Crisp chips, candy bars and buttered popcorn - snacks that tempt defying age groups. Especially for those who are controlling their diets, such snacks can really wreck a healthy eating plan. Some people snack just to beat stress or boredom. How do you relish snacks without the fear of a growing waistline? The answer lies in choosing snacks wisely.
Eat healthy snacks that are low in fat content and contribute to maintaining high energy level. Take a look at healthy snacks that are low in fat content. You can use low fat snacks to fill a gap without the fear of piling on those unwanted calories. Toss the junk food from your kitchen cabinets and the refrigerator. Replace with healthy, low fat snacks.
Snacking is good
Recent data suggests 93% of Americans snack, with 50% of them having a desire to munch up to 2-3 times a day. This in a way is within the recommended guideline for optimal nutrition, which are 4-6 total small meals and snacks in a day. So, you donít need to avoid snacks altogether. But, to ensure a healthy lifestyle smart snacking is essential. Smart snacking means exercising portion control, maintaining an active lifestyle and including a variety of nutritious options.
- Low fat snacking helps to maintain energy level, blood sugar level and appetite level. However, it has to be healthy snacking.
- Certain low-fat snacks that can control hunger pangs keep you from taking second or third helpings at your next meal. As a result, you may actually consume fewer calories for the day.
On the other hand, eating unhealthy snacks high in trans fat levels can cause the blood sugar levels to rise and drop quickly. In turn, you are likely to become lethargic, moody and intolerable. Fat content in snacks provides flavor, mouth feel, texture, structure, shelf life and tempting appearance. But, all foods high in cholesterol, saturated fat and trans fat can influence the cholesterol level throughout the body. This in turn increases the risk of developing heart disease. Hence, it is worthwhile both for adults and children to consider healthy snack options not just on the shelf but also easy-to-make home recipes as well.
- Select snacks that contain complex carbohydrates like peanut butter, cheese or low-fat yogurt. Keep away from foods high in simple carbohydrates and those that are sugar laden such as candy bars, sodas etc.
- While buying healthy snacks, check the food label.
- A granola bar may contain trans-fat though considered a perfect example of a healthy snack. Check labels.
- Go for snack combinations that provide carbohydrates for energy, protein to sustain the energy by slowing down the release of sugar in the bloodstream, fiber to help you feel full and healthy unsaturated fats.
Low fat snacks
Fresh fruit, raw vegetables, nuts, whole grain crackers or bread products, low fat popcorn and cheese are healthiest snacks recommended by nutritionists. A piece of fruit, vegetable sticks, limited amount of nut varieties, low fat peppered popcorn and cheese are good snack options. Take a look at some simple low fat snack options.
- Tortilla chips duly baked.
- A whole-grain bagel topped with natural peanut butter
- Bagel chips with salsa
- Medium-sized bran muffin
- Hard-boiled egg with a dash of salt and pepper or a smear of mustard.
- Spread all natural, low sugar peanut butter on a celery stick, pretzel or banana
- Raw veggies with hummus, yogurt or low-fat cheese.
- Yogurt and fresh fruit (Single or more than one variety)
- Single fruit smoothie (Try combinations)
- Chipped tuna and chopped celery, tossed with low-fat mayonnaise
- Pita bread stuffed with lettuce, tomato, cucumber and low-fat dressing
- Ready-to-eat whole grain cereal with soymilk
- Air-popped popcorn, low-fat cheese, low-fat yogurt, rice cakes make for a safe snack at night.
- Cut an apple, choose grapes or strawberries- dip in honey
- Any type of raw veggies, dip in fat-free ranch dip
- Pretzels, microwave popcorn, flavored rice cakes.
- Make a smoothie with a banana or a handful of blueberries or grapes, add a cup of low-fat milk or yogurt or orange juice along with a few ice cubes.
Low fat snack tips
Eating low fat snacks doesnít mean losing out on the flavor. You can prepare healthy low fat snacks, which the whole family can enjoy right at home.
- Try and use a nonstick pan or nonstick spray coating in place of oil while preparing snacks at home.
- Microwave instead of frying, you can avoid using any fat or liquid.
- Part-skim mozzarella, string cheeses, farmerís cheese are comparatively lower in fat compared to other cheese varieties.
- Replace cowís cheese with goat cheese where required as it is low in fat
- Choose low-fat or baked versions of potato chips and tortilla chips
- Use whole-grain breads for sandwiches and also as addition to meals
- Try having hot and cold cereals which are usually low in fat
- Instead of margarine, butter, mayonnaise and sour cream use herbs and yogurt as seasonings
- Instead of high-fat sauces, use herbs, spices and nonfat marinades
- If you need to use egg, substitute two egg whites for one whole egg
- For those snack recipes which use sour cream, replace with plain non fat yogurt or cottage cheese
- Baking, broiling and roasting are the healthiest way to prepare snacks with poultry products.
Easy low fat snack recipes
Take a cup of chopped strawberries, cherries, peaches etc. See that a banana is included. Take 1 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt and a cup canned crushed pineapple juice. Transfer all ingredients to a food processor container and blend until smooth. Take a nonmetallic pan and transfer the smoothie. Freeze until firm. Remove mixture from nonmetallic pan and beat until it is creamy. Serve immediately.
Breaded eggplant slices
Take 1 medium eggplant and cut about Ĺ inch long pieces and keep aside. Mix breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Dip the eggplant pieces in fat-free Italian salad dressing. Coat them with crumb mixture. Neatly arrange in a single layer on baking sheets that is coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Wait until they turn golden brown. Serve hot.