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No More Unhealthy Snacks: Try These Tasty Alternatives

No More Unhealthy Snacks: Try These Tasty Alternatives

Snacks. Whether it is ice cream, cookies, or cupcakes, most of us find it hard to say no to these irresistible goodies.

Unfortunately, too much snacking can cause health problems in the long term because of their high sugar content. Some people have chosen artificial sweeteners, like sucralose and aspartame, to avoid sugar. In theory, it sounds like a good idea. Sucralose and aspartame appear to be a healthier option than granulated sugar, but unfortunately, these sweeteners do more harm than good.

Did you know that sucralose reduces good gut bacteria, releases toxins, and links to type 2 diabetes?

Did you know that aspartame is linked to at least 90 symptoms, including headaches and memory loss?

There are some people who do not consume artificial sweeteners and believe that they are healthier for that reason alone. Unfortunately, most of these people are unaware of the amounts of sugar that exist in many products that they consume on a daily basis. For example, ketchup and salad dressing both have heavy amounts of sugar. For some people, condiments do not appear to raise any fears because they will argue that only small amounts of it are used. The problem is that they do not consider how often they use those condiments in their meals on a daily basis.

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It is even worse when these same people also indulge in the typical type of snacks like cookies, cupcakes, ice cream, and pies.

Consuming large amounts of sugar on a daily basis can lead to diabetes and other health problems in the long term. So, how can a person snack in a healthier manner? Consider these healthy snacks when you have the urge to munch on something between meals.

1. Cranberries with almonds

This snack choice can be prepared in seconds. Throw them both in a bowl and enjoy. Cranberries and almonds provide a great combination of nuttiness, sweetness, and crunchiness to the consumer.

Almonds are high in protein and low in carbohydrates, while cranberries are high in antioxidants and low in sugar.

If you are not a fan of almonds, you can substitute it with sunflower seeds. They are high in protein too.

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2. Boiled eggs with coconut flakes

Many people think that eggs should be reserved for breakfast. Unless you are a person who eats a lot of eggs, you might actually be open to the idea of having it as a snack.

Boiled eggs are not typically appealing, especially eaten alone. However, coconut flakes really makes the difference. Adding a teaspoon of coconut flakes with each small bite makes it a tasty treat.

Both eggs and coconuts are excellent sources of essential fatty acids (EFAs). Furthermore,  eggs are a good source of protein (6 grams per egg), while coconuts are a source of Vitamin E, Vitamin K, and iron.

3. 100% cocoa with honey

Chocolate. Almost everyone loves it. Although, many people love chocolate because of the added sugar.

There is an ever-growing amount of stores that sell chocolate with higher cocoa content and less sugar. While it may be difficult, it is not impossible to find 100% cocoa. You can buy it online or from a specialty store.

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Cocoa is high in antioxidants, while honey has small amount of B vitamins and minerals. Honey has also been known to improve memory, boost energy, and reduce seasonal allergies. This is why I recommend honey over regular sugar. Although, I would suggest limiting the honey to one tablespoon since a tablespoon of honey equals to 12 grams of sugar. Two ounces of cocoa with a tablespoon of honey should be adequate for a snack.

4. Pumpkin seeds with sea salt

When most people think of pumpkins, they think of pumpkin pie. However, there is more to a pumpkin than pie. Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of zinc, alpha-linolenic acid (a plant-based omega 3), and manganese. They have also been known to lower blood sugar levels.

Often, when you buy pumpkin seeds, many of the packaged products are already salted with table salt. I would recommend buying unsalted pumpkin seeds and adding sea salt to them. Sea salt has 50+ trace minerals and is not as processed as table salt. While both salts contain iodine (a necessary mineral), table salt is heavily processed, leaving the salt without many of its initial nutrients.

5. Granola

Granola is still one of the most popular snack foods. It is a healthier alternative to cookies, cupcakes, and ice cream. There are many granola products that can be found in dozens of grocery stores. Although, it is better to make your own granola to avoid the processed counterparts, which contain preservatives and unnatural sweeteners.

It is also ideal because you get to choose which fruits, nuts and seeds that you want in your granola.

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Most fruits, nuts and seeds are abundant in nutrients but you still need to be mindful of the sugar content. That is why it is best to create a granola mix that is low in fructose sugar and carbohydrates.

The final word

I am not saying that sugar is the enemy. It is only the enemy when we eat too much of it. I am only advocating that people become more conscious about their daily consumption of it. If you want to avoid it altogether, eating more protein will dramatically reduce your sugar cravings.

If you want more healthy snack ideas, tune in to The Bright Side or seek nutritional counseling from a holistic health clinic like Fox Integrated Healthcare.

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Kallen Diggs

Bestselling Author / Magazine Editor / Syndicated Radio Show Host

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Last Updated on December 13, 2018

12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

Christmas is approaching fast, and lots of people not only tend to ruin their usual diets, but they also gain a few extra pounds. Based on studies, the majority of people tend to gain additional weight during the holiday season that starts at the Thanksgiving Day and ends with the New Year celebrations. Excessive eating is claimed to be the main cause for the additional weight gain, but it is also due to lack of physical activity and exercise.

A lot of individuals out there tend to set aside their fitness routines during the holidays since they believe that they do not have enough time to perform their workouts. And because they feel guilty after the holiday season, most of the gyms and fitness centers are packed with fresh members. Always bear in mind that you can still enjoy the holidays and stay fit at the same time. If you want to stay fit during the holiday season, especially during Christmas and the New Year’s Eve, here are some useful tips that might help you:

1. Eat Before Heading Out

First, it is best that you eat something before heading out to visits, trips or family dinners. By doing so, you will no longer be tempted to eat a lot or overindulge yourself since you have already eaten. Skipping on meals is not a good idea either, because you will only be forced to eat more later.

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2. Select The Treats

Make sure to select the treats that you eat in a wise manner. You should choose something that you can only enjoy during the holiday season and not something that is readily available all the time.

3. Avoid Skipping Meals

Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast! Even though it can be tempting to skip on certain meals, believing that it will make up for the treats you consumed in the previous day, don’t do it because it will only lead to counterproductive results.

4. Drink With Moderation

It is best to regulate your drinking since alcohol, coke or other juices will only add more calories to the ones you already eaten!

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5. Be Active

You should still perform your fitness routine whenever possible and if you can’t do that, simply walk more, park your car some distance away from the store or just use the stairs!

6. Get Out Of The House

Make the holidays a family affair and plan outdoor activities where everyone is involved. Even a snowball fight in the backyard will burn a lot of calories and will keep the children entertained.

7. Don’t Skip Your Strength Workouts

Always remember to perform your strength training in order to maintain that muscle mass you worked hard to get. You might be tempted to use lightweights and just do some cardio, but you can burn just as many calories by lifting weights. And with all of those extra stakes you had on the holiday meals, you might even gain some extra muscle. And this is much better than gaining some extra fat.

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8. Set Realistic Goals

You should set realistic exercise objectives. Aim for at least half an hour per day and you will be very happy when you will achieve that. If you plan one hour or more and not achieve it, you will only end up disappointed.

9. Enjoy Yourself

Also make sure to set realistic diet plans! Trying to restrain yourself totally from some foods will only make you eat more. Feel free to enjoy the treats that you really love, but in small portions.

10. Drink A Lot Of Water

This can satiate your appetite as well as keep you hydrated at all times. And it will also prevent a possible hangover if you overdo it with alcohol.

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11. Eat Less And More Often

Distribute your meals evenly throughout the day, and do not eat everything at once.  Instead of having 2 enormous meals, have 5 small ones.  Eat your dinner earlier and have a nice walk before going to bed.

12. Prioritize Your Workouts

Try to do them early in the morning while everyone else is still sleeping. This way you will also avoid remarks like “Oh, come on! It’s Christmas…”

So there you go! Twelve simple tips that will help you avoid gaining weight during the winter holidays, but will also allow you to enjoy yourself and have a great time with your loved ones.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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