Say you’re on a long road trip and forgot to pack healthy snacks– or you’ve simply run out. While that bag of Fritos is understandably tempting, is there a nearby nutritious option you can reach for instead?
Healthy Grab-n-Go Snack Options:
Kale Chips – Baked kale chips are a great substitute for chips. They are crunchy just like potato chips but also low in calories. Kale provides a healthy amount of fiber which will help keep you feeling full for longer and you will still get the crunchy craving satisfaction.
Seaweed Sheets – A great alternative to greasy Fritos or Doritos and the perfect crunchy snack that come in at only 20 calories per serving. Seaweed is an excellent source of iron, calcium, zinc, potassium, and iodine. It is also high in antioxidants which help to protect against oxidative stress and prevent chronic diseases.
Bananas – You can find bananas everywhere these days… don’t underestimate them! This fruit is full of so many nutrients and will keep you full for hours. Bananas are a great source of vitamin B6, potassium, manganese, and fiber.
Pistachios – The high content of fiber, protein, and healthy fats makes these nuts a great snack. Due to their high fat content, you should aim for a handful. Healthy fats are good but in moderation!
Power Bars – Power bars are a quick and an easy to eat mess-free snack. Just be careful to read the nutrition facts. Make sure you look for a bar that has a minimum of 10 grams of fiber, at least 10 grams of protein, and less than 5 grams of sugar. One of my favorites is Raw Rev Glow (creamy peanut butter) packing in 14 grams fiber, 15 grams protein, only 2 grams sugar and 3 net carbs!
Greek Yogurt – You can find this nutritious snack at most gas stations or delis these days. It is filled with vitamins, protein, probiotics, and just 1 serving will help keep you full and satisfied. Make sure you stick to the plain non-fat Greek yogurt as other varieties can be filled with excess sugars and fat.
The Foods & Drinks To Avoid At All Costs
Although we don’t necessarily want to demonize foods, there are certain foods and beverages so void of nutrients, high in calories, and environmentally wasteful that I personally wouldn’t recommend.
Swap & Go:
Coke – This is by far one of the worst drinks out on the market. It is full of sugar and very acidic which can cause cavities and ruin the enamel on your teeth. Blood sugar levels increase dramatically within 20 minutes of drinking Coke, causing a burst of insulin. The liver turns the high amounts of sugar into fat. Coke is not only bad for you, but an hour after drinking it you will feel irritable and then crash.
Better alternative: flavored sparkling water.
Fruit Juice – Most people are already consuming too much sugar without even realizing. A glass of fresh fruit juice may seem like a healthy option to start your day but it is actually not the best choice. When fruit is juiced, it is stripped of its fiber while the sugar remains. An 8 oz. glass of OJ contains 22 grams of sugar (that is 5 and 1/2 teaspoons of sugar)! Women should not consume more than 6 teaspoons of sugar per day and by having your fresh morning OJ, you have already maxed out your daily recommended sugar intake. By comparison, 8 oz. of Dr. Pepper contains 27 grams of sugar, which is slightly higher than a glass of OJ. Better alternative: eat your fruit or opt for fresh veggie juice such as kale, spinach, cucumber, mint, ginger & lemon.
Hot Dogs – Extremely processed and very high in fat and sodium, hot dogs are never a healthy option as they’re filled with nitrates, carcinogens, and toxins. One hot dog is close to 300 calories, 20 grams of fat, half your daily sodium intake, and that’s without adding any toppings.
Better alternative: Air Dried Thinly Sliced Beef. This beef is a great source of protein, potassium, iron and calcium.
Nachos – Tortilla chips covered in processed melted cheese filled with chemicals you don’t want near your body. Just 1 portion of nachos (6-8 chips) has over 400 calories! Even without toppings it is high in fat, carbs, sodium, and has zero fiber. Nachos will leave you feelings sick, bloated, and unsatisfied.
Better alternative: Try finding hummus in the fridge section which usually comes paired and pre-portioned with pretzels. The protein and fiber in hummus will help keep you full and to make this snack even healthier swap the pretzels for raw veggies or carry some high-fiber crackers in your bag.
Chocolate Bars – When you think chocolate bars, I am sure you’re thinking that one of the first ingredients has to be cacao right…? Wrong! Many chocolate bars are overly processed, and very high in calories, sugar, carbs, and fat. With added ingredients like milk fat, milk powder, corn syrup, and lipids you’re actually doing more harm than good. This snack will cause your blood sugars to rise very quickly. Depending on the size and brand, just 1 small bar can be over 300 calories and over 30g of sugar!
Better alternative: HU Kitchen Dark Chocolate. Dark Chocolate is full of antioxidants and has many other health benefiting properties like lowering cholesterol.