Heart healthy snacks are a must for anyone looking to improve their overall health. The good news is that plenty of delicious snacks fit the bill!
Let's explore ten heart-healthy snacks that everyone should try. There is something for everyone, from fresh fruits and vegetables to nutrient-rich proteins. Of course if you have specific dietary needs you will need to take that into consideration, but for a lot of people these snacks are great!
#1: Fresh fruits and vegetables
There is no denying that fresh fruits and vegetables are some of the best foods you can eat for your heart. They are packed with essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help keep your heart healthy. Plus, they are low in calories and fat, making them an ideal snack choice. So, next time you are looking for a healthy snack, reach for some fresh produce.
#2: Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are another terrific option when it comes to heart healthy snacks. They are packed with healthy fats, fiber, and protein, which are great for your heart. Just be sure to choose unsalted and unroasted options for the best results. Almonds, pistachios, and sunflower seeds are also all great choices.
#3: Whole grain toast
Whole grain toast is a delicious and nutritious option for for heart healthy snacks. The whole grains provide your body with essential fiber, vitamins, and minerals, while the toast itself is a good source of protein. Toppings like avocado or almond butter are great additions that can help boost these healthy snack benefits.
Hummus is a delicious and nutritious dip made from chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice. It is an excellent source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats, great for your heart. It is low in calories and makes a great alternative to unhealthy snacks like chips or pretzels. Additionally, it’s a healthy snack for weight loss.
Popcorn is a whole grain packed with fiber, which is excellent for your heart. It is also low in calories and fat, making it a healthy snack option. Just avoid popcorn loaded with unhealthy toppings like butter or salt. Instead, try air-popped popcorn or popcorn that has been lightly seasoned with healthy herbs and spices. Popcorn is among the easy healthy snacks you can have.
Oatmeal is a whole grain packed with fiber, which helps lower cholesterol and keeps your heart healthy. It is also a good source of protein and has a variety of vitamins and minerals. It is low in calories and can be easily personalized with your favorite toppings. Oatmeal can also be added to your healthy late night snacks list.
#7: Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt is a great source of protein, which is essential for a healthy heart. It is also packed with calcium and other vital nutrients. It is low in calories and can be easily flavored with fresh fruits or honey. Greek yogurts - plain or flavored are among the healthy sweet snacks option to pick if you’re craving something sweet.
#8: Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is a good source of antioxidants, which help to protect your heart. It is also a good magnesium source, which helps keep your blood pressure in check. Just be sure to choose dark chocolate with a cacao content of at least 70%. For the sweet tooth who would still want to be healthy, dark chocolate is another option for healthy sweet snacks.
#9: Fruit smoothie
Fruit smoothies are a great way to get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals. They are healthy snacks that are a good source of fiber and can be easily customized with your favorite fruits and vegetables. Just be sure to choose low in sugar options for the best results.
#10: Hard-boiled eggs
Hard-boiled eggs are a great source of protein and other essential nutrients. They are heart healthy snacks that are low in calories and fat, making them one of the best healthy snacks option. Plus, they are easy to make ahead of time and easy to prepare and eat.
What Heart-healthy Foods to Look Out for
So, how can you tell which foods are good for your heart? The following are some general serving guidelines for healthy snacks that focus on key dietary groups:
- Nuts, seeds, and legumes. According to studies, most people may achieve optimal health by consuming four to five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
- Dairy products. Fat-free or low-fat dairy healthy snacks should be consumed in two to three servings daily.
- Veggies. Try a kaleidoscope of flavors! There's no limit to the variety of vegetables you can eat, so don't be afraid to try out and have fun experimenting with different vegetable recipes.
What Foods to Stay Away From
Keep an eye out for these red flags when shopping for heart healthy snacks:
- High salt content: Experts say sodium intake should be limited to 2,000 milligrams per day. Make sure to read product labels for sodium levels.
- Added sweeteners: Processed sugars and added sweeteners can wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels, so keep these to a minimum.
- Contains high saturated fat and trans fat. You can lower your risk of heart disease by cutting down on saturated and trans fats.
- Hard-to-say ingredients. Tricky ingredient names that are hard to pronounce are a red flag. You can be sure it's an artificial additive if it's difficult for you to pronounce and the product is probably highly processed.
Regular exercise, avoiding smoking, and stress management are just a few ways people can improve their heart health. The good news is that you may eat heart healthy snacks to satisfy your cravings and keep your heart healthy at the same time.
Fiber-rich meals, such as fruits and legumes, and foods high in healthy fats, like salmon, avocado, nuts, and seeds, promote a healthy heart. It's possible to eat heart-healthy meals throughout the day if you build it into your diet in the right way. High fiber, low sugar, and low salt content are essential components of a heart healthy snack.
Reduced blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol are all benefits of fiber's function in heart health. In addition, meals high in fiber, such as fruits and vegetables, frequently include high concentrations of heart-healthy vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Aim for healthy snacks that at least have a few grams of fiber, 5 to 10 grams of protein, and no more than 5 grams of added sugar for optimal heart health.
So there you have it—ten heart healthy snacks that everyone should try. From fresh produce to whole-grain toast, there are plenty of the best healthy snacks to choose from.
Next time you are looking for heart healthy snacks to buy, reach out for one of these great options. Your body will thank you!