Let’s get real, we all snack. And in all honesty, snacking isn’t bad for you if it’s done in moderation and by making healthy choices. With February being National Heart Health Month I want to share some of my favorite snacks. They are not only delicious but also very heart healthy.
First let’s start with my favorite: things that crunch! Veggies such as carrot and celery sticks, sweet pepper slices, and cucumber rounds are super yummy. Try dipping them in some hummus or honey mustard. Mixed nuts and seeds are another good choice. A handful of roasted almonds or cashews with pumpkin seeds and sea salt will give you great energy and also give you a dose of heart healthy fats. And lastly, popcorn. It’s a whole grain, who knew? No you cannot smother it with butter and loads of salt but you can spray it with some coconut oil and sprinkle on a little fresh grated parmesan.
Second, snacks that satisfy you. Pair some low-fat cheese slices with lean turkey and whole grain crackers. Tart apples like granny smiths make a perfect sweet and sour treat when you pair them with some creamy peanut or almond butter. I like to top a rice cake with some tuna fish. Try the ranch and buffalo style flavored packs; they are my personal favorites. These are all guaranteed to fill you right up.
Lastly, snacks to curb your sweet tooth. Always have some fresh fruit on hand. Get creative and pick out a few kinds of berries, mix them together and put them in small containers. You can pop one in your purse or backpack. Try freezing a banana. It’s not a fudge pop but your heart and your backside will thank you for it. Try some raisins, dates or other dried unsweetened fruit. Watch out for added sugars and salt when buying prepackaged snacks, try making healthier versions at home so you can choose the ingredients.
One last heart healthy tip: drink lots of water! Plain or sparkling is fine; just make sure you get enough each day. You can glam it up with some fruit or fresh herbs.
Take care of yourself, be kind to one another and keep that ticker healthy! Just remember the quote from L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz , “Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable.”