Planning healthy meals is hard enough, but even once you get the hang of that, you might still struggle to choose healthy snacks. For some, the main struggle is with willpower and decision fatigue when shopping—it’s just easier to grab the name-brand snacks you’re familiar with than go looking for healthy options.
For others, the challenge is figuring out which snacks are healthy or unhealthy in the first place, as each popular diet seems to have different criteria. Here at Extraordinary Snacks, we focus on eating whole foods with simple ingredients, a principle that is both intuitive and easy to remember. In this article, we’ll go over where we draw the line between unhealthy and healthy snacks to help you make better choices for your own diet.
- Added Sugars- A good guideline to keep in mind is that healthy snacks should have no added sugars—the natural sweetness of fruit is great, but adding more sugar on top of that can push your seemingly healthy choice toward the unhealthy side of the spectrum.
- Healthy Fat- Something thing that tends to trip people up when trying to find healthy snacks is fat. This macronutrient has been heavily maligned in the pop diet world, but it is an essential part of a healthy diet. The key is to look for snacks that provide healthy fats, such as nuts and seeds.
- Variety- A third thing to keep in mind when choosing or making snacks is that you’ll make healthier eating choices when your snacks have some variety than you will when you’re eating just one item. For example, a small plate of fruit and cheese is more filling and satisfying than handfuls of potato chips, both because of the nutrients involved and because the first choice is more stimulating for your senses.