such as an apple or crackers) by itself. You will still be hungry! Instead, pair your carb-of-choice with a lean protein or “healthy” fat. Try low-fat cheese with your apple, or some almond butter on your 100% whole grain crackers.
  • Hard boil a few eggs on Sunday to have as snacks for the whole week. A hard-boiled egg is great paired with a banana or simply on its own. The best part is: they last in the refrigerator for a full week.
  • Craving something sweet in the mid-afternoon? You might be surprised how much a decaf latte made with unsweetened almond milk and topped with cinnamon and chocolate powder can to the trick.

Most of all, don’t be distracted when you snack, Gans says.

“Mindless eating can often lead to overeating, so be aware of what you are putting in your body and don’t eat while engaged in another task,” she adds.

Kristen Fischer is the author of “Ramen Noodles, Rent and Resumes: An After-College Guide to Life.” Visit her at www.kristenfischer.com.

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