Healthy snacks are enjoyable to eat and beneficial to the body. Filipinos love to eat. We munch on snacks in between meals and typically prepare them for movie nights, parties, or while watching our favorite series. Hence, we need to be more conscious and cautious about what we eat.
Healthy snacks give us an energy boost and help enhance our immunity. However, picking one can be a bit tricky. So in this article, allow us to help you select the best healthy snacks with our buying guide and product recommendations. To help you in your quest, we asked for some comments and tips from Samantha Morales, a registered nutritionist-dietitian - she even gives some of her snack recommendations!
For more detailed information, read through our buying guide below.
Even with healthy snacks, it’s still important to check the label. Most products have a nutritional table printed on the package or posted online so as to identify the health benefits that you can gain upon consuming the said products. Here are some of the most common factors when looking at the nutritional content of healthy snacks.
Calories refer to the unit of energy that our bodies need to function correctly. Our bodies usually store calories as reserved energy. All of the food that we eat every day have calories in them. For example, a cup of brown rice roughly equates to 216 calories. It means you must bike for 30 minutes at 12 mph to burn the calories.
According to the National Health Service UK, the ideal calorie intake for men is 2,500 calories per day while it is 2,000 calories per day for women. The right amount of calories can improve many things in our body. For example, it can prevent anemia, increase our overall strength, and prevent heart problems. Gaining calories is also perfect for those who want to increase their weight.
Not all calories are the same. For example, a cup of rice has almost the same calories as half of a can of soda. When you count calories, you tend to overlook the nutritional quality of a given food item - calorically speaking, they are the same, but nutrition-wise they're different.
Moreover, calorie counting is not practical, and it takes the joy and pleasure out of the eating experience. Remember, eating should be a pleasurable experience and not a "chore."
Proteins are responsible for cell building and regeneration. The most common sources of protein are meats, fish, and eggs. When you want to develop and strengthen your muscles, you will need protein.
Sources recommend taking 0.8 grams of protein daily for every kilogram of body weight. Look for a snack that offers a lot of proteins and carbohydrates. For example, unsalted jerky and poached eggs are good and quick snacks to eat before or after your workout.
Protein is a macronutrient that is part of every single cell in our body. It is responsible for digestion, hormonal production, rebuilding tissues and muscles as well as immunity. Protein food sources have different levels of bioavailability (absorption in the body).
Food sources with high protein bioavailability include animal sources like wild-caught fish, fresh eggs, chicken, and grass-fed beef. You may also get protein from plant sources such as nuts, seeds, legumes, beans, spirulina, tempeh, among others.
Carbohydrates are macronutrients rather than a unit of energy. What this means is that the measurements between carbs and calories are double the amount. Carbohydrates are best for people who want to bulk up. The fiber found in carbs helps clean your digestive system.
Experts' recommended daily intake of carbohydrates ranges from 45% to 65% of the calorie intake. Deficiency in carbohydrates can lead to nausea, fatigue, and overall weakness. Some of the best carbohydrates sources are whole grain rice, whole wheat bread, and root crops like sweet potato.
Our bodies prefer carbohydrates as the primary source of energy. Healthy carbohydrate sources are nutrient-dense. They contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, plant enzymes, and fiber (soluble & insoluble for promoting better digestion and gastrointestinal motility).
Choose among fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, and whole grains (ex. black rice, adlai, quinoa). Try to combine these healthy carbohydrates with good fats (ex. extra virgin olive oil, virgin coconut oil avocado, nuts) and protein sources to keep your blood sugar stable.
The sodium level determines how much salt a snack contains. The World Health Organization recommends up to 5 grams of salt intake per day. Consuming salt in moderation can increase nerve, brain, and muscle functions. For example, you can enjoy vegetable chips with sea salt or Himalayan pink salt.
However, too much salt consumption increase the chances of having urinary tract infection, stroke, and stomach cancer. As much as possible, avoid potato chips and other salty snacks. You can still eat unsalted chips which are preferably baked rather than fried.
There are different kinds of salt. They all differ in terms of the way they were processed, their texture, and their mineral content. For example, sea salt is basically produced from the evaporation from the ocean water, while Himalayan Pink salt is naturally mined in the Himalayas, which contains 84 minerals that support a healthy balance in the body.
Salt consumption is greatly dependent on the person's lifestyle, current medical condition, diet, age, and exercise routine, among several factors. Therefore, when eating processed food products, be mindful of the source of salt and try to eat as many whole foods as possible.
Fats are also energy boosters. Plus, good sources of fat can actually prevent the risks of cardiovascular diseases and lower bad cholesterol levels. There is a rule of thumb for the total fat on your snacks. Forty-four to 77 grams is acceptable. However, exceeding this amount can be bad for your diet, according to Cleveland Clinic.
There are a few fat types indicated on the label: saturated fat, trans-fat, total fat. Fatty meats like pork or certain parts of beef have a ton of saturated fats in them. Saturated fats can increase your cholesterol level, and excess consumption can lead to heart failure.
Fried food, margarine, and other oily foods are rich in trans-fat. This kind of fat will increase your bad cholesterol and lower the good ones. However, if the trans-fat exceeds the recommended intake, it can lead to heart attacks and other complications. So remember to eat fatty food in moderation!
Just like calories, not all fats are created the same. Saturated fats are primarily found in animal sources like beef, chicken, eggs, pork, and dairy, as well as plant sources like coconut oil. For instance, a food product that used virgin coconut oil is high in saturated fats in the form of medium-chain triglycerides that has powerful healing properties in the body.
On the other hand, saturated fatty acids found in processed meats (ex. deli meats) are usually high in sodium and chemical preservatives, which may cause adverse effects on your health. Recent researches have shown that healthy sources of fats (such as avocado oil, virgin coconut oil, ghee, grass-fed butter) may help prevent diseases.
Some people are allergic to certain types of food. The most common examples of these are nut and seafood allergies, as well as lactose intolerance. It is necessary to take a look at the ingredients list to see if there is something that can trigger your allergies to prevent flare-ups.
Others have dietary restrictions due to their religion and principles. For example, Muslims do not consume pork and look for products that are Halal-certified. Likewise, those who are Jewish follow the Kosher diet, as stated in the Torah.
Vegans solely rely on plant-based products while pescatarians consume fish and other seafood. Other dietary restrictions include low or no sugar and gluten-free. However, to be sure, you can consult your doctor or dietitian for more information.
When you have a food allergy, your immune system causes a reaction. On the other hand, food intolerance (ex. lactose intolerance) and food sensitivity (ex. gluten-sensitive) do not involve the immune system at all but rather digestive-related or even mood changes.
The most common food allergies include wheat, egg, nuts, shellfish, soy, and milk allergy. For dietary restrictions, vegan products do not contain any animal-derived ingredients; however, plant-based foods may or may not contain animal sources.
A plant-based diet means choosing more plant sources and not entirely eliminating meat or dairy. Checking for food certifications on the food label as well as reading the ingredients list of the food product is helpful to determine if they fit your dietary needs.
Besides the nutritional value, ingredients, and dietary restrictions, it would be best to go for natural and organic ingredients. This means that your food is free from chemicals while it was being grown or processed.
Some organic and natural ingredients include fruit and vegetables in chips, drinks, nuts, and edible seeds. Hence, they are very safe to eat. Usually, the packaging labels mention it, so check the label carefully, or ask the seller through direct message.
Organic ingredients mean there are no harmful pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, antibiotics, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. When reading the food label, always check out the ingredients list.
The ingredients list shows you the breakdown of the food product you're buying. If the ingredients are few, simple, easy to read, and easy to pronounce, they are most likely healthy. Verifying the ingredients with the manufacturer is helpful to understand the components of the product you're buying.
Although you’re eating healthy, the excessive consumption of healthy snacks will defeat the purpose of maintaining good health. When you are on a diet, it is necessary to know the serving size of the snack you will eat.
For example, a typical granola bar approximately has 400 cal per serving. Thus, you can consume at least 2-3 bars per day, depending on your diet. You will need to make room and sacrifice other meals when you exceed your daily meal plan, so remember to control your portion sizes.
Always listen to your body's hunger and fullness cues. Your food portion sizes change depending on the food you've consumed before (ex. if you've undereaten during the day, this may lead to bigger portion sizes to the next meal time), activity levels, how well hydrated you are, your sleep, menstruation cycle, stress levels, and even your environment.
Knowing the right portions for you entails tuning in to your body by being mindful of your physical hunger and simply just eating slowly.
Fruits are very healthy snacks, whether they're fresh, sun-dried, or frozen. You can mix them in grains and salads to give you a delicious and nutritious merienda. For grain-based snacks, go with fiber-rich oatmeal cookies, granola bars, and cereals. Wheat bread sandwiches or tortillas with veggies and lean cuts of meats are also great choices.
Chips are healthier when they are baked, dried, or air-fried to prevent them from being oily. Healthy chips, like kale and sweet potato, are also a trend, so look for products with less or no artificial flavors and preservatives. You can use them as side dishes to salads.
Lastly, for sweet snacks, you can always replace ice cream with yogurt for a healthier option. Of course, dark chocolates and sugar-free chocolate chip cookies are great too! So, you don’t need to deprive yourself of delightful indulgences as long as you eat them in moderation.
When selecting healthy snacks, always read the ingredients list. If they're all-natural and close to their original state, the better. Choose products that contain quality ingredients - from the fats/oils they use to the sweetener (ex. coconut sugar, coconut nectar, or raw honey are good sweeteners).
For fruit chips, go for dehydrated or freeze-dried since these are all-naturally produced compared to fried fruit chips or even dried fruit chips that usually contain added sugars. For chips, check the oils they used. Baked or oven-fried chips using heat-stable oils like avocado, coconut oil, and ghee are better than those made using refined vegetable oils. Snacking is healthy as long as you're mindful of the ingredients!
Elle & Vire
Oh So Healthy!
Super Berry Muesli Bar
Original Mixed Vegetable Chips with Sea Salt
Mon Grec Greek Honey Yogurt
Fruit Crisps Assorted Bundle
Sour Kream & Chive Kale Chips
Original Crispy Mushroom Chips
Freeze Dried Dragon Fruit
Cookies Variety Pack
Fiber-Rich Snack With Natural Fruit Sweeteners
Colorful and Flavorful Chips Made From Nutritious Root Crops
A Healthy Alternative to Ice Cream
Enjoy Guilt-Free, Fruit-Flavored Crispy Chips
Fiber-Packed Snack With the Superfood Kale
A Chewy Healthy Treat for Kids and Kids-at-Heart
A Healthy Trail Mix for Active People
A Plant-Based Substitute to Meat Chicharon
Locally-Made Fruit Snack Packed With Lots of Nutrients
Mouth-Watering Oat Cookies for Good Health
|Price Starts at||₱226.5||₱245||₱65||₱302||₱225||₱125||₱229||₱175||₱175||₱71.38|
|Type of Snack||Muesli Bar||Baked Chips||Yogurt||Dried Fruits||Dried Vegetables||Dried Fruit||Mixed Nuts||Dried/Baked Mushrooms||Freeze Dried Fruit||Oat Cookies|
|Calories Per Serving||184 Calories Per Bar (45 g)||150 Calories Per Ounce (28 g)||193 Calories per Cup||75 Calories Per Pack||160 Calories Per 30 g 160 Calories Per 30 g||140 Calories Per 33 g||200 Calories Per 1/4 Cup||170 Calories Per 1/2 Cup||110 Calories Per Pack||126 Calories per Pack (3 Cookies)|
|Total Weight||270 g (6 Bars)||141 g||125 g||40 g (3 Packs)||60 g||100 g||150 g||100 g||30 g||216 g (8 Packs)|
|Allergens||Gluten, Nuts, Sesame Seeds||None||Lactose||Fruit Allergy||Kale Allergy||None||Nuts||Mushroom||None||Nuts|
|Nutritional Benefits||Fiber, Protein, Various Nutrients, Carbs||Fiber, Carbs, Various Mineral, Nutrients, and Vitamins||Lactus basilicus. Calcium||Various Nutrients and Vitamins, Polyphenol Antioxidants, Natural Sugar||Vitamin C, Vitamin K||Rich With Antioxidants, Iron, Potassium, Magnesium||Omega-6, Omega-3, Fiber, and Protein||Fiber, Protein, Various Nutrients and Vitamins||Magnesium, Natural Sugar, Fiber||Fiber, and Iron, Various Nutrients and Vitamins|
The products we introduce below were carefully curated by the mybest team, from the best-sellers of E-commerce sites like Lazada, and using the points mentioned in our detailed and thoroughly researched buying guide.
**Prices may vary depending on the website and their campaign period**
|Type of Snack||Muesli Bar|
|Calories Per Serving||184 Calories Per Bar (45 g)|
|Total Weight||270 g (6 Bars)|
|Allergens||Gluten, Nuts, Sesame Seeds|
|Nutritional Benefits||Fiber, Protein, Various Nutrients, Carbs|
|Type of Snack||Baked Chips|
|Calories Per Serving||150 Calories Per Ounce (28 g)|
|Total Weight||141 g|
|Nutritional Benefits||Fiber, Carbs, Various Mineral, Nutrients, and Vitamins|
|Type of Snack||Yogurt|
|Calories Per Serving||193 Calories per Cup|
|Total Weight||125 g|
|Nutritional Benefits||Lactus basilicus. Calcium|
|Type of Snack||Dried Fruits|
|Calories Per Serving||75 Calories Per Pack|
|Total Weight||40 g (3 Packs)|
|Nutritional Benefits||Various Nutrients and Vitamins, Polyphenol Antioxidants, Natural Sugar|
|Type of Snack||Dried Vegetables|
|Calories Per Serving||160 Calories Per 30 g 160 Calories Per 30 g|
|Total Weight||60 g|
|Nutritional Benefits||Vitamin C, Vitamin K|
|Type of Snack||Dried Fruit|
|Calories Per Serving||140 Calories Per 33 g|
|Total Weight||100 g|
|Nutritional Benefits||Rich With Antioxidants, Iron, Potassium, Magnesium|
|Type of Snack||Mixed Nuts|
|Calories Per Serving||200 Calories Per 1/4 Cup|
|Total Weight||150 g|
|Nutritional Benefits||Omega-6, Omega-3, Fiber, and Protein|
|Type of Snack||Dried/Baked Mushrooms|
|Calories Per Serving||170 Calories Per 1/2 Cup|
|Total Weight||100 g|
|Nutritional Benefits||Fiber, Protein, Various Nutrients and Vitamins|
|Type of Snack||Freeze Dried Fruit|
|Calories Per Serving||110 Calories Per Pack|
|Total Weight||30 g|
|Nutritional Benefits||Magnesium, Natural Sugar, Fiber|
|Type of Snack||Oat Cookies|
|Calories Per Serving||126 Calories per Pack (3 Cookies)|
|Total Weight||216 g (8 Packs)|
|Nutritional Benefits||Fiber, and Iron, Various Nutrients and Vitamins|
Trying to be healthy and being mindful of what goes into your body can be easy if you have the correct information. Below, Samantha Morales answered the web's most asked questions to further guide you in your journey to holistic wellness.
Consume more foods that are rich in folate (ex. kale chips, citrus fruits, and whole grains), omega-3 rich (ex. avocados, walnuts, chia seed pudding), Vitamin B-6 rich (ex. bananas, chicken, fish), antioxidant-rich vegetables (ex. green smoothies & fruits) and high-quality protein (ex. chicken or egg sandwich with lettuce) are probably the best foods you can eat during pregnancy.
I recommend planning your meals and even snacks ahead of time. You don't necessarily have to make different snacks every day. You may rotate at least 3-4 kinds of snacks per week.
This can be as simple as having a handful of nuts (ex. almonds, walnuts, cashews, pili nuts) together with a serving of fruit (ex. a banana), enjoying a dollop of hummus with vegetable sticks (ex. carrot or cucumber sticks), or even making a smoothie at home then storing in an insulated jug (to keep the temperature during transport).
When craving for something sweet as a snack, I recommend having fresh fruit slices, anything lightly sweetened with coconut sugar or coconut nectar, or whole stevia extract (since they won't cause a sudden spike in your blood sugar levels).
If, for example, you want a slice of chocolate cake for a snack, eat it slowly and mindfully. But as much as possible, don't make it a habit to have it every day. Remember to eat in moderation together with a balanced diet.
Assorted - Mango, Banana, Pineapple (2 packs each)
Complete your healthy meal plan to maintain your diet. Take a look at some of our article reviews of different healthy alternative ingredients available online that will help you stay fit at all times!
Author: Roel Pillas Malubay
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