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November 20, 2017 | Cardiology
Regular snacking can be unhealthy, but with the right approach you can turn snack time into a healthy and tasty treat. As a general rule, it’s best to eat snacks that combine food groups—fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, low-fat dairy and healthy fats are all good options. Here are some ideas for a “combination” snack that are heart-healthy and great when you’re on the go.
A small amount of chocolate daily may help lower risk of stroke and heart attack. Many people enjoy dipping a banana in melted dark chocolate. You can either eat it right away or stick it in the fridge for a nice snack later. You can try other healthy chocolate snacks like chocolate-covered nuts—almonds are a great choice. Always be careful to eat chocolate in moderation.
With whole-grain crackers, your options for healthy snacks are virtually limitless. You can use a little peanut-butter combined with a fruit like bananas, or consider a higher protein food like tuna. Experiment with combinations to find what you like most.
Edamame are soybeans, which are naturally low in sodium and provide a great amount of protein. When found in their pods, they’re easy to steam up in the microwave. If they come frozen, simply run them under some hot water to thaw. It’s also possible to buy edamame already shelled. A great topping for edamame is lemon juice.
Look for low-fat yogurt that doesn’t come with any added sugar, consider adding toppings like crushed whole grain cereal, sliced fruit or unsalted nuts like sunflower seeds. This kind of combo is great for breakfast.
Whole grain is the key. A whole grain bagel or English muffin can easily be topped with some pizza-like ingredients: chopped tomatoes, shredded low-fat cheese and a little dried oregano. Heat this up until the cheese melts and enjoy your makeshift pizza.
Consider a base of whole-grain pasta, rice, couscous or quinoa, then add your fruits, veggies, beans or nuts. Add toppers like lime juice and olive oil, and you’ll have a salad that tastes great while also providing fiber and other heart-healthy nutrients.
Take some nonfat yogurt and pour it into a blender, then add some fresh or frozen berries. Blend these, pour them into cups, and then freeze them for an icy treat that’s a great substitute for ice cream.
This is another way of naming a simple veggie and dip plate, which provides fiber and other nutrients on a low-calorie plan. Consider veggies like cherry tomatoes, carrots and green pepper, and always use a healthy dip. Bean dips are great, as beans are high in soluble fiber and can lower your bad cholesterol levels.
Your doctor can offer additional recommendations on heart-healthy snacks.
Our providers are board certified in general cardiology and interventional cardiology. We have over 30 providers with decades of experience in heart-related care. As a part of Utah’s largest independent physician group, we have a network of physicians who are able to care for all cardiology needs.
“Heart-Healthy Snacks.” WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/features/heart-healthy-snacks#1
“Healthy Snacking.” American Heart Association. https://healthyforgood.heart.org/add-color/articles/healthy-snacking
The Live Better Team
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.