Snacking is one of America's most popular habits with a whopping 94% of people snacking every single day! Unfortunately, there are a lot of unhealthy snack foods out there that are marketed to us as healthy. That’s why it’s so important to be conscious of what we’re eating! And even then, healthy foods can still be hard to distinguish from unhealthy ones. When it comes to the dos and don’ts of choosing a healthy snack, here are four helpful tips you can rely on.
Look at the Nutrition Facts
Get in the habit of flipping over the package on your granola bars and other packaged foods! Pick foods that have substantial protein and fiber contents to help you feel full and satisfied. Conversely, leave the sugar-laden snack foods on the shelf; eating something that’s full of sugar can leave you still feeling hungry and unsatisfied.
Check out the Ingredients
Reading the ingredients is crucial for spotting those ‘fake’ healthy snacks. All of the harmful chemicals, sweeteners, preservatives, and food colorings aren’t represented on the nutrition facts, so reading the ingredients is imperative! Be particularly careful with snack foods that are advertised as low-fat, light, sugar-free, or any kind of similar claim; many of those foods are have those sweeteners and other chemicals in them to maintain the taste of the food!
A good, simple, rule to go by is this: if you’re reading the ingredients on a package and you’re struggling to pronounce multiple items, then you probably shouldn’t be putting it in your body. Typically, the fewer ingredients a snack food contains, the healthier it is for you.
Pick Whole Grains
Always opt for whole grain options when you’re having carbohydrate-based snacks such as popcorn, crackers, and granola bars. But be careful, not all whole grain snacks are created equal! Make sure that the whole grain ingredients are within the first couple listed on the package; otherwise, it probably doesn’t actually contain very many whole grains.
Eat Whole Foods
The best way to navigate the world of healthy snacking is by just eating real, wholesome, foods! Things like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds are excellent nutritional sources and make for great snacks. Plus, you don’t have to worry about reading any labels.
In a perfect world, we’d be armed with bags of almonds and perfectly ripe bananas around the clock, but that’s just not the reality we live in! There’s always going to be times in life when you need to just grab something on the fly, which is why these tips are so important! In the event that you don’t even have time to read a few labels, here are a few healthy snack options to be on the lookout for.
Compared to all the other snack bars that exist, Rx Bars are among those with the fewest, healthiest, ingredients. They have a reasonable amount of fiber and protein, plus they have a wide variety of flavors.
Many people don’t realize it, but popcorn is actually a whole grain! And with only three ingredients (popcorn, sunflower oil, and salt), this popcorn is healthier than most of the other popcorn products that are notoriously full of artificial butter and other flavorings.