With summer quickly approaching, many of us are planning vacations, day trips, and other fun activities with friends and family. Summer is a great time to get together with people, which means you’ll likely be looking for some tasty snacks to share. We’ve compiled a list of delicious healthy snacks, some of which you can grab on the go and others which are great if you're having people over.
How to Snack in a Healthy Way
Most people enjoy snacking, but mindless snacking or unhealthy food choices can lead to weight gain, which may eventually cause health problems like diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol. However, it is possible to make healthy choices and snack in a way that is good for both your palate and your body.
In fact, having small snacks in between meals can actually help prevent overeating at mealtimes and be an opportunity to pack in some extra nutrients you may be missing during your meals. Healthy snacking comes down to a few principles:
- Instead of counting calories, try to consider the nutrients in your snack. Rather than eating a 100-calorie snack pack, choose wholesome foods that satisfy cravings and provide needed vitamins and minerals.
- Choose snacks that come from different food groups. A snack with healthy fat, protein, and a high fiber carbohydrate will keep you feeling satiated in between meals. Additionally, try to include fresh fruits and vegetables in your snacking.
- Be mindful while snacking and pay attention to portion size. Eat a small portion, see if it helps you feel full, and have more only if you’re still hungry afterward.
- Make it easy to find healthy snacks. While the occasional easy-to-reach-for bag of chips is a perfectly acceptable component of any diet, having healthy snacks on hand will make it easier to make wholesome choices.
With these tips in mind, let’s dive into the hottest healthy snack ideas for summer 2022!
Snacks to Share
Below we share two healthy snack ideas to share with a group. You can always modify these options based on your preferences and dietary restrictions.
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Healthy Charcuterie Board
A charcuterie board is a great way to share snacks with a large group of people. A great thing about charcuterie boards is that they can be customized to suit your group's dietary and taste preferences. Some elements to add:
- Savory crackers, such as flax crackers or melba toast, can be a great addition to your board. Keep these whole grain for maximum health benefits (including lowered risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and some cancers)!
- Nuts, such as almonds or cashews, are an excellent snack full of healthy fats, protein, and antioxidants like Vitamin E. Opt for unsalted nuts for a lower sodium option.
- Cheese (or vegan cheese) can be a great source of protein and calcium. Many kinds of cheese also contain probiotics, which can be great for your gut health. Try to find cheeses that are not over-processed and without added sugar, preservatives, or coloring.
- Meat (or a vegan meat alternative) is a delicious savory addition to a charcuterie board. Meat is high in protein and iron, but if you are using dried meat or cold cuts, try to find products that are nitrate-free and low in sodium.
- Olives are full of healthy fats, and Vitamin E. Studies suggest that incorporating olives into your diet may even reduce your risk of osteoporosis and cancer. However, check the ingredient labels before buying since many olives are high in sodium.
Other delicious and healthy additions to a charcuterie board include fruits (both fresh and dried) and fresh vegetables.
Chips and dip
Believe it or not, chips and dip can pack quite the nutritional punch. When choosing a healthy chip, your best bet is to stick with whole food ingredients and limit overly processed products that contain added sugar. Some great options include:
- Barnana plantain chips: These chips are made with wholesome ingredients and are low in sodium.
- Jackson’s Honest sweet potato chips: Made with just three ingredients, these delicious crunchy chips are high in fiber and low in sodium.
- Late July tortilla chips: These chips are lower in sodium than most tortilla chips, and they’re also multigrain!
When choosing a dip, try to avoid mayonnaise or cream cheese-based dips. Instead, opt for yogurt-based dips, which offer calcium and protein, or dips made from legumes, which provide protein. Some excellent dip options are:
- Hope original hummus: This brand contains high levels of both protein and fiber, with very little sodium and no sugar.
- Herdez guacamole: This brand offers delicious ready-made guacamole with no added preservatives and excellent reviews.
- Chobani herbed tzatziki: Made with yogurt, this dip is high in protein, low in sugar, and an excellent option for a savory addition to your favorite healthy chips.
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Snacks to Grab and Go
If you don’t have time for a sit-down snack, it's helpful to have easy, healthy snacks ready to grab and go. Luckily, there are a ton of delicious and exciting new snacks that are readily available for summer 2022:
- Malua chocolate peanut butter bites: with prebiotics, protein, and healthy fats from peanuts, these yummy protein balls are a great snack to keep you full and satisfy a chocolate craving. (Prebiotics are foods with high levels of fiber that support digestive health and help to increase the good type of gut bacteria.)
- Skinny Dipped cashews: nuts are a delicious way to get in extra protein, while dark chocolate provides antioxidants and minerals.
- Solely organic whole fruit mango gummies: containing just two ingredients, mango and vitamins, it's hard to go wrong with these gummies. Mangos are a classic summer treat, and this snack makes it even easier to get that delicious flavor without the hassle of cutting and peeling an entire mango.
- Stryve peppered biltong: If you like jerky, you’ll love its healthier cousin, biltong. Stryve is an air-dried meat snack high in protein and free from nitrates and nitrites, two ingredients often linked to poor health outcomes, including cancer.
Best Summer Beverages
Summer is a great time to try out new beverages as well. While the benefits of drinking enough water are incomparable, it’s nice to have other options to reach for:
- Vita Coco sparkling lemon ginger coconut water: coconut water contains antioxidants, which can help protect your body in times of stress or injury. It is also 94% water, which means that it is very hydrating, especially after a workout. Coconut water has other health benefits, including protection against heart disease and kidney stones.
- Health Ade kombucha: kombucha is a fermented tea beverage that has become very popular. It contains probiotics and has been shown to increase energy, improve digestive health, and is rich in antioxidants.
- Ollipop ginger lemon soda: Replacing the average 39 grams of sugar found in conventional sodas, Ollipop offers a healthier option that contains just 3 grams of naturally occurring sugar. Lollipop sodas also contain prebiotics which are beneficial for your gut.
Another note about summer beverage choices is that it’s best to avoid overindulging in alcohol as much as possible. Excess consumption of alcohol can lead to dehydration, which can be especially risky in hot weather.
Additionally, taking part in summer activities like boating and swimming while under the influence of alcohol can lead to accidents and even death. So reach for one of these delicious refreshers rather than an alcoholic beverage to keep your summer both fun and safe!
Summer is quickly approaching, and with it comes lots of time with family and friends. To help you prepare for summer fun, we’ve given you some fun and easy snack ideas to share and grab and go on those busy summer mornings. Snacking is a great way to boost your nutritional intake and overall health when done in a healthy manner.
If you’re looking to improve your overall health, Mira may be a good choice for you. With access to urgent care, lab testing, discounted prescriptions, and gym memberships, Mira can provide you with the infrastructure to lead a healthier life without spending a fortune on health care. Check out Mira today!
Dvora is a recent medical graduate and current MPH student who is passionate about women’s health and health equity. She hopes to specialize in Obstetrics and Gynecology and is excited to join the Mira team in empowering people through healthcare. In her spare time she enjoys exercise, reading and spending time with her family and her dog, Dash.