AUBURN, Alabama—Each person’s taste buds are different, so how you snack may differ from your peers. Many people have traditional go-to snacks that they grab when they get hungry. This month, ask yourself if what you are snacking on is the best option for your body.
Below are a few snack options as well as some healthy, guilt-free alternatives to junk food snacks.
It’s always a good rule of thumb to keep a few go-to food items handy so when you begin to feel hungry, you have healthy options ready. This will also help you choose a healthy snack instead of reaching for chips or cookies.
Christina LeVert, a regional human nutrition diet and health agent with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, said some of her go-to snacks include, “an apple or banana with peanut butter if I am craving something sweet, or low-fat cheese and whole wheat crackers if I’m wanting something salty, or fresh veggies and hummus.”
Snack Food Options
Apple slices with a dollop of peanut butter is a great snack that will fill you up and knock out sweets cravings.
“It’s an easy and convenient snack that you can make quickly and take on the go with minimal clean up,” she said. “If you are feeling adventurous, sprinkle cinnamon on top or add a few dark chocolate chips to your peanut butter. If you don’t like apples, or don’t want to eat an apple, make the snack with a banana instead.”
Hummus dip with vegetables is a great option when you are hungry, but not wanting something sweet. It is simple and quick. Decide which vegetables you want to pair with your hummus, and you are set. Popular choices include sliced bell peppers, carrots, snap peas or celery. Those are just a few choices but the possibilities are endless.
For those with a more salty pallet, low-fat cheese and wheat crackers is an excellent snack. Depending on your mood, you can change the cheeses and types of crackers. Since it only uses two ingredients, there are endless delicious combinations.
A good rule of thumb is to snack between meals when you are hungry. This also keeps your metabolism higher throughout the day and helps maintain energy levels. When snacking at night, pay attention to your body, and make sure you are snacking only when you are hungry, not because you are bored.
“It is a good to try to keep snacks between 100 and 200 calories when possible,” LeVert said. “Eating snacks that pair carbohydrates with protein will help you feel full longer, especially if the food is high in fiber.”
If you can’t shake your craving for chips and dip, a healthier option is to make chip dip with Greek yogurt. Combine the yogurt with ranch or French onion seasoning. For the chips, use vegetables, sweet potato chips or even dried vegetables. This will cure your chip and dip craving and leave you feeling better afterward.
Image in story by Vladimir Shulenin/shutterstock.com. Featured image by Elena Veselova/shutterstock.com.