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Easy Snacks for a Healthy Diet

If and when you’re living on a low sodium diet, you’re likely to crave snacks. Majority of snack foods have a high sodium and fat content, but nutritionally deficient.

However, not everything about snacks spells doom. Snacking has benefits too. In any case, healthy snacks are highly recommended several times a day when on a diet. Some benefits include:

Snacks help to control binge eating. If you’re a binge eater - eating uncontrollably without feeling the need to stop - you’ll find that snacking on fruits or vegetables will keep you from having larger portions at meal time, thus you’re consume less total calories.

Snacks provide that extra energy and missed nutrients. The classic home-cooked meal is continuously losing out to hectic schedules and ‘convenient’ fast-foods. A healthy snack can be the difference between healthy nourishment and unhealthy filling.

Admittedly, a grab-and-go snack is the perfect way to stem hunger pangs. When you  snack often - on healthy snacks - your hunger levels will be kept in check, so you’ll not feel deprived, thus, you’re likely eat less at meal time.

Perhaps more importantly, snacking may help to maintain even levels of insulin throughout the day.

When planning your snacking, stay away from temptations of fat-laden cookies, candy or potato chips. Here is a list of some heart-healthy snacks that are low in fat and sodium.

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Fresh Green Vegetables: without a doubt, fresh vegetables are your best bet for a healthy heart. They are rich in vitamins and minerals but have a low fat and calorie content. Vegetables are a good source of stomach-filling fiber too.

For a crunchy treat, have some vegetable sticks, which are good for spreads, dips, as well as vinaigrettes. Carrots, radishes, cauliflower, broccoli and celery, just to name a few, are some of the excellent choices. The little known jicama, a crunchy root vegetable, is highly nutritious and makes delicious salad.

Fruits: they are another crucial healthy snack option. Fruits are abundant in a number of vital vitamins, in addition to fiber, and most have a low sodium content. Apples are crunchy and can be savoured any time of the day. Try frozen seedless grapes, pears, as well as tart apples for a change.

Heart healthy varieties: Avocados have a high content of heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats. Try salsa when chunky and smooth, along with limes. Be adventurous and try out different varieties. For traditional dairy based dips, stick with low fat dairy products.

Alternatively, non–dairy sour creams have excellent taste and are great too. Be sure to check the sodium content as each brand has different levels. Note that in many of the brands, the higher the sodium, the lower the fat content.

How to flavor low sodium dips

It's acceptable to add a few salty substitutes, medicinal herbs, or salt-less seasonings, and spices. You can add well ground pepper-mix of different colors. Fresh lemon juice or lime are also good. Adding a sprinkle of virgin olive oil or flavored nut oils augments the taste. Many times, fresh minced garlic mixed with onions is added to crown the dip recipe.

When you carefully choose your foods and watch your portions, snacking will boost, rather than hurt your health.

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