There’s been a huge boom in the healthy snack market, with bars, air-popped chips, and cookies and brownies made with healthy substitutions popping up everywhere. Sugar is substituted with agave, white flour is substitued with almond flour—the list goes on and on. There are even services that bring these snacks straight to your door!
It is true that many healthy snacks have lower calorie counts and contain nutrients unheard of in a regular cheese puff. But can eating healthy snacks improve your nutritional status enough to improve your appearance?
Can healthy snacks compensate for the nutritional deficiencies in an unhealthy diet?
Better Food Choices
A large part of successfully improving one’s diet is learning how to make better food choices. If you have a craving for oily, fried potato chips, it's certainly better to substitute air-popped chips for regular chips. And over time, making small changes like this can help you reform a lifetime of unhealthy eating habits.
However, the truth is that snacks are rarely better than eating whole foods themselves. For instance, a high-fiber bar is great, but eating a spinach and kale salad—which is also high in fiber but without any added sweeteners—is better. Ultimately, snacks are still snacks.
Celebrity Advisor’s Beauty Secret
According to Kat James, a nationally-renowned holistic beauty expert and celebrity advisor, indulging in real, well-prepared whole foods is still superior to these “new and improved” snack foods. “If you want to get gorgeous fast, plan low-glycemic, low-impact meals that do not spike your blood sugar,” she says. Instead, put your health first, and beauty will follow—naturally.
I ascribe to this philosophy completely. You are what you eat, and your body's beauty will reflect that.
Whole Foods for Beauty
Instead of healthy snacks, which at the end of the day are still processed food, make it a priority to eat real whole foods. Feeling sweet? Grab some berries. Feeling salty? How about avocado with some lemon?
To stop yourself from unhealthy over-snacking, eat well-rounded meals rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (wild caught fish and dark greens are great sources). Try to include flaxseed oil (1–2 tablespoons per day), raw pumpkin seeds (2–3 ounces per serving), and cold-water fish such as salmon, trout, or halibut (three times a week). Also, include monounsaturated oils such as olive oil in salad dressings and in cooking. These foods help with everything from skin clarity and smoothness to decreasing bloat.
Now It's Your Turn: What kinds of healthy snacks do you like to eat?