What are the Healthiest Snacks

It's late, you're tired and watching some great TV, and you get hungry, but you don't want junk food, so you ask yourself, what are the healthiest snacks?  At the same time, it would be helpful to know what some unhealthy snacks are, to know what foods to avoid.  And of course, everyone likes a midnight snack.  What are some healthy examples of midnight snacks?  At other times of day, when you might need a boost, are there any good energy snacks, and do they qualify as healthy?

Probably the answer to what are the healthiest snacks would be fruit and vegetables.  Fruits and vegetables are packed with more nutrition than most other foods.  Bananas are chock full of potassium, apples have lots of fiber, and oranges include a large dose of vitamin C.  What's more, many fruits taste great and satisfy a craving for sweets despite their healthy nature. Vegetables are potent foods as well.  Most are full of fiber, spinach has abundant iron, carrots carry a lot of vitamin A, and broccoli has a variety of nutrition.  Topping your veggies with a sauce or cheese won't destroy how healthy your snack is, so long as you do not overdo it and drown the vegetables. 

You could enhance vegetables' flavor a lot without over powering it in a variety of ways.  You could add a little balsamic vinegar, pepper, and perhaps some cheese to tomatoes to add flavor.  You could saute carrots with onions and add some garlic and ginger to make an Asian veggie side dish.  You could cook any type of green vegetable and add some red sauce and perhaps some parmesan cheese, olive oil, and garlic to make a fantastic veggie pasta.  

There are a number of new snacks that are marketed as healthy to appeal to consumers who are watching their weight and health.  Among the sweet varieties of these are:

  • Fat-Free Sugar-Free Instant Pudding
  • Fiber One Bars
  • Nabisco 100% Whole Grain Fig Newtons
  • South Beach Living Fiber Fit Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies
  • South Beach Living Fiber Fit Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Overall, these snacks are fairly healthy for a number of reasons.  They contain little fat, not too much sugar, and contain a modicum of protein.  Some of them feature hefty amounts of fiber, which is always an important nutrient for health. 

Nuts are a great snack choice in moderation.  Nuts generally have a high amount of protein and healthy unsaturated fat.  It is important not to gorge yourself on nuts, however, because they contain a lot of calories, and so could cause you to gain weight, although they are filled with beneficial nutrients. 

When it comes to midnight snacks, ice cream sure is fun to eat late.  But with its large amounts of saturated fat and sugar, ice cream certainly is not one of the healthier snacks.  Frozen yogurt could qualify as a healthy midnight snack and substitute for ice cream, although it usually features a moderate amount of sugar. 

What about energy snacks?  Snacks that are thought to boost energy are simply healthy snacks that provide a decent amount of nutrition.  For example, eating a banana with some peanut butter is thought to boost energy.  This is because the snack provides you with protein, potassium, sugar, and unsaturated fat that fuel your body.  For similar reasons, oatmeal with fruit and nuts mixed in is also recommended. 

Of course, some unhealthy snacks are obvious.  Different types of potato chip and candies are filled with fat and sugar in even small servings.  Fries, cookies, and cake fall easily into this category as well. 

When you're wondering what are the healthiest snacks, reach for an apple or a pear.