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Heart-Healthy Snacking: 15 Easy, Creative, Tasty Snack Ideas

Heart-Healthy Snacking: 15 Easy, Creative, Tasty Snack Ideas
By Sandra Hoedemaker

Most of us like to snack at least occasionally. The trouble is
that we often snack too much and eat too many of the wrong kinds
of foods when we snack, and this can of course lead to weight
gain and unacceptable cholesterol levels. In addition, unhealthy
snacks crowd out healthy food so that we become well-fed but

The trick is to snack on real food not the packaged junk food
that you can buy in the store or vending machines such as most
microwave popcorn, cold cereal, chips, cookies, pretzels, candy
bars, energy bars, yogurt with sugary fruit, etc. If snacking is
done in moderation and you eat healthful foods when you snack,
it can be a great way to boost energy, satisfy hunger, lose
weight and tantalize your taste buds!

One of the reasons healthy snacking is thought to be good for
you is that it can help balance blood sugar levels throughout
the day. When blood sugar levels are stable, you are more likely
to have stable energy levels and fewer mood swings. In addition,
your body will need to produce insulin to regulate your blood
sugar levels less frequently. When insulin is being produced,
your body goes into fat storage mode versus fat burning mode and
this can possibly contribute to weight gain and difficulties
losing weight so keeping your insulin levels stable is very

Be sure if you do snack that you don't eat more calories than
your body needs for the day. One way to ensure you don't eat too
much is to take something you would normally eat for lunch and
save it for an afternoon snack. You can also tune into your body
and pay attention to your hunger signals as long as your hunger
signals are functioning properly. If you feel full, it is
probably not a good idea to snack at that time. Drink some water
or sip on some herbal tea instead.

If you have children who want to snack on unhealthy food
remember that you are the adult, and you are the one in control
of the shopping. As the adult, you need to set the example.
Sure, they may complain but don't give in. In the end, they will
thank you and will even begin to like the healthier snacks. Try
not to make the food topic into a stressful battle. Instead,
involve your kids. Let them choose which healthy snacks they
want to try, and get them to prepare the snacks together with
you. Make it fun!

I worked with one extremely picky child once. She ate almost
nothing else but dairy products, popcorn, and bacon. My job was
to set up a fun, hands-on cooking class experience with her. She
had a blast, and she tried all the things we cooked up so she
could offer her expert opinion about each of the recipes. In the
end, this very picky girl added blueberries and even kale
(believe it or not) to her diet. What's important to note here
is this girl made the decision what she was going to eat, try,
and like. I think that made all the difference.

So what are some tasty, interesting healthy snacks to try if
you could use some snacking inspiration? Check out my snacking
suggestions below!

1. Frozen green grapes

2. Re-heated leftover whole grain brown rice with raisins,
unsalted nuts, pinch of cardamom (optional), drizzle of maple
and non-dairy milk

3. Dried, unsulphured apricots with unsalted, raw pecans

4. "Seasnax" lightly roasted and seasoned seaweed

5. Leftover baked apples cold or re-heated

6. Hummus and raw vegetables like carrots, celery, peppers

7. Peanut butter on apple or even carrots

8. Plain Greek yogurt with a little raw honey

9. Guacamole over quinoa (this really is a tasty combo!)

10. Chunk of 70% dark chocolate with slivered almonds

11. Re-heated leftover butternut squash soup with toasted
pumpkin seeds

12. Bean dip spread or a slice of turkey on whole grain

13. Hard-boiled egg with mustard(tastes good chopped and mixed
w/rice too)

14. Yogurt mixed with unsweetened cocoa, a few drops of stevia,
and pecans

15. Smoothies or fresh vegetable juices like carrot, apple,

Your action this week is to substitute one of your unhealthy
snacks with one of the heart-healthy snacks listed above, and by
all means enjoy your new taste treats!

If you need sure-fire tips on how to make the diet and
lifestyle changes that will lower your cholesterol fast, check
out the free audio "Top 3 Secrets to Lower Your Cholesterol Fast
without Drugs or Drastic Dieting" mentioned below.

About the Author: If you need sure-fire tips on how to make the
diet and lifestyle changes that will lower y our cholesterol
fast, check out this free audio "Top 3 Secrets to Lower Your
Cholesterol Fast without Drugs or Drastic Dieting" by visiting


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