A snack is a small amount of food one eats in between meals. Almost everyone munch some snacks at some time of the day. Just like main meals, snacks come in different forms with different nutritional benefits. Some snacks are healthier than some and healthy snacks are currently encouraged even in elementary schools to introduce healthy eating to kids. Regardless of age, too much of sugary or unhealthy snacks can accumulate with the ones taken from main meals and result to obesity or type 2 diabetes. Choosing to munch on healthier alternatives will do your body a lot of good. Below are some healthy low carb foods to snack on.
Why nuts? Nuts are the vegetable foods that are richest in fiber after cereals. They are also rich in other nutrients like protein, vitamins, minerals and oils that are beneficial to the body. 30g of nuts per day is recommended by health experts.
- Brazil Nuts : These are delicious and powerful nuts that have high nutritive value. They are low in carb and very rich in dietary antioxidants especially selenium which fights oxidative stress and help strengthen the immune system to fight chronic diseases.
- Pecan Nuts: These are also yummy nuts that have high nutritional benefits. They are packed with dietary fatty acids such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. Pecans are also very low in carb and are a good source of protein, thiamine and minerals. These power nuts also contain tocopherol, flavonoids and phytosterols which are redox-active metabolites and can modulate the blood level of cholesterol, adiposity and insulin resistance. They are recommended for obesity management.
- Walnuts: These are tasty, nutrients rich nuts that have only 4% carbohydrates per 100grams. They are loaded with polyunsaturated fatty acids like Omega 3. They are also high in other nutrients like dietary fiber, potassium and magnesium.
- Almonds: Almonds are also great low carb nuts to snack on. They are rich in protein, minerals and vitamins. Almonds can be eaten raw or roasted and both taste great in my opinion. It just depends on individual preference. Almond can also be ground to powder form and used to bake home made low carb bread with egg, flax seeds and chia seeds.
- Macadamia Nuts: Macadamia nuts are also power nuts or food which are very high in monounsaturated fat that are beneficial to the body. They are low in carbohydrates and contain protein, dietary fiber and minerals like thiamine, manganese and copper. Research and studies show that eating tree nuts including macadamia nuts can lower the risk factors for coronary heart diseases as well as improve metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
Fruits are another category of nature’s goodness that are mostly delicious and deliver great health benefits to the body. They are loaded with nutrients especially vitamins and minerals which help to build and maintain the body. It will do your body more good to snack on fruits than snacks packed with simple carbohydrates or sugar.
- Apples: There is a saying that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” due to the powerful nutrients contained in apples. Apples are rich in vitamin C which strengthens the immune system and soluble fiber which can help lower blood cholesterol levels. They come in different colors of green, red and orange red. They are crunchy and a great snack option.
- Strawberries: Strawberries are low carb super fruits. They contain only 2% of Carbohydrates, rich in fiber and antioxidants and very high in vitamin C which strengthens the immune system, helps in the formation of collagen and supports wound healing.
- Watermelon: Just as the name implies, watermelon is a delicious fruit that contains a lot water which is very good for the body and helps you hydrate. It is low in carb with only 2% and rich in vitamin A, C and other minerals. Studies show that the lycopene in watermelon may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Snack on this hydrating goodness especially in summer.
- Blackberries: Blackberries are also power fruits that are low in carb and rich in vitamin C and manganese. The antioxidants contained in the fruit have the ability to protect the body cells from free radicals.
There is a general notion that crackers are healthy snacks because they contain less sugar. While most crackers are not sugary, not all of them are healthy especially for someone on a low carb diet. Some crackers contain trans fat, high carbohydrates and calories and low fiber and protein. There are different brands of crackers in the market or stores but to get the healthier options, it is recommended that you check for crackers with more fiber below the nutrition facts label to see if the biscuits were made with whole grains.
Tree nuts, fruits and vegetables are super foods that have great nutritional benefits for the body. However, due to individual differences and systems, some people are allergic to certain foods especially nuts. If you eat anything and react negatively, it is important to visit your physician to check what your body tolerates.