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Everyone loves to snack. When you’re bored, relaxing at home, or just plain hungry and you don’t quite want a full meal. I’ve been searching high and low for more nutritious snacks to munch on in between meals and some that I thought were good for me, turned out not to be! So I wanted to share these snacks with you so you will no longer be fooled and give you alternative snack ideas to these options.

Pre-Flavored Instant Oatmeal

oatmeal

Packets of flavored, instant-cooking oatmeal tend to be high in sugar and made from oats that are highly processed to ensure a faster cooking time — meaning they’ll be lower in fiber and provide less satiety, and ultimately not keep you that full for long.

Healthy swap: Opt for steel-cut or rolled oats made without added flavoring, sugar, or preservatives. Both options are less processed — as they aren’t designed to cook instantly — are digested at a lower rate, and will keep you fuller longer. To add a bit of flavor, add nut butter or fresh fruit.

Flavored Yogurt

yogurt

Yogurt can be a great snack — high in protein, super portable, and a great vehicle for fruit, nuts, or whatever you like to top it with — but flavored yogurt is often quite high in added sugar, especially the low- and fat-free varieties which rely on lots of added sugar so they still taste good even with the fat removed.

Healthy swap: Stick with plain Greek yogurt and add your own fruit to the mix. It’ll have more protein, be a lot more satiating, and keep your blood sugar more stable (which goes hand-in-hand with maintaining steady energy levels and enough willpower to make better eating decisions!).

Granola Bars

granola

The idea of granola is great — whole grains mixed with some fruit for flavor and nuts for healthy fats and protein. But prepackaged granola tends to be high on the flavor and low on the nutrition. Plus it’s pretty calorically dense, meaning lots of calories in a relatively small serving.

Healthy swap: Look for, or make, bars low in added sugar and additives, like Larabars, which contain nine ingredients or less and come without preservatives or artificial ingredients.

Microwave Popcorn

popcorn

Store-bought popcorn options can be excessively high in sodium, with each bag containing more than your suggested allowance of 2,300 milligrams per day.

Healthy swap: Pop your own popcorn by placing a quarter cup of popcorn kernels in a paper bag, and microwaving. Add a little butter, salt, pepper, maybe coconut oil… whatever!

Fat-Free or Reduced-Fat Snacks

fat

Most fat-free or reduced-fat snacks — be it chocolate pudding, peanut butter, or cookies — have an extra helping of sugar, salt, or both, to make sure the food tastes as good without the missing ingredient.

Healthy swap: Healthy fats in moderation help you maintain a feeling of fullness, provide our bodies with stores of energy, and can improve cholesterol levels, so don’t rule these out. Instead, choose good fats like a handful of walnuts, or a tablespoon of natural peanut butter with a banana. And if you’re watching your caloric intake, stick to a smaller serving size.

I hope this post helps you find healthier alternatives to those snacks we all love so much. Happy Snacking! Your Realtor and Friend for Life~ Kathy

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