Snack Attack? Try These Heart-Healthy Options
It can’t be easy eating healthy when you’re on the road a lot. Fast food, dine-in-restaurants, and quickie-mart fare don’t always measure up to a heart healthy diet. It’s something one presidential candidate may need to rethink after recently undergoing heart surgery for a blocked artery. When you’re hungry, do you choose heart-healthy snacks? It isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it. Your heart beats about 115,000 times a day. And if you want that to continue, eating the right foods can make a difference.
Following a Low-Sodium diet is a smart way to control blood pressure and protect your heart. But what about healthy snacks in between meals? Good news. You don’t have to go hungry. In fact, here are some heart healthy snacks that are perfect for when you're on the go.
Fast finger-food snacks
Hungry for a quick-and-easy snack? Try:
- Fresh bell pepper slices
- A small handful of nuts and seeds
- Carrots, celery sticks, or slices of zucchini or cucumber
- Apples or pears
- Broccoli or cauliflower
- Air-popped popcorn seasoned with olive oil and garlic or chili powder
- Rice cakes or whole-grain crackers
Quench your thirst
Skip the soda, energy drinks, coffee loaded with cream and sugar, and satisfy your thirst with something a little healthier. Try:
- Water. Plain or flavored with fresh lemon, lime, cucumber, or kiwi.
- Low-fat, fat-free milk, or soy milk.
- Tea or coffee, without the sugar
- A small glass of 100-percent fruit juice
- Low-sodium tomato or vegetable juice
Curb your cravings
Ever uttered the words, “I’m starving.” When you’re that hungry, even unhealthy foods that are bad for your heart can look appetizing. Steer clear, and enjoy these foods to curb your cravings. Try:
- Whole-grain crackers with canned tuna.
- A smoothie made with fruits, vegetables, yogurt, ice and water.
- Low-fat or fat-free yogurt.
- Low-fat or fat-free cheese stick or cottage cheese
- Fresh fruit or crackers with hummus
Satisfy your sweet tooth
So what should you do when you’ve got a craving for something sweet? Don’t walk into a bakery or take a stroll down the candy aisle. Just enjoy one of these sweet, but healthy snacks:
- Canned fruit
- Banana bread
- Baked apple
- Frozen grapes or banana slices
- Fresh fruit salad
Sweet! But without the calories or unhealthy fats that can be bad for your heart. Still hungry? Check out the selection of Low-Sodium meals on the menu.