In the past, snack food has gotten a bad rap, mostly because people associate it with binging. However, snacking throughout the day has many benefits, particularly if you’re looking to reach a healthy weight. First of all, having 4-5 healthy snack foods throughout the day will keep you feeling satiated so you don’t suddenly feel starving and prone to overeating.

Secondly, grazing helps keep your metabolism running and burning calories as you’re frequently digesting. Snacking also helps fight fatigue by keeping your blood sugar at a normal level. The latest findings suggest that having six mini-meals a day versus three medium-large meals per day cuts cholesterol levels by 8%, which also reduces heart attack risk by as much as 16%!

Getting Your Nutrition From Snacks

Healthy foods don’t always have to taste like Styrofoam. For a snack, bagels and bran muffins taste pretty darn good! A 200-calorie bagel will give you 11% of your daily recommended iron, which is particularly good for women who don’t always retain iron so well.

Additionally, you’ll get solid doses of B vitamins, like niacin, riboflavin and thiamin. You may be tempted to load on the cream cheese, but there are delicious flavored skim ricottas that come in blueberry and strawberry that might be a healthier choice. A bran muffin delivers three grams of fiber and 1.8 mg of iron (10% of your daily value).

Eating Natural Unprocessed Fruit And Vegetables As Snack Food

Fruit snacks are a good way to instantly feel rejuvenated and full of energy and spunk. A banana is a great source of potassium (11%), but also offers 35% of the daily value of Vitamin B6, and all for just 110 calories! Cantaloupe is another surprisingly healthy fruit, delivering 100% of your daily vitamin C needs in just one cup.

For a good vegetable snack food, you can’t go wrong with broccoli, which delivers 68% of the daily value of vitamin C in just 1/2 cup, as well as vitamin A and as much calcium as a glass of milk. To jazz it up, try dipping it in no-fat nacho cheese or no-fat veggie dip! Another great vegetable is the carrot, which will satisfy your vitamin A needs for the whole day.

Adding Variety To Your Snack Options

They say “variety is the spice of life,” and this is particularly true when it comes to snack food. Instead of just eating that half cup of frozen yogurt, why not throw 1/2 cup of blueberries on top to add texture, flavor and nutritional value? Instead of just gobbling down apple slices, spread a tablespoon of smooth creamy peanut butter on top. You don’t have to feel guilty about these 150-calorie treats!

Coming in at 200 calories, you can have a cup of low-fat cottage cheese with 1/2 cup of fresh peach slices or a 1/3 cup of tasty granola. By taking variety and portion size into consideration, you’ll be eating health foods without even realizing!

This article was about Snack Food.

More Facts About Snack Foods

Who invented the first commercial snack foods?

There is a lot of debate when it comes to who invented the first real commercial snack foods. Joseph Fry invented the chocolate candy bar in 1847. He came up with the idea to mix cocoa beans into a paste with sugar and form them into bars. His invention was an instant success. It was not long before everyone wanted one of these wonderful chocolate bars. The really big name in chocolate came from Henry Nestle in 1875 when he created milk chocolate.

More savory snacks such as boiled peanuts have been around since the Civil War. In fact no one knows for sure when or how they were invented. That is just the first time that there is written documentation regarding troops eating peanuts. Of course they were not commercial produced. In 1888 the Thomas Adams Gum Company set up vending machines on the elevated subway platforms of New York City. The only choice was Tutti-Frutti gum but it was still a phenomenal hit.