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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 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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