Craving a Healthy Snack?
We all have experienced it. When the clock hits 3pm, your stomach suddenly screams, and all you can think about is food. You’re trying to stay healthy, so you avoid the vending machine filled with bagged goodness, but now what? What could possibly satisfy the grumbling while staying on the healthy train? Are pecans a healthy snack option, being known for their high fat and calorie values?
The Heart-y Truth
So what’s the deal? If a handful of nuts has just any many calories and grams of fat as that bag of chips, why not crunch on those fried potatoes? When we look at the nutrition facts label and see the numbers written beside “Calories” and “Fat”, that’s about as far as our eyes go. But there’s more…
Let’s begin with that fat number. Pecans are a good source of unsaturated fatty acids, simply meaning, the “good” fats that have heart-healthy qualities. Not to mention they are naturally cholesterol- and sodium-free, provide us with about 10% of our recommended Daily Value for fiber, and contain over 19 vitamins and minerals. If that’s not enough, they contain these things called phytochemicals that have high antioxidant properties that help to prevent heart disease. And the cherry on top? A handful of pecans will help to keep you feeling fuller longer, because of the high values of healthy fats and proteins. Have you put down the bag of potato chips by now?
Alright, the clock has struck 3pm. What are you grabbing for? We say pecans, but we’re biased! And you might agree, but sitting down with a bowl of pecans every day can get boring, even we’ll admit! So how do you keep pecan snacking interesting and fun? Here are a few ways to incorporate pecans into your daily snacks to still get those heart-healthy benefits:
- Pecan butter on apples
- Add pecans into trail mix
- DIY protein balls with crushed pecans
- Add a handful of pecans to your smoothie for a nutty flavor
- Garnish yogurt with some crushed pecans and fruit
- Mini charcuterie board with cheese, crackers, and pecans