Finding a healthy snack can be a challenge. Especially when that 3 p.m. snack craving strikes, and you almost inevitably find yourself reaching for something junky. A guilty pleasure once in a while is fine, but unhealthy snacking on a regular basis could have a long-term impact on your health – and your heart health, in particular.
When choosing what to eat, be mindful of the foods that benefit your heart. With a bit more awareness and planning, your snack time can always be delicious, fun – and heart friendly!
Here are four snacks you can have regularly to help boost your heart health.
Guacamole: Avocados pack monounsaturated fat, which is known to be good for the heart. Mashing avocados into a guacamole is a tasty and fun way to boost your intake of the healthy fat. Better yet, you can add in tomatoes and onions for extra benefit.
Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate has higher levels of helpful antioxidants than many fruits have. It has also been found to promote healthy cholesterol. But be careful here. This is not a reason to start eating dark chocolate by the pound. In fact, you only need an ounce a day. Because dark chocolate can be quite bitter, you may want to start with lower percentages of cocoa and gradually work your way up instead of diving right in unprepared.
Nuts: Nuts are another great source of healthy fats, along with vitamin E and phytochemicals. Studies have shown that having a handful of nuts more than twice a week is enough to help lower your risk of heart disease. But once again, be mindful of your servings. Many nut varieties are high in calories, so a handful is really all you need. Packing a small Ziploc or container will help you easily carry them around and control your portion size.
Shrimp: Shrimp may not sound like a conventional snack, but you may want to get creative with these. Although high in cholesterol – be mindful of your intake – shrimp are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, while being low in calories.
If heart health is on your mind and you are looking for delicious snacks that won’t just keep you full but also promote good heart health, try these four snack options and ditch those chips and sweets for good.