Eating healthy can be a challenge for everybody, regardless of their walk of life. In our everyday lives, it can be easy to fall into the same rotation of three to five meals we know how to make (or order) by heart. And while it can be tough to add new meals to your regular rotation, here are some that are so easy to make and so good for your heart health that you might be willing to give them a try!
1. A Guilt-Free Snack: the Yogurt Bowl
When it comes to prepping your morning bowl snack, the American Heart Association recommends a combination of Greek yogurt, blueberries, natural peanut butter, and oats (or your favorite oat bar split into chunks). Of course, you can go for other combinations that are still good for your health, like adding strawberries, raw nuts, and dried coconut, for example.
2. The Healthy, Together With the Tasty: Broccoli Pasta
Getting your weekly intake of greens doesn’t have to happen the hard way when you can easily incorporate them in pasta. Just chop some broccoli, a small onion, and get grated pecorino romano. Cook your favorite type of pasta and add everything together while it’s still hot. You can experiment by adding chicken or spinach and tomatoes, depending on your preference.
3. The Heart Wants What It Wants: Avocado Egg Salad Toast
It’s not a government secret anymore that avocado is your heart’s best friend. Its healthy fats, vitamin K, potassium, and other amazing nutrients make it the perfect snack. But, instead of the plain avocado toast, why not make things a bit extra nutritious? Add in boiled eggs, some mustard, and red chili flakes for an additional kick. Enjoy with cherry tomatoes on the side!
4. A Protein-Packed Non-Boring Salad
Why go for the same old chicken caesar salad when you can prep something way more interesting? All you need for this bowl of awesomeness is grilled chicken, romaine lettuce, white onion, cucumber, red pepper, sliced Honeycrisp apple, and feta cheese. That way, you’ll be getting heart-healthy veggies, poultry, and fruit all at the same time.
5. A Better PB and J Alternative: Almond Butter, Banana & Jam Sandwich
Incorporate fruit, nuts, and whole grains into your diet by substituting the regular PB and J with two slices of whole-wheat bread, almond butter, banana, and strawberry jam. It’s just delicious! You can have it for breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon snack, and dessert.
Many are afraid of the word “diet,” but when it comes to keto and proper education about it, meat and cheese lovers would love it. The only downside? You have to cut out the carbs. And if you look at your potato chips or chocolate bar nutrition list, you’ll see that they contain between 50 and 90 percent carbohydrates.
However, there are many options for healthy keto snacks out there that are just, if not more delicious than the regular snacks people are used to eating (and let’s be honest, these are pure poison). Below, you can see a list of the top five, most delicious keto snacks one can get but before that, let’s talk about the ketogenic diet and eating frequency.
Ketogenic Diet Explained
The whole point of cutting off carbs is to lower the insulin response the human body makes. Insulin is the storage hormone, and when its levels are high, our bodies store nutrition which results in fats. What the ketogenic diet does is utilizing all that stored fat to be burned as everyday fuel. This is why intermittent fasting is best combined with low-carb diets as, during the fasting period, the insulin level will be at its lowest.
Knowing how the ketogenic diet works is important when it comes to snacks as the following treats are recommended to be eaten during or right after having a meal. No matter how low in carbs those are, you can’t risk spiking your insulin 4-5 times a day.
#1. Enlightened Keto Ice Cream
There are many brands making keto desserts, but when it comes to Enlightened company, they are killing it. Their ice creams come with zero net carb sweeteners, less than 1g of sugar per serving, fibers, and the variety of flavors (everything from butter pecan to chocolate glazed donut) taste like heaven.
#2. Grass-Fed Bars/Jerkey
Whatever food protocol you’re following, grass-fed meat is always the better right choice. Grass-fed beef contains fewer calories and more omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), making it an even better addition to any keto and low-carb diet. DNX is a company offering bars and jerky made of Jamaican style grass-fed bison, barbecue seasoned chicken, cajun style turkey, and more.
#3. Trader Giotto’s Oven-Baked Cheese Bites
Putting crispy bacon bites on cream soups instead of croutons is one solution, but Trader Giotto’s oven-baked cheese bites are even better. Containing less than 1g of carbs but high in protein, these also go well with salads but could be eaten as a stand-alone snack.
#4. Bacon Asparagus Bites
With plenty of store-bought keto-friendly snacks, here’s something easy to make yourself. All you need is to crisp some thinly sliced bacon and roast a bunch of asparagus, take your favorite cream cheese, dip 2-inch asparagus in it and roll some bacon on top.
#5. Non-Labeled Keto-Friendly Foods
Also, keep in mind that many foods won’t be labeled as keto but are perfectly fine with your low-carb protocol. Greek or Bulgarian yogurt mixed with your favorite berries, eggs (in all their forms), avocados, olives, cheeses (the more aged, the better), fatty nuts (pecans, almonds, etc), and everything that doesn’t contain a whole lot of carbohydrates.