You’ll never believe how healthy these snack swaps are.
To be human is to love snacking. Unfortunately, most options don’t have our health interests in mind. Nevertheless, when we get a sweet or salty craving, nothing tastes better than our favourite snacks.
So… does this mean you have to throw out your snacks altogether because they could be bad for your health?
No! The good news is that we’ve come up with 20 healthy snack swaps that are more satisfying and nutritious than their processed alternative.
This way you don’t have quit your favourite treats but instead, you can enjoy a few healthy snack swaps.
20 Healthy Snack Swaps
Greek yoghurt over the sweetened or flavoured types
Yoghurt is a healthy source of calcium and contains beneficial probiotics for the health of your gut. But, instead of the usual sweetened and flavoured varieties, why not go for plain Greek yoghurt. Sweetened yoghurt is loaded with sugar and should only be eaten occasionally. Rather spruce up your Greek yoghurt with a few nuts and berries.
Add protein to your carb snacks
Crackers are a popular snack because they are lighter than bread. That being said, they are still a processed item and shouldn’t be eaten too often. To increase your satiety, include some protein like fish spread or peanut butter onto your crackers. The protein will help to keep you fuller for longer. Better yet, opt for rice cakes.
Swap store “energy-bars” for homemade ones
Store-bought goods usually have additives and preservatives to ensure a longer shelf-life and prevent spoilage and losses. These artificial chemicals are there for the benefit of the food company, not your health.
A great alternative is to make your own bars for a healthy snack swap. Some easy recipes for this include ingredients such as berries, oats, dates, honey, and nuts.
Swap fat for lean biltong
Biltong is one of the most-enjoyed snacks in South Africa, but oftentimes they include thick pieces of fat. You can still enjoy your favourite biltong cuts but swapping the fat-laden ones like cabanossi for leaner pieces and droëwors.
Go for nuts rather than crisps
Who doesn’t like a bag of fried crisps? While it might be hard to say no to your favourite bag of potato chips, try healthy snack swaps with them. Instead of crisps, opt for nuts. Just 100 grams of nuts a day is sufficient to add to your fibre intake as well as provide you with good fat.
Pick whole-grain crisps over-salted potato
Whole-grain crisps are the better choice if you want to enjoy your snack with added wholesome goodness. Whole-grain includes corn and other grain products and thus provide a good helping of fibre, while keeping you fuller than potato crisps.
Swap chips for popcorn
If you feel like taking it up a notch, then add popcorn to the list of snacks. Popcorn is light and doesn’t contain as much fat as fried crisps. You will be enjoying a tasty snack guilt-free. Best of all, you don’t have to be watching a movie to enjoy popcorn.
Eat whole fruit over fruit juice
Juice may be made from whole fruits to some extent, but it is by no means near as healthy as eating the whole fruit. Instead of pouring a glass of apple juice, go ahead and eat an apple. Now there are many delicious fruits to choose from and you can get creative and put together a mini fruit salad adding a bit of everything.
Swap sweetened sodas for water
Water is essential for life and shouldn’t be taken for granted. But many of us have fallen into the habit of drinking sweetened sodas or even alcoholic drinks to quench our thirst.
The problem is that these are loaded with sugar and calories which could lead to weight gain. Alcohol is a diuretic, which will leave you even more dehydrated.
While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying your favourite drink or soda on occasion, stick with water 90% of the time.
If you find water to be boring, try sparkling water or add a few pieces of lemon, cucumber or strawberries to liven up your refreshment.
Swap sweets with berries
Berries such as blueberries are full of healthy antioxidants that promote anti-ageing. They are a better choice than addictive candy.
Choose a wrap over wheat bread
Although whole-wheat bread is better than white bread, if you want to keep your calorie count low opt for a healthy wrap instead. You can put all your good sarmie toppings on your lighter wrap than the mixed-grain bread.
Swap flour tortillas for corn ones
Tortillas are spicy and delicious. You can do healthy snack swaps with this crunchie treat by swapping the flour variant for the corn one instead. Again, as mentioned, corn is a better option and more sustaining than regular flour-baked goods.
Swap milk chocolate for dark chocolate
Did you know that cocoa is full of antioxidants? That makes dark chocolate a superfood and we couldn’t be happier!
To this end, always choose dark chocolate (for instance, 70% cocoa) over the milky counterpart. Dark chocolate is sourced from the cocoa tree and is known for its strong source of antioxidants as well as being essential for reducing the risk of heart disease.
Go for a healthy choc spread instead of chocolate-coated almonds
When you’re really craving a treat, why not have the healthiest version possible? Nutella hazelnut spread and Nusco hazelnut chocolate spread are a healthier option than milk chocolate covered nuts. What’s more is these spreads also contain healthy ingredients like fibre, calcium, protein, and iron.
Have an “ice-cream sandwich” rather than a scoop of full cream ice-cream
Ice-cream sandwiches are clever treats to add to your list because they don’t contain the same amount of fat and calories as a hearty scoop or two of ice cream does. Because of its design, only a small quantity of ice-cream can fit between the two thin wafer slices. The taste is a delicious reward. You can also get creative and make your own healthy ice-cream from scratch.
Swap the hefty toppings on oats with healthier apple and honey
Many people enjoy oats for breakfast, as it’s quick to make and rather filling. But, it isn’t always the champ when the toppings are outweighing the benefits. Add some berries and chia seeds with a little bit of honey and cinnamon as opposed to meusli and sugar.
Consider changing your pancake toppings
Pancakes are traditionally topped with a heavy scoop of ice cream or cream and a generous drizzle of syrup. We can’t deny how good this treat tastes. So, if you want to enjoy your pancakes but a healthier version of it, then try topping it with yoghurt and nuts instead. If you can’t eat nuts then top your pancake with seeds.
Use veggies and goat cheese instead of ham and cheddar filling
When it comes to omelettes it’s the filling that counts. You can swap the traditional bacon and cheddar for a lighter goats cheese and vegetables. You’ll be enjoying calcium, animal protein as well as minerals and vitamins. This is a nutritious breakfast that will keep your stomach satisfied for hours.
Swap store-bought muffins for homemade
It’s easy to pop by the coffee shop and grab a massive bran muffin and coffee for breakfast. But a huge store-bought muffin can pack up to 500 calories!
Rather make your own muffins where you can control the ingredients. Why not make these Wheat-free Blueberry & Yoghurt Muffins.
Have veggies over party snacks
Now while this sometimes sounds boring and “tasteless”, you’d be surprised how fancy and tasty veggies can be. Raw veggies and hummus supply your body with protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. This is also great for weight-conscious people looking to keep their cravings at bay. You can also make interestingly flavourful veggie dips and pair with the rest of the snacks on the table.
Closing thoughts about healthy snack swaps
Let’s face it, junk food is easily accessible, often cheap to buy and highly addictive. But making small changes to your snacking can lead to long-term benefits for your weight and health.
Snacking doesn’t have to be boring and tasteless. In fact, healthy alternatives can be a delicious way to add nutrients to your everyday eating.
It all comes down to making the choice to snack on something that will benefit your health, instead of harm it.
Have you made some health snack swaps of late? Share some of your favourites with us.
Closing thoughts about healthy snack swaps
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