Healthy Low Fat Snacks
Healthy Low Fat Snacks: Good Choices for a Better Life
As a modernized world waddles dangerously close to the abyss of epidemic obesity, the search for healthy low fat snacks is more important than ever. Considering the fact that over 20 million children under the age of 5 were reported by World Health Organization to be obese in 2005 and that the American Center for Disease Control declares our society as “obesogenic”, finding good nutrition is critical for reducing disease and prolonging life.
What’s so bad about fat?
When talking about fats and nutrition, it is important to recognize that not all fats are necessarily bad. Many vital organs and body processes rely on “good fats” in order to function properly. Adequate and monitored fat intake can lead to a healthy heart, brain, lungs, and cellular development. However, when fat consumption becomes excessive or the wrong kinds of fat are digested, a wide array of health concerns can develop.
- Consuming high amounts of saturated fats, or those found mostly in whole milk and red meat, can lead to increased levels of bad cholesterol in the body and in turn heighten the risk of developing coronary disease.
- Eating unhealthy quantities of “bad fats” such as trans fat found in snack foods like chips and cookies has been linked to elevated occurrences of certain forms of cancer.
- Saturated fats increase the likelihood of conditions such as diabetes, stroke, and high blood pressure.
What should you eat?
As mentioned, not all fats are unhealthy and not all saturated fats should be eliminated from your diet. However, foods high in trans fat and saturated fat should certainly be eaten within moderation to maintain a healthy lifestyle. With this in mind, don’t despair over losing out on your favorite steak every once in a while, but instead, look towards healthy low fat snacks to keep you balanced. Here is a list of some foods considered low fat that taste delicious and that will help to keep you on the fast track to staying physically fit:
- Fish: Products such as salmon, tuna, and sardines offer all natural Omega 3 fatty acids that help your body to see better, think smarter, and stay healthier.
- Nuts: These edible tree fruits are also high in Omega 3, promote better overall health, and they provide necessary proteins for strong muscles.
- Fruits: Obviously fresh or dried fruits have a wide variety of benefits other than just being low fat. By consuming apples, blueberries, cherries, and strawberries not only do you help fight heart disease, but you get your daily allowances of vitamins and minerals.
- Vegetables: While spinach may not be something you like, many vegetables make great low fat snacks and help to keep your digestion healthy. Onions, sweet potatoes, carrots, and asparagus will help fill up your nutritional needs without packing on unwanted pounds.
- Dairy: We all need our fill of recommended daily allowances for dairy, but getting enough doesn’t mean high fat intake. Using skim milk instead of whole or substituting low or reduced fat cheeses means good nutrition and less “bad fats”.
What about More Traditional Snack Foods?
While foods listed above all make excellent and low fat snack foods, every once in a while you may crave something a little more interesting. Below is a short list of common snacks that can tide you over between meals:
- Whole wheat crackers or pretzels
- Low fat yogurt or cream cheese
- Hard boiled eggs
- Popcorn (minus the butter)
- Tortilla chips (baked, not fried)
- Dry whole grain cereals
- Rice Cakes (any flavor)
- Reduced fat soups
- Trail mix
On a final note, remember that regardless of what you eat, making healthy choices means making reasonable choices. While eating low fat is a sensible way to limit health risks and increase overall health, moderation is still necessary for a balanced diet. Eating too much of one thing is never a good idea.