Part of why people struggle so much with changing their eating habits has to do with the concept of deprivation. Changing our perceptions can go a long way toward building on the incremental adjustments it takes to become healthier.
One way we can do this is by adding treats throughout the day instead of subtracting the things that we love. Introducing better snacks can slowly alter your tastes over time (and might just fill you up enough to skip the more indulgent desserts). Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
We’ll start with an easy one. Rich in antioxidants and high in magnesium, dark chocolate is an incredibly smart way to satisfy your tastebuds without jumping overboard. If you’re craving something sweet, stick with ones that are at least 70% cocoa solids. If you have a sweet tooth, this is a good way to start paring down the richness of your desserts.
From almonds to walnuts, nuts are great to add some healthy fat into your life. Nuts also have a reputation for preventing serious events, like stroke, cancer, and heart attacks. Take a serving with you everywhere you go, and remember that you’re doing your body a favor (even when you go for that extra handful). (Read “Is a Raw Food Diet Right for You? The Pros and Cons of Going Raw”)
There’s been a lot of mixed research on soy, but there’s still plenty of evidence to support its good points. Edamame is a savory way to get a good source of magnesium, manganese, and iron into your diet. It’s also been shown to help you cut down on saturated fats while reducing your cholesterol and building up your digestive system.
The tangy, satisfying combination of turkey rolled up with cream cheese might sound like a diet mistake, but the protein in the snack will help build your muscles and fight the hunger pangs later on. For best results, try it with cream cheese and some cucumber to break up the richness.
The world has turned its eyes on avocado as of late, largely because it’s both good for the body and delicious. Whether you’re enjoying it in guacamole or on toast, the fruit is known for lowering your cholesterol, protecting the skin, and providing a good source of fiber and fat. (Read “Living Better with Diabetes”)
Vitamin C, potassium, calcium, protein, and B12: you’ll get all of these benefits from just a bite of a cherry tomato and a small slice of mozzarella. There are hundreds of combinations for this healthy snack that can build up your HDL cholesterol levels (also known as the good type of cholesterol.
It’s been said before, but we’ll say it again: wellness is a choice that you make every day. No matter where you’re starting, you have to consider practical improvements. Sometimes, all you can do is add food to the routine rather than take it away — as long as you’re adding the right nutritional snacks along the way.