A snack is a portion of food, often smaller than a regular meal, generally eaten between meals. Snacks come in a variety of forms including packaged snack foods and other processed foods, as well as items made from fresh ingredients at home.

Traditionally, snacks are prepared from ingredients commonly available in the home. Often cold cuts, fruit, leftovers, nuts, sandwiches, and the like are used as snacks. The Dagwood sandwich was originally the humorous result of a cartoon character's desire for large snacks. With the spread of convenience stores, packaged snack foods became a significant business. Snack foods are typically designed to be portable, quick, and satisfying. Processed snack foods, as one form of convenience food, are designed to be less perishable, more durable, and more portable than prepared foods. They often contain substantial amounts of sweeteners, preservatives, and appealing ingredients such as chocolate, peanuts, and specially-designed flavors (such as flavored potato chips).

Beverages, such as coffee, are not generally considered snacks though they may be consumed along with or in lieu of snack foods.

A snack eaten shortly before going to bed or during the night may be called a midnight snack.

A Few Nuts A Day Keeps The Doctor Away

Here’s the lowdown on why almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, and pistachios are good for you… and why peanuts didn’t make the list.

Okay, here’s the honest truth: I’d eat nuts whether they’re good for me or not. But, it does make me feel better to know that they are indeed nutritious. Here are four particularly healthy kinds and their benefits.

Almonds

Almonds are small but they’re packed with nutrients. According to Men’s Health, 1 ounce of almonds provides 50 percent of your daily value of vitamin E, 8 percent of your calcium (more than any other nut), and 10 percent of magnesium. Vitamin E is important because it’s an antioxidant that can help protect cells and thus possibly protect against heart disease and cancer. Almonds are also a good source of protein, which helps fill you up, gives you energy, and helps your muscles develop. And they have fat, but it’s mostly monounsaturated fat—the good fat—which may help lower cholesterol. (Justin’s makes single-serving almond butter packs that are healthy and very tasty!)

Walnuts

The special thing about walnuts is that they containomega-3 fatty acids (the kind also found in fish). Omega-3 fatty acids help your heart and blood vessels function. In fact, according to medical expert Dr. Andrew Weil, the FDA has approved the claim that eating 1.5 oz of walnuts daily as part of a low saturated fat and low-cholesterol diet, and not resulting in increased caloric intake, may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Walnuts also have protein and monounsaturated fat. 

Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts are high in selenium, another powerful antioxidant. And again, they have protein and mono fats.

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