My Four Pillars of healthy weight loss
• Food • Activity • Mindset • Sleep
• Mindset

Tips for buying
healthier snacks

By Jessica DiGiacinto
When it comes to filling your fridge, pantry, and portable containers with healthier packaged snacks, there’s no shortage of options; however, some healthy-sounding processed foods can contain added sugars and salt, two additives many Americans already consume in excess. The best way to ensure that you’re choosing foods that will actually benefit your body is to do a little planning:

  • Don’t shop hungry. How many times have you walked into a grocery store with a grumbling stomach, then proceeded to buy all the things? Plan a healthy snack to eat before you collect your cart to think more clearly down every aisle.
  • Make a list. Instead of grabbing items that look good to you at the moment, plan which snacks you want to eat before heading to the store.
  • Shop all the aisles. Since the basis of many healthy snacks tends to be produce, begin with the store’s perimeter, where the whole fruits and vegetables tend to be sold. Then top off your cart as you'd top off your snack: Add canned goods like beans and soups, whole grain crackers, peanut butter, and so on.
  • Plan ahead for treats. Nobody should have to live without the occasional treat. Decide what you want yours to be before heading into the store so you can avoid those last-minute, checkout-counter impulse grabs.
  • Check the ingredients. When you’re considering whether to purchase prepackaged food, check the first few ingredients for added sugars, which may be listed as maltose, brown sugar, corn syrup, cane sugar, honey, and fruit juice concentrate, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Another ingredient to watch out for: is sodium, which could lead to high blood pressure and related issues if consumed in excess on the regular. Packaged goods with phrases like, “no salt added,” “low-sodium,” or “reduced-sodium” tend to be safer bets.
  • Choose single-serve packages. Portion control—or lack thereof—can make a major difference on the scale. Single-serve packages eliminate any guesswork. Bonus: They also make snacking on-the-go super convenient.
  • Splurge on flavors, not calories. Keep your taste buds from growing weary by trying new flavors and spices whenever possible. If you love eating veggies with hummus, try the roasted garlic tub one week and a red pepper-flavored alternative the next. Top your Greek yogurt with berries one week, and then try homemade granola the next.

The upshot: Can healthy snacks help you reach your goals?
A healthy snack nourishes your body, satisfies you between meals, and tastes delicious. “The more satisfied we physically feel, the simpler it becomes to stay in touch with hunger and satiety cues,” London says. 

What's more, getting creative with flavors, and cycling through a wide variety of whole foods to get those macro and micronutrients, can help save both your body and your taste buds from fatigue. If you find yourself snacking too much due to distractions or in response to emotions like stress, it may be helpful to see a medical professional who can help you press reset. Similarly, if you have specific dietary requirements or restrictions, brainstorming with a doctor or registered dietitian can help you find healthy snacks you’ll enjoy. 

No matter how you slice (or dice) it, eating healthier snacks can help you reach your goals!
Jessica DiGiacinto is an associate editor at WW. A health and wellness writer and editor based out of New York, she’s contributed to Popsugar, Bulletproof 360, and Galvanized Media, among other media outlets.
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