We’ve all had those mid-afternoon snack cravings where you just want something to eat, but at the same time, you don’t want to eat processed foods, and it can be a struggle to find something that tastes good and is healthy. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of heart-healthy snacks that not only taste good but are good for your body.
Heart-healthy snacks don’t have to be difficult to find, and while some require preparation, others don’t need any preparation beforehand, saving you time. Some of our favorites are below.
Think of something with a crunch. Sorry, potato chips don’t count, however, carrots, zucchini, cucumber, apples, bell pepper slices, broccoli florets, whole grain crackers, nuts, rice cakes, and even popcorn are heart-healthy snacks that you’ll enjoy eating.
Get rid of your sugary drinks. You may not realize it, but those sodas or energy drinks are definitely hurting your heart. Why you ask? Because they have a high content of sugars. Instead, stick to water, unsweetened tea, but avoid fruit juices, or mixed vegetable juice, just eat fruit and always watch for added sugars or sodium, as that can take a drink from healthy to unhealthy instantly. If you’re bored with water, try adding some fruits to it. It’s a healthy way to give it a bit of flavor.
If you’re craving something sweet, we have heart-healthy snack ideas that satisfy even the toughest sweet tooth. Fruits of any kind are a great choice for that, as they are a natural source of sugars, with fibers to slow sugar absorption as well as several vitamins and nutrients. Unsweetened dried fruits are also a great option, as well as thin slices of angel food cake or banana nut bread. If you are a baker, make these yourself, and cut down on the sugar. You’ll still get the same taste, but less sugar in the mix. You also won’t have as many preservatives. A yogurt parfait with fruit is also a great sweet snack.
Finding heart-healthy snacks is a lot easier than most think, and there are many ways to easily add these into your diet, without feeling like you are being restricted. As with any snacks that you purchase, watch for added sugars, salts, and high fructose corn syrup, as those can definitely derail your health plans.
The basic rule is avoiding high glycemic sugars and carbohydrates, as these increase insulin release and insulin in excess is a driver of diabetes and heart disease.