Snack Smart: Healthy Snack Alternatives for Every Craving

Photo credit: Bigstockphoto
Photo credit: Bigstockphoto

Are you prone to grazing? Can’t imagine giving up on snacking? Snacking is part of our biological makeup, that’s why it’s hard to give up on snacking completely. Unfortunately, snacking on unhealthy foods is one of the most common causes of weight gain. However, you don’t have to give up on snacking forever, just to maintain your weight. The key is to be selective on the kind of foods you snack on. You want to find better alternatives to your favorite snacks. In today’s post, we are giving you the best snack alternatives for every craving:

Craving For: Potato Chips

Do you love salty, crunchy snacks like potato chips? Just 15 pieces of potato chips yield 150 calories plus 9 grams of fat! This snack is one of the most fattening of all so instead of noshing on a bag of chips, choose air-popped popcorn. Three cups of air-popped popcorn yield just 110 calories and 1.3 grams of fat. If you’re after the satisfying crunch of potato chips, snack on roasted nuts and seeds instead. But if you’re after the saltiness of potato chips, opt for olives, dill pickles or kimchi instead!

Craving for: Hot Dogs

An average hot dog packs 150 calories and 14 grams of fat without the bun. It’s also loaded with sodium, preservatives and sodium nitrite. Sodium nitrite is a type of preservative that’s linked to cancer. Instead of indulging on hot dogs, go for protein-rich alternatives like salmon or deli meats.

A serving of smoked salmon contains 99 calories and 4 grams of fat. It’s packed with omega-3 fatty acids and essential vitamins. On the other hand, deli meats are low in sodium nitrite. Eat smoked salmon or deli meats with multi-grain bread for a low-calorie, satisfying snack.

Craving for: Instant Ramen

A pack of instant ramen contains almost 400 calories and 14 grams of fat. The soup contains preservatives, artificial color, and MSG. MSG is a type of food flavoring that’s linked to nerve damage. Satisfy your craving for instant ramen by opting for a delicious bowl of minestrone soup or chicken noodle soup.

A can of low-sodium minestrone soup packs a measly 82 calories and 2.5 grams of fat. Chicken noodle soup is even lower in calories at 60 calories per cup!

Craving for: Candy Bars

Just a single bar of Snickers contains 280 calories and 35 grams of simple carbohydrates. It’s also loaded with sugar and 14 grams of fat! If you love snacking on sweet treats, don’t go for candy bars. Instead, choose dark chocolates with at least 70% cacao. A single bar of dark chocolate with 70% cacao yields a modest 190 calories and 12 grams of fat. It also contains antioxidants and fiber.

If you’re after the chewiness of candy bars, protein and granola bars make wonderful alternatives too. Protein and granola bars come in a wide array of flavors including chocolate, peanut butter, strawberry, blueberry and so much more.

Craving for: Ice Cream

Even the plainest ice cream flavors pack a lot of calories. In fact, a half-cup serving of Häagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream contains 270 calories and 18 grams of fat! Now imagine if you’re indulging on more decadent flavors like red velvet, Choco mint or chocolate with raspberry swirls.

If you’re craving for the cold sweetness of ice cream, consider plain yogurt as a healthy alternative. Serve it chilled with a handful of fresh berries and shaved nuts for added texture and sweetness. You can also take sherbet and sorbet as an alternative to ice cream.

Craving for: Cake and Brownies

If you love cakes and brownies but you’re watching what you eat, opt for granola bars, and bran muffins instead. These alternatives offer the same texture of cake but without the unwanted calories and fat! If you must have cake, go for angel food cake. Just a slice packs a modest 60 calories.

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