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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 July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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