The snack industry in America is a multi-billion dollar business. You can’t walk into a movie theatre, shopping mall, or ballgame without seeing dozens upon dozens of snacks that are loaded with too much fat, calories, and sodium. Americans are literally snacking their way to obesity, poor heart health, and diabetes.
How can we continue to have delicious snacks while maintaing heart health? By making smart, informed choices. The truth is there are many heart-healthy snacks to choose from. Here are a few of my all-time favorites to incorporate into your heart-healthy diet plan.
Heart-healthy snack #1. Vegetable Skewers: Skewer together sliced peppers, cucumbers, tomato chunks, any of your other favorite vegetables. Then, drizzle with olive oil and Italian seasonings and enjoy. Or, for a slightly different variation dip sliced vegetables in hummus.
Heart-health snack #2. Trail Mix: Choose any combination of almonds, dry-roasted soybeans, dates, dried cranberries, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, raisins, sunflower seeds, and walnuts. Just make sure to choose organic nuts and seeds if they’re available, and that it contains no more than 300 mg of sodium per serving.
Heart-healthy snack #3. Yogurt Sundae: Mix sliced strawberries and blueberries into plain yogurt. Top with a sprinkling of sunflower seeds or ground flax.
Heart-healthy snack #4. Apple Dippers: Slice an apple into quarters, and top each slice with organic peanut or almond butter. The nutty butter mixed with the sweetness of the apple satisfies your hunger and your taste buds.
Heart-healthy snack #5. Dark Chocolate: If you want to satisfy a sweet tooth, you can enjoy a square (or two) of dark chocolate a few times a week.
Now it’s your turn: What heart-healthy snacks do you incoporate into your heart-healthy diet plan?