Forget diet shakes and strict meal plans. This year, pledge to eat more snacks! Healthy snacking is emerging as a new food trend for consumers who have resolved to focus on health and wellness.Add Healthy Snacking to This Year’s Resolutions
Today’s consumers see snacking as an integral part of their lifestyles. From stressed-out Generation Xers to comfort-seeking Baby Boomers and wellness-savvy Millennials, consumers recognize that smart mini-meals can be part of an all-day wellness plan, according to U.S. trend watcher Iconoculture.
Iconoculture reports that consumers want to bring their lives back into balance. They crave basic, comforting, filling and better-for-them foods when they snack, including nuts, seeds, fruits, popcorn and veggies.
“Consumers want their snacks to be multitasking munchies,” said chef and cookbook author Tina Salter, who develops recipes for Diamond culinary nuts, Emerald snack nuts and Pop Secret popcorn. “They want snacks that provide health benefits, but that are also convenient, delicious, satisfying and taste a little indulgent.”
HEALTHY SNACKS, NUMEROUS BENEFITS
One of the keys to healthy snacking is not just eating foods that are good for the body, Salter said, but also finding treats that are handy and leave us satisfied without the guilt. That’s why so many healthy snackers are turning to nuts and popcorn. Both snacks are high in fiber, have proven antioxidant benefits and provide a whole host of benefits versus other snacks.
In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says that scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. Other facts supporting nuts as a part of a healthy diet include:
- Walnuts are one of the most concentrated sources of omega-3 fatty acids. One serving of walnuts, about 1/3 cup or 12-16 walnut halves, several times a week has been shown to lower overall cholesterol and blood pressure while reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and fighting arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. For more information, visit the California Walnut Board online.
- Almonds are a beneficial source of vitamin E, magnesium, manganese, and a good source of fiber, copper, phosphorous, and riboflavin. A one-ounce serving, about 23 almonds, has 13 grams of good unsaturated fats, just 1 gram of saturated fat, and is always cholesterol free. For more information, visit Almond Board of California.
“Nuts are delicious, nutritious and portable, making them an excellent choice for today’s busy consumers,” Salter said. “Stash them in your desk at work, in your purse or gym bag and in your car so you always have a healthy snacking option at hand.”
Many delicious and nutritious snack products can be found in grocery store snack aisles including Emerald Nuts in on-the-go canisters and 100 calorie packs as well as five flavors of Emerald Trail Mix in resealable pouches.
MOVIE NIGHT JUST GOT HEALTHIER
A recent study showed that plain popcorn has the highest level of polyphenols among snack foods; polyphenols potentially reduce risk of heart disease, cancer and other diseases. With zero cholesterol or trans fats, plain popcorn is 100 percent whole grain and is an easy to prepare snack for the whole family.
An economical snack, popcorn such as Pop Secret 94% Fat Free Microwave Popcorn or the new Pop Secret Jumbo Popping Corn Kernels for make-at-home popcorn, provides a satisfying, high fiber treat with high satiety levels to aid in hunger management.
Visit feedyourfingers.com for more information about the health benefits of nuts and for delicious nut recipe ideas from Diamond Foods, a premier producer and marketer of Diamond culinary nuts, Emerald snack nuts and Pop Secret popcorn. Download a free PDF of the “Nuts for Healthy Living” guide at diamondnuts.com/live_well/.