Not all calories are created equal. While it is important to monitor the amount of calories you take in when it comes to weight management, it pays to be aware of what each meal consists of as well.
For example, take 250 calories of simple sugars versus 250 calories made up of complex carbohydrates, protein, fiber and vitamins. They’re exactly the same amount but the second one has more of the nutrients that your body needs to function properly.
The goal is to make every meal count—including snacks—especially if you lead an active lifestyle. But who has time to prepare healthy snacks, right? Well, there’s no need to worry because we’ve compiled this list of three easy-to-prepare healthy snacks to get you started!
- Fruit Smoothie
“Smoothie” by John Watson
When we say “simple,” we mean toss-it-in-a-blender-and-press-the-button simple! Just pick out your favorite fruits, pre-freeze them and put them in a blender when snack time comes. Just add some yogurt for some creamy goodness and you’re all set. You don’t even have to add extra sugar if you’re using sweet fruits like mangoes and bananas.
Why it’s good for you: Fruits are packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber so they help keep you in top shape. Yogurt, on the other hand, has probiotics that help promote digestive health. Of course, you can also add other stuff like peanut butter for a protein boost and experiment with various combinations of fruits to enjoy specific health benefits.
- Nut Butter Log
“Ants on a Log” by Josh Kenzer
The only things you’ll need for this delicious and protein-rich snack are celery sticks (or any other alternative that you can carve out and turn into a suitable log), raisins, nuts and your nut butter of choice (peanut, walnut, almond and cashew butter works great).
Just take a spoonful of nut butter and fill the center of your log with it. Drop in your raisins and nuts and you’re good to go!
Why it’s good for you: Nuts are rich in protein and healthy fats. Celery is filled with vitamins and minerals like vitamins B1, B2, B6, folate and calcium. Raisins are packed with vitamins and antioxidants.
- Grape-and-cheese Sticks
“Bricks and grapes” by Quinn Dombrowski
As the name suggests, the primary ingredients for this nutrient-rich snack are grapes and—you guessed it—cheese. Just cut your cheese of choice into small cubes and skewer them along with some grapes and you’re done! You can even do away with the sticks if you want to make this recipe even simpler.
Why it’s good for you: Well, if the delectable contrast between the sweetness of the grapes and saltiness of the cheese is not enough to convince you, then let’s go over some nutrition facts: grapes are rich in vitamins and antioxidants while cheese (depending on what you use) is packed with calcium and protein.
There you have it! Give these tasty and healthy quick-prepare meals for a guilt-free snacking experience. And try to come up with your own recipes too! The key is to use mostly ready-to-eat natural ingredients such as fruits, nuts and some vegetables.