Your Guide to Healthy Snacking

Snacking throughout the day is not a bad habit, so long as it's conducted in moderation and with healthy choices. Good-for-you snacks can be part of a healthy diet if snacking is done in a sensible way —hence not eating the entire bag of dark chocolate Hershey Kisses. 

The truth is what you snack on in between meals goes a long way, especially in keeping your metabolism burning. If you have a regular exercise routine, it can also help continue to tone your muscles throughout the day. 

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1. Green veggies: Broccoli is one of the best options. Think of it this way, the greener the vegetable, the better it is for your body. This is an easy one since you can eat broccoli both raw or steamed as a snack. 

2. Plain Greek Yogurt: Full of probiotics, meaning fulled with good bacteria, and can help relieve digestive problems. It's also high in protein which helps keep you fuller longer and great for maintaining a healthy diet. It's low in calories and focus on buying plain yogurt and add healthy additives like almonds and blueberries versus buying the sweetened versions.  

3. Canned Tuna: Tuna is arguably one of the most healthy savory snack options. It's full of vitamin B3, vitamin B12 and protein. A lean and delicious snack that's also low in fat, tuna is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids that have huge antioxidant benefits. The best kind to buy is albacore tuna, which is pure white tuna with no mixture or other tuna species. As a snack, eat it straight out of the can or mix with brown rice.  

4. Cottage Cheese: This savory or sweet snack is high in protein, calcium (helps bone strength), magnesium, potassium and zinc. It's also a low carb food that helps regulate blood sugar, improves digestion and is rich in antioxidants.

5. Blueberries: We've talked about the health benefits of blueberries a lot on the blog. They are one of the best sources around for antioxidants which helps fight inflammation that can lead to a number of chronic diseases. They're a superfood that you can enjoy anytime as a snack. Add them to your smoothies or yogurt. They're packed with vitamin K, vitamin C and fiber. 

6. Almonds: The perfect snack, a handful of almonds is packed with B vitamins, Vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, calcium, magnesium and potassium. The almond contains about 26% carbohydrates, 12% of which are dietary fiber.  About 20 percent of a raw almond is made up of high quality protein, containing essential amino acids.  An ounce of almonds, which equates to about 25 almonds, contains 12% of our necessary daily protein! Eating high-protein snacks help keep you fuller longer, and curb your appetite. 

7. Be sure to eat something every 2-3 hours. Many people have adopted a diet that focuses on eating 6 small meals a day. Even if you don't want to give up your big dinner or breakfast, eating every 2-3 hours helps stave off hunger, avoids big cravings and over eating as well as keeps your metabolism on fire. 

8. Eat a healthy snack before grocery shopping: This one small habit could make you buy healthier foods. A new study from Cornell University's Food and Brand Lab looked at the psychological effects of eating healthy before buying more food. It seemed this tactic tricked people into buying healthier food. You're heading down a dangerous path if you go to the grocery store starving. 

9. Nighttime Snacking: Focus on making better and healthier choices if you have to snack at night. Here are 5 healthy ideas

10. Plan your snacks: Just as you plan your meals for the week, be sure to plan your snacks. Knowing ahead of time what you need and stocking up can lead to healthier choices and less spending on unnecessary and unhealthy food during the mid morning and afternoon.