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Many people are trying to eat healthier or would like to make sure that their children are eating healthy. You prepare meals that are well balanced to ensure that everyone is getting the proper nutrients. You also look for healthy snack foods to help fill the void between meals, but what you may not know is that some of those snacks are not as healthy as we believe them to be. Here is a list of some snacks that you may think are healthy but are truly not.

1. Frozen Yogurt

You would think that frozen yogurt is good for you. It does contain cultures that are good for your intestines and immune system, but don’t be fooled. Some of the frozen yogurt that is produced does not contain these cultures therefore taking out the healthy part of it.

 

2. Granola Bars

With all of the nuts, grains, and seeds that are contained in granola bars, you would have to believe that they are good for you. The truth is, they are not. Most of the granola bars are either coated in chocolateor are filled with chocolate chips therefore taking away from the goodness of it.

3. Fruit Snacks

You will be led to believe that these tasty little sacks contain fruit, but in all actuality, they do not contain real fruit. They contain fruit juice concentrate which is basically the sugars within the fruit and taking out the nutrients of the fruit.

4. Trail Mix

You would think that a mix of dried fruits and nuts would be good for you, but again, this is not the case. The nuts are usually salted and the fruit, which has a wonderful taste in themselves, are sweetenedand usually filled with preservatives. The mix will usually also contain chocolates which are not a healthy snack.

5. Fruit Smoothies

The nutrition should be in the name right? Wrong. While you may think that a fruit smoothy would be good for you, it’s made of fruit, what could be bad about that? The unhealthy side of a smoothy is all of the extras that are put into it. Once the yogurt, ice cream, or other additions are added to the fruit, the sugars and fats have taken over and turned this healthy looking snack into an unhealthy one.

So the next time you are out shopping and are looking for a healthy snack for the family, pay close attention to the labels. You may be surprised to find the foods that you once thought were healthy may not be so healthy.

The ideal, healthy snack foods are the ones acquired from natural fiber. Commercially available snack food items like candies, cookies and chips have an increased fat content, as well as sugary ingredients, which lead to weight gain in people. Small portions of snack items, which have a lower calories value, are good for fulfilling the urge to eat in the time duration between two meals, helping people to reduce their weight much easily. Following are some healthy snack foods that people can consume easily when trying to shed a few pounds:

plain popcorn healthy snack

Popcorn: Plain popcorn is counted among healthy snacks, only if it is not covered in salt and butter. Made of natural corn, popcorns are high in nutrition, and do not add to the calorie count significantly. The best way to make popcorn is to air-pop it, but popping it in a pan with any monounsaturated oil, such as olive or canola, is also a healthy option. Before purchasing the microwavable popcorn brands, people must ensure that they do not have high fat or sodium content.

Dry Fruits: Dry fruits, especially nuts, are rich sources of monounsaturated fats. These fats help in reducing the cholesterol levels of the body, both in terms of totality and LDL. They also help in the prevention and cleansing the arteries from plaque buildup. Studies suggest that nuts are enriched with protein, helping people curb their appetite easily. They also contain increased amounts of fiber and magnesium, as well as vitamin E, considered to be a good antioxidant.

Sunflower seeds: Seeds collected from sunflower comprise most of the nutritive elements that are also present in dry fruits. The recommended method of consuming these seeds if to opt for seeds, which are without or low in salt, as adding salt can reduce the nutrition of these healthy snack foods.

Butter made from peanut and other nuts: Butter, which is made from peanut and other types of nuts, is enriched with protein. The presence of protein helps people satisfy their hunger pangs in the time duration between two meals. Peanut butter can be consumed as it is, or as a complementary savory to other healthy snack foods like fibrous fruit, fruity smoothies or crackers. While peanut butter is a healthy food item, it also contains an incredible amount of calories, and should not be consumed in large quantities.

Smoothies made of fruit: Smoothies made of different fruits are counted among the top healthy snack items. They are so high in nutritional value that they can easily be swapped with daily meals. In general, a smoothie might have around 600 calories, which is equivalent to a number of healthy foods consumed during mealtimes. Smoothies are a good choice to make because they keep people feeling full for a considerable amount of time.

Smoothies can easily be made at home by blending in any fruits with peanut butter and yogurt. They can also be enjoyed at any café or juice shop, which specializes in them. To make smoothies richer in protein, experts suggest adding a little bit of powdered whey. One thing that people should be careful of, however, is that these otherwise healthy snack foods contain fructose, a type of sugar found in fruits, which can be a cause of surplus weight if not burned during workouts.

Five Healthy Snack Foods You Can Prepare Under 5 Minutes

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Eating healthy snack foods doesn’t have to be time-consuming, boring or expensive. Some of the best healthy snack foods are delicious, inexpensive or easy to prepare.

1. Greek yogurt is higher in protein than most types of yogurt and most brands contain live cultures. The high-protein content means you’ll stay full longer and take in fewer calories throughout the day. Adequate protein intake is important for a healthy diet. Live active cultures create a healthy balance of “good” bacteria in the intestines, so you’ll have better digestive health and a stronger immune system. Pair it with blueberries for a healthy dose of disease-fighting antioxidants, and mix in a dollop of locally-produced honey for allergy-fighting sweetness.

 

2. An apple a day really does keep the doctor away. To make one of the best healthy snack foods in minutes, slice your favorite variety of apple into wedges and arrange them on a plate around a small bowl or ramekin of peanut butter. Spread a dab of peanut butter onto each slice for a hearty, nutrient-rich, fiber-filled snack that will leave you satisfied till your next meal. Although peanut butter is relatively fattening, you won’t need much of it to punch up the flavor of naturally sweet apple slices. Sprinkle with cinnamon to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

3. Pair nutrient-rich sliced bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers or other tasty veggies with a healthy dip. Hummus is a great-tasting, high-fiber option that helps keep blood sugar levels in check. Traditional or Greek yogurt-based dips are low in fat and have a similar texture to more fattening traditional chip dips. Substitute yogurt for sour cream in dip recipes, or try a commercially-prepared version with dill, onion or other yummy flavors.

4. Melba toast, rye crackers and various types of crispbreads are low in calories and generally high in fiber, making them ideal healthy snack foods. Crispbreads and high-fiber crackers offer crunch, texture and rich flavor. Top them with low-fat Swiss cheese or low-calorie mini cheese wedges, a dab of mustard and an optional infection-fighting red onion slice.

5. Make your own snack mix in minutes. Toss sesame sticks, almonds and sunflower seeds into a bowl. Mist the mix with olive oil or sesame oil and coat lightly with turmeric. The nuts and seeds provide vitamin E, fiber, B vitamins and a number of minerals and other nutrients. Turmeric is a powerful disease fighter used for centuries in various cultures. This quick, savory treat is not only delicious; it’s also one of the best healthy snack foods you can make in under five minutes.

Healthy eating can — and should — extend to snack time. Whip up these quick and tasty treats in no time flat when you or your family want something sweet or savory. You’re sure to find something to please everyone, so you’ll have no problem getting them to eat healthy snack foods.