Part of living a healthy lifestyle is controlling the amount of sugar that goes into your body. For many people, this means cutting back or eliminating processed foods, sweets and sugary drinks from their diet. By opting for healthy meals and snacks with low sugar or sugar-free content, you can eliminate many of the health problems associated with an overload of sugar in the body.
People who consume sugary foods on a regular basis often have problems with obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart ailments and other diseases. Sugar-free foods offer a practical solution to controlling sugar intake. Here are but a few of the many benefits you can gain by adopting a sugar-free diet.
Lower Risk of Getting Sick
Nutrients such as vitamins, iron, protein, minerals and antioxidants nourish the body and help strengthen the immune system to increase its effectiveness in fighting off disease. Overloading your system with sugar can weaken the immune system and deplete nutrients that are needed to keep you healthy. Sugar overload can also interfere with your digestion, causing bloating and gas.
A sugar-free diet can eliminate problems with sugar overload, reducing the risk of sickness and disease. By choosing healthy low sugar snacks and fat-free snacks over processed junk food, you can take the first step towards a healthier sugar-free lifestyle.
Higher Energy Levels
Although sugar can give you a temporary boost of energy, this boost rarely lasts very long. Once the sugar high wears off, people often feel tired, cranky and lethargic. Reducing the amount of sugar in your diet can improve your energy levels on a long term basis. Wholesome sugar-free foods contain the natural vitamins, minerals, fibre, proteins and antioxidants your body needs for extra strength and vitality.
High sugar intake can lead to inflammation which can disturb brain chemistry, causing glitches in memory, concentration and mental alertness. By controlling sugar in your diet, you can improve mental clarity and focus. Healthy morning snacks and healthy afternoon snacks will keep your mental faculties working at top capacity all throughout the day.
Enhanced Health and Personal Appearance
Sugary foods and drinks can rob your body of the nutrients it needs to keep you in top physical condition. In contrast, healthy sugar free foods and snacks contain valuable nutrients that enhance your health and improve your appearance. Healthy eating will make your hair, skin and nails look their best. Sugar-free low carb snacks offer greater nutritional value to improve your overall health, reduce weight and enhance your personal appearance.
Healthy Snacks for the Whole Family
Most supermarket snacks contain quite a bit of sugar, making them poor options for sustaining good health and fitness. If healthy snacks are important to you, you may want to try making some of your own. Some of the healthiest, tastiest treats you’ll ever eat may very well come from your own kitchen. Here are a few healthy snack ideas your whole family will enjoy.
- Homemade Tacos: Turkey tacos offer a more wholesome alternative to beef and pair well with tomatoes, avocado, onions, chilli peppers and low-fat cheese toppings.
- Chicken Caesar Salad: This snack combines healthy salad greens with tomatoes, skinless pieces of chicken and low-fat yogurt dressing for a delicious treat.
- Creamy Fruit Salad: Tasty fruit slices are mixed with low-fat yogurt and natural honey to make a quick and nutritious snack for the family.
- Old-fashioned Granola Bars: These wholesome homemade granola bars are comprised of rolled oats, nuts, dried fruit and seeds for a tasty treat.
- No-Bake Cookie Balls: These bite-sized munchies are simple to make, tasty and healthy, containing such wholesome ingredients as almond butter, rolled oats, flaxseed and honey.
Sugar-free Snacks for Kids
Healthy snacks can be good for kids as they provide extra energy for school and play, help manage hunger pangs and steady sugar levels. Parents who introduce healthy sugar-free snacks into their kids’ diet at a young age encourage them to develop a healthy eating lifestyle. Here are a few nutritious snack ideas your kids are sure to love.
- Sugar-free snack bars (Tahini bars, energy bars, etc.)
- Sugar-free peanut butter fudge
- Raisin and date balls
- Organic trail mix
- Banana and date muffins
Sugar-free snacks make great treats for kids’ birthday parties, slumber parties, after-school snacking or bedtime munchies. Healthy snacks contribute to a child’s diet by increasing the number of wholesome nutrients that are absorbed into the body.
Healthy food choices are especially important if you’re diabetic, as your diet can make a big difference in how you manage your symptoms. A healthy diet can make you feel better and give you more energy throughout the day. By monitoring sugar intake and sticking with healthy diabetic snacks, you can stay on top of your condition. Some popular options for diabetic friendly snacks include:
- Assorted nuts (Almonds, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, and cashews)
- whole-grain crackers with peanut butter
- raw veggies (plain or served with a nonfat yogurt or hummus dip)
- Homemade vegetable soup
- Low-fat cheese
Low Carb or Carb Free Health Snacks
Late night snackers should ensure they have a supply of low carb or carb free snacks around the house for their evening snack. Low carb snacks are more conducive for eating late at night as they’re easier to digest and won’t keep you awake with a full stomach. Low carb snacks can be purchased at the supermarket or made fresh in your kitchen. An advantage of preparing these snacks at home is that you can choose the healthy ingredients you like most. Snacks that are rich in protein, antioxidants and fibre will give you greater nutritional value.
Low carb snacks can be prepared in advance so they’re available when you want them most. If you’re hooked on snacking but would like to lose a few pounds, low carb snacks may be just what you need to get better weight loss results. Here are a few innovative low carb snack ideas you may want to try.
- No bake brownies
- Chocolate almond protein bars
- Baked carrot or spinach chips
- Strawberry banana yogurt creams
- Quinoa polenta pizza bites
If you’re allergic to gluten, you may find healthy snacking a challenge as many prepackaged gluten-free snacks come with unhealthy ingredients. Your best bet for incorporating healthy gluten-free snacks into your diet is to make them from scratch. Here’s a list of snack choices that promise to be appetizing and nutritious.
- Diner style fried onion rings
- Pecan-raisin (or berry) crunch
- Honey roasted nuts and fruit trail mix
- Chocolate almond pretzels
- Peanut butter & jelly oatmeal bars
Healthy snacks come in all forms, shapes and sizes to include sugar-free, low carb, fat-free, gluten-free and diabetic snacks. The wide variety of wholesome snack choices makes it easier to maintain a healthy eating lifestyle. For daily consumption, you may prefer to stick with simple snacks that are fast and easy to prepare. Innovative health snack ideas and recipes are also available for holidays and special occasions. By choosing healthy snacks over junk food alternatives, you maximize your health benefits while still enjoying the best that snacking has to offer.