Diana Kelly Levey

8 Ways to Make Your Favorite Snacks Healthier

May 21, 2018 | Categories:

When you need to nosh, do you tend to reach for a convenient plastic-wrapped nibble? Many of the snacks we eat are commercially-prepared processed foods that could be wreaking havoc on our diets and our health with additives, trans fats, excess sodium, high-fructose corn syrup and more harmful elements. Luckily, it’s easy to give your beloved snacks a healthy makeover that’s better on your body and your wallet. Registered dietician Kate Greagan shared her suggestions on how to make snacks safer.

Microwave popcorn

Why it isn’t healthy: It often contains artificial flavoring, trans fats, butter and high amounts of sodium.

The fix: Make your own microwave popcorn using popcorn kernels and a brown paper bag! Simply put about a half-cup of kernels into a brown paper bag, then fold the top over a few times to keep the kernels from popping out. Microwave for about a minute and a half or until the popping slows down.

“I sprinkle Parmesan cheese and cracked pepper on top of my popcorn,” says Greagan. Since Parmesan cheese has such a sharp, strong flavor, a little goes a long way. You can also top popcorn with fresh chopped herbs, salt, a little bit of coconut oil, or a spice blend, like chili powder, cumin and garlic powder.

Get 10 snacks under 200 calories.


Why it isn’t healthy: Sorbet is often high in sugar, carbohydrates, and calories.

The fix: Chop fresh, seasonal fruit like melons, apricots and bananas into wedges, put them on a skewer and stick them in the freezer until they become frozen desserts. Greagan says she loves frozen cantaloupe wedges because they’re hydrating, provide vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants but taste like ice cream! Try this trick with all of your favorite fruits.

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Fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt

Why it isn’t healthy: Usually the fruit is in thick sugary syrup that’s made with high fructose corn syrup and possibly other sweeteners.

The fix: Add fresh or frozen fruit to low-fat or fat-free plain Greek yogurt. “Controlling the ingredients allows you to control the sugar,” says Greagan. Drizzle a little bit of honey if you’d like or sprinkle sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds for crunch and texture.

Sandwich crackers

Why it isn’t healthy: Those prepackaged cracker packs you’ll often find in vending machines can be high in artificial ingredients, oil, sodium and sugar. Often the cheese and crackers aren’t made with real cheese.

The fix: Pack your own on-the-go cheese and cracker or peanut butter and cracker sandwiches. Start with whole grain crackers and pair them with high-protein Parmesan cheese or lower-calorie mozzarella or Swiss cheeses. Or make peanut butter crackers healthier by spreading all-natural peanut butter or almond butter on whole grain crackers or toast. You might also want to spread hummus on the cheese crackers.

Create a healthy grocery shopping list.

Read the full article on DoctorOz.com.

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