We all like a good snack between mealtimes.Something to stimulate the palette or fill those empty crevices our last meal failed to reach.
The tradition of snacking has always put convenience forward.
Snack food or any food eaten between meals is meant to offer the convenience of not having to prepare and sit down.
Snacks are on the go nutrition, typically with a relatively long shelf life and a travel-friendly profile.
The Inconvenient Truth About Snack Food
One aspect of the ideal snack food rings commonly.
That is in order to maintain all the traits and attributes that allow it to be convenient, snack food tends to be highly processed with numerous added preservatives.
In fact, most of what we consider “junk food” today is highly processed snacks.
Even some of the healthiest, friendly-looking snacks can be misleading.
Take dried fruit, trail mix and granola bars for example.
All of these have a crazy amount of added sugar and high fructose corn syrup.
The addition of these refined sugars serves two purposes.
It makes the snacks more desirable to consumers, and it acts as a preservative for extended shelf life and profit margins of course.
This problem persists when we consider all the other preservatives and processes that go into making modern snack foods.
Take savory snacks for example. Most of them are fried or baked through a method that uses trans fats.
In case you didn’t know, trans fats can cause a litany of adverse health issues including cardiovascular disease, chronic inflammation, and obesity.
In this article, we’re going to introduce you to some snack alternatives that are both healthy and convenient for a guilt-free on-the-go nibble.
6 Snack Foods You Can Enjoy Guilt-Free
HomeMade Trail Mix
Store-bought trail mix, as we mentioned, tends to be loaded with sugar and/or other unhealthy preservatives.
Although the base ingredients may be healthy, the stuff added to your typical commercial trail mix to make it easier to sell are not.
Sugar, excess salt, trans fat, and preservatives all feature on this list.
You can make your own healthy trail mix by excluding all the additives and just focusing on the raw grains and nuts.
Banana And Popcorn
Banana and popcorn, a match made in heaven.
But why you might ask? What makes these two foods specifically good with each other.
Well besides having their own respective benefits, bananas being a healthy convenient fruit and popcorn is one of the truly healthy crunchy, savory snacks, the two have mineral contents that balance well with each other.
Assuming your popcorn is salted, the sodium content is balanced by the potassium found in bananas.
These two mineral salts are essential electrolytes, so having these two foods forms a power snack combo.
Just make sure you get popcorn free of trans fats and other additives.
Home Made Hummus
Homemade hummus is a great alternative to the store-bought variant for the very same reason as trail mix.
With fresh ingredients and zero potentially harmful additives, you can enjoy the same flavor and texture as you normally would but with less worry regarding your health.
Try using fresh chickpeas, once you’ve cooked yourself as opposed to canned ones which will have some additives involved.
Kale chips are a tasty, crunchy, savory alternative to traditional snacks such as potato chips.
Easy to make at home in your oven, you can flavor or season them with pretty much anything.
Kale is a cruciferous vegetable, meaning it comes from the same class of leafy greens like cabbage, broccoli, and brussels sprouts.
With an amazing nutrient profile and less in the way of preservatives, this is one you’ll definitely want to try.
Baby carrots, celery sticks, mini cucumbers, olive…
There’s an assortment of bite-sized veggies you can nibble on while on the go.
The versatility of veggie varieties means there’s a mini version of almost anything that can be enjoyed as a snack instead of a whole vegetable.
Oh, and remember that homemade hummus, it’s probably gonna come in handy now.
Here’s one you may not have heard of, but is making huge waves.
It’s a snack food from South Africa called biltong.
What is biltong you might be wondering?
Think of beef jerky, but now imagine gourmet beef jerky!
This form of cured beef has been a popular health snack for generations in South Africa.
Using a drying and curing method that typically leaves out any artificial additives, biltong is a great way to enjoy highly preservable, delicious and nutritious steak.
Great snacks don’t have to come at the cost of healthy living, with a bit of mindfulness and some of our Life Renu pro tips, you can be snacking your way to a healthier you in no time.
Just remember to try and source organic for all your healthy snack needs.