Simple Snack Swaps for a Healthy 2016

Simple Snack Swaps for a Healthy 2016
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You’ve been eating a healthy breakfast and making some tweaks to your workout routine. Now it’s time to clean up your snack act. Learn how to keep your hunger at bay the healthy way with some of these simple snack swaps.

Salty

Are you in the mood for munching? Check out these healthy swaps that will leave your salt craving in the dust.

Lentil chips for potato chips

There are so many healthier alternatives to potato chips on the market that you could try a new type every week for a year and still barely make a dent in the chip aisle. You may have dabbled in the baked chip section, but we promise that these new chips won’t make your taste buds miss the salty classics. Sample chips made from black beans, sweet potatoes, quinoa, or even lentils. A serving of lentil chips has 1/3 of the fat of potato chips and twice the protein.

Homemade trail mix for store bought trail mix

When most people reach for trail mix, they usually come away with a handful of candy with a couple peanuts mixed in. Many store bought mixes are jam-packed with candy, chocolate, and dried fruit that will send your blood sugar through the roof and make you crash later on in the afternoon. Making your own trail mix at home is super easy and allows you control your portion size better. Incorporate your favorite nuts, which are rich in fiber and healthy fats, and have a satisfying crunch that will keep your satisfied until dinner time. Looking for other fun mix ins? Try mini pretzels, dried edamame, wasabi peas, and popcorn.

Hummus for ranch dressing

We understand that munching on vegetables instead of your favorite chips can be depressing. But instead of drenching those veggies in ranch dressing, try dipping them in hummus. Hummus is rich in protein and fiber and comes in dozens of flavors. One tablespoon of ranch dressing is 73 calories and 8 grams of far. Hummus, on the other hand, has 25 calories and 1.4 grams of fat per tablespoon.

Air-popped popcorn for microwavable popcorn

When you think of a snack to mindlessly munch on when watching a movie, you may think of popcorn. That’s because popcorn a fiber-packed snack that will keep you full long after the movie is over. Keep your movie watching snack even healthier by swapping out traditional microwave popcorn for air-popped popcorn. You’ll save yourself from hidden trans fats and potentially harmful chemicals in the bag’s lining. You can easily make air-popped popcorn in the microwave or purchase a popcorn popper for less than $20.

Sweet

Are your midnight cravings causing you to hop off the healthy bandwagon? Try out some of these sweet swaps.

Fresh fruit for dried fruit

You’d be surprised to know that nibbling on dried fruit is almost as bad as snacking on candy. While the calorie contents are similar per serving (1/4 cup dried apple vs 1 cup fresh apple), you miss out on the volume provided by fresh fruit, which keeps you full for longer. Dried fruit not only lacks nutrients that are lost in the drying process, it’s often coated in sugar before it’s packaged. The next time you reach for raisins, grab some grapes instead.

Dark chocolate for milk chocolate

You may have heard that dark chocolate is packed with healthy antioxidants and vitamins. This is true, but you should still proceed with caution. Skip the milk chocolate, which contains loads of cream and sugar, and have a square or two of dark chocolate instead. When selecting a bar, choose one that is at least 65% cacao. Keep in mind that the higher the cacao percentage, the more bitter the flavor.

Banana “ice cream” for traditional ice cream

This recipe has been floating around the Internet for a while now, and for good reason. It’s delicious, nutritious, and highly customizable. All you need is a peeled, frozen banana and a blender. Within seconds you’ll have creamy “ice cream” that you can top with your favorite toppings. A serving of banana ice cream has only 105 calories and 3 grams of fiber. A single (half cup) serving of ice cream has 137 calories and 7 grams of fat. And let’s be honest, who only has a half cup of ice cream in one sitting?

Yogurt and fruit for cheesecake

If you’re looking for a creamy, delicious dessert that won’t undo all of your hard work at the gym, skip the cheesecake and try out some low-fat Greek yogurt with fresh fruit. One serving of plain Greek yogurt has 18 grams of protein that can help repair muscle tissue after a difficult workout.

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