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What are some healthier substitutes for salty, crunchy snacks like chips?

ANSWER

Instead of chips, try:

Nuts. Who doesn’t love a salty snack once in a while? But that bag of potato or corn chips is full of salt and, often, unhealthy saturated or trans fats. These can raise your odds of heart disease. Nuts like cashews, walnuts, or almonds provide heart-healthy unsaturated fats. They also have satisfying protein and fiber, along with vitamins and minerals. But they are high in calories. Stick to 1-ounce portions.

Popcorn. It isn’t just for movie lovers. Popcorn is a high-fiber whole grain that fills you up with fewer calories than chips. It also has antioxidants, things that can help lower your odds of diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Your best bet is to make it in an air popper or with a heart-healthy oil, skip the butter, and go easy on salt. Avoid theater popcorn, which can be a calorie, fat, and sodium bomb.

SOURCES:

CDC: "Nutrition: Why It Matters."

U.S. Department of Agriculture: "What Is MyPlate?" "FoodData Central," "Go Nuts!"

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: "How to Eat Healthy."

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "5 Heart-Healthy Food Swaps."

Antioxidants: "Analysis of Popcorn for Antioxidant Capacity and Total Phenolic Content."

Cleveland Clinic: "9 Best Tips to Help You Make Healthier Popcorn," "Which Bread Is Best For You – Whole-Grain, Multigrain or Whole Wheat?"

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: "Whole Grains," "Prioritize Hearty and Savory Plant-Based Preparations," and "Sugary Drinks."

American Heart Association: "Popcorn as a snack: Healthy hit or dietary horror show?"
"Whole Grains, Refined Grains, and Dietary Fiber," and "How Much Sugar is Too Much?"

Advances in Nutrition: "Potential Health Benefits of Combining Yogurt and Fruits Based on Their Probiotic and Prebiotic Properties."

Reviewed by Michael W. Smith on March 13, 2020

SOURCES:

CDC: "Nutrition: Why It Matters."

U.S. Department of Agriculture: "What Is MyPlate?" "FoodData Central," "Go Nuts!"

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: "How to Eat Healthy."

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "5 Heart-Healthy Food Swaps."

Antioxidants: "Analysis of Popcorn for Antioxidant Capacity and Total Phenolic Content."

Cleveland Clinic: "9 Best Tips to Help You Make Healthier Popcorn," "Which Bread Is Best For You – Whole-Grain, Multigrain or Whole Wheat?"

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: "Whole Grains," "Prioritize Hearty and Savory Plant-Based Preparations," and "Sugary Drinks."

American Heart Association: "Popcorn as a snack: Healthy hit or dietary horror show?"
"Whole Grains, Refined Grains, and Dietary Fiber," and "How Much Sugar is Too Much?"

Advances in Nutrition: "Potential Health Benefits of Combining Yogurt and Fruits Based on Their Probiotic and Prebiotic Properties."

Reviewed by Michael W. Smith on March 13, 2020

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