Healthy Alternatives

Nicholas Kassis and Sophia Obbagy

A typical Monday morning, school starts in twenty minutes. The most convenient snack tends to be chips, which does not fit the qualifications of the food pyramid. Time and time again, people unconsciously eat high-calorie snacks without a second thought.

    Chips happen to be the most common type of snack; however, an average serving of Lay’s Classic potato chips contains 149 calories, sixteen percent of which are from fats. Additionally, there are 15 grams of carbohydrates and only one gram of protein.

    So while these crisp, salty chips maybe a tasty snack, they are a purely unhealthy option. Some common unhealthy snacks include pretzels, pastries, crackers, and even protein bars. All of these treats have high-calorie content, high saturated fat and carbohydrate percentages, and many include some form of added sugars. Instead of constantly eating these fattening snacks, making an effort to include healthier food such as nuts, fruits, and vegetables. These foods are not only just as convenient to grab in the morning as a bag of chips, but are much more nutritious with lower caloric values, higher protein percentages, and healthier fat contents which give your body fuel to perform well throughout the day.

Students Helena Mifsud and Tyler Holdenried shared their snacking preferences. Junior Helena Mifsud said her favorite snack is Goldfish. In moderation, Goldfish could be a good source of simple carbohydrates that provide energy.

    Senior Tyler Holdenried shared his favorite snack.

    “Almonds and occasionally peanuts are my go-to snack,” said Holdenried.

   Almonds and peanuts are abundant sources of fibrous carbohydrates and healthy fats. Additionally, they contain naturally occurring vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, vitamin A, and manganese, none of which can be found in traditionally unhealthy snacking foods.

    Glynnis Womack, a pediatric nutritionist, shared her opinion.

  “My recommendation is to encourage people to eat what they crave. Our bodies often self regulate, so we won’t always eat cake for the rest of our lives. Rather, we would begin to crave more fruits and vegetables, said Womack. “The main methodology is to get a wide variety; not to focus on what’s good or bad, but getting a healthy balance of all the food groups.”

    Womack’s expert opinion promotes a balance between satisfying cravings and eating what is most nutritionally beneficial. Therefore, eating goldfish three out of seven days of the week is not going to ruin a healthy diet as long as the other four days consist of healthy snacks, such as almonds and fruits.

    The conscious decisions to make snacks more nutritional is simple: one must ensure that more than one form of nutrients is being backed into daily snacks. Changes in the different types of snacks can provide long-lasting energy and nutrients that help the body and mind.