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Smart Snacks for a Healthy Heart

Sallie Yakowicz, Program Assistant, NDSU Extension Service

February, Heart Health Month, is a good reminder to care for your heart by reducing fat, bad cholesterol and sodium in your diet.

This is not always easy, especially with busy schedules making on-the-go snacks a necessity. This February, make simple snack swaps to keep your heart healthy and happy.

Craving crunch? Instead of reaching for potato chips, get a tasty crunch in a healthier way:

  • Crisp apple slices
  • Carrot or celery sticks
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Lightly salted or seasoned popcorn
  • Low-salt pretzels

Want salty snacks? Ditch salty crackers or french fries for lower-sodium options:

  • Lightly salted nuts such as almonds or pistachios
  • Multigrain crackers and cheese
  • Rice cakes
  • Cheesy popcorn
  • Pita chips with hummus

Reaching for a can of pop? Substitute other refreshing beverages for sugary drinks:

  • Plain or sparkling water with fruit added
  • Fat-free milk (add a splash of chocolate for a little sweetness)
  • Unsweetened tea or coffee
  • 100 percent orange or apple juice
  • Low-sodium tomato or mixed-vegetable juice

Feeling extra hungry? Choose snacks that keep you full:

  • Whole-grain toast with a nut butter
  • Low-fat cheese, such as aged cheddar or Swiss
  • Fat-free yogurt or Greek yogurt with granola
  • Fruit and veggie smoothie (try adding avocado or chia seeds)
  • Guacamole or avocado hummus with low-sodium crackers or veggies

Trying to satisfy your sweet tooth? Enjoy natural sweet alternatives:

  • Thin slice of angel food cake with strawberries
  • Baked apple with cinnamon
  • Frozen grapes or bananas (add peanut butter or dark chocolate drizzle)
  • Greek yogurt-covered strawberries or raisins
  • Frozen fruit juice pops

Try making these simple switches to ensure that snack time is delicious and heart healthy.

 

Filed under: fca newsletter

Sponsored in part by the Sanford Health Foundation.

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