It happens to everybody, when you least expect it, at the end of a day when you were doing so well, eating clean and healthy. Even as a veteran Victoria’s Secret angel, Alessandra is not one to shy away from sweets!— From ice cream to cupcakes, she enjoys indulging in sweets every now and then. We’re here to provide you healthier alternatives. So whether you’re a victim of late-night salt cravings or post-workout sugar pangs, you don’t have to destroy your progress by giving in—and you certainly don’t have to feel guilty giving into the cravings. Remember, you’ve also heard it before and we say it because it’s true – Healthy skin care starts from within so watching your intake not only benefits your health but your appearance as well. Keep in mind, moderation is always the key, but when you need to satisfy your hunger, don’t start shoveling your face with potato chips and cake—try one of these instead:
Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, roasted pumpkin seeds, cashews, hazelnuts, filberts, and other nuts and seeds contain many beneficial nutrients and are more likely to leave you feeling full, unlike chips or pretzels. Nuts have lots of calories, though, so keep portion sizes to a handful.
Seaweed Snacks: Seaweed includes high levels of vitamins A and C, and calcium. This is one of our go-to snacks when you’re feeling for something salty. It’s naturally high in sodium, so we always recommend checking nutrition labels to ensure that there isn’t too much additional salt added. Look for brands with a short ingredient list— seaweed, olive or sesame oil, and salt— versus added sugar and artificial ingredients.
Cucumbers or Jicama Slices, and Grape Tomatoes: Yes, sometimes veggies really do the trick! And thanks to their high water content, cucumbers and jicama make for a totally refreshing, crunchy snack. They also both kill bloat, so that’s a major plus. Grape tomatoes are full of vitamin C, zinc, and lycopene- all antioxidants that keep the skin dewy and bright!
Air-Popped Popcorn: The fat in those microwave brands is the only negative here so look for the healthier versions — 98% fat-free. If you opt for plain popcorn, it’s OK to drizzle a little margarine (one with no trans-fats) or butter. It’s better than full-fat brands, where you can’t control the fat they add. Toss a couple tablespoons of kernels into a brown paper lunch sack, roll the top, and microwave for a few minutes.
Cheese and Crackers: If you’re going to snack on this, make sure to choose a reduced-fat cheese that tastes good. Lower fat means more protein and crackers should be whole grain, low-fat, for this to be a healthy snack. The more fat in the cracker, the more trans-fat it will contain.
Sweet Potato Fries: While both sweet potatoes and white potatoes have similar nutrition profiles, the biggest difference is that sweet potatoes have more vitamins A and C. Opt for baked or even roasted options instead of fried. This will enable you to maximize the nutrition while saving on the calories and fat.
Dark Chocolate: Quality dark chocolate is rich in fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese and a few other minerals. Dark chocolate has been shown to keep your brain sharp, your ticker ticking and your skin shielded from the sun’s harmful rays due to the flavanols from cocoa, these can improve blood flow to the skin and protect it against sun-induced damage.
Ice Cream: These days, there are several options for frozen treats that are higher in protein, pack fewer calories per pint and contain less sugar. Look for brands that use organic-only ingredients and are free of processed sugars and artificial dyes. And if you’re dairy-free, soy-free or nut-free! Sorbets, sherbets, or frozen yogurt are also great alternatives to ice cream. Most are fat free, but high in sugar, so indulge in moderation.
Fruits and Fruit Smoothies: Fruits are an optimal snack due to the multitude of health benefits but keep in mind that fruits are high in sugar.
- Blueberries, available all year round, are a good source of dietary fiber which helps keep you feeling full longer and aid in digestion; and blueberries are an excellent source of vitamin C which plays an important role in immune function and helps to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. They’re also low in sodium and contain virtually no fat.
- Although oranges are a great source of vitamin C, grapefruits pack a bigger punch. Just half of a grapefruit contains nearly 50 percent of your daily vitamin C, as well as high levels of fiber, potassium, and vitamin A. Studies have suggested that grapefruit can alleviate the symptoms of arthritis and repair damaged or oily skin and hair. Plus grapefruit helps manage appetite by lowering insulin levels.
- Peaches and nectarines are packed with potassium, boosting nerve and muscle health. The skins, in particular, are rich in antioxidants and insoluble fiber.
- Pineapples are jammed packed with bromelain, an anti-inflammatory enzyme that has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes, as well as increase fertility.
- Kiwis are sweet fruits loaded with vitamins C and E, both strong antioxidants that protect against cancer and promote eye health. They’re low in calories and high in fiber, making them ideal for weight loss – plus they’re also available all year round!
Just remember, you don’t need to cut our sweets and snacks completely! It’s fine to indulge but keep the portions small and light.