I’m sure you’ve notice a theme throughout the month on our blog of things being “heart healthy.” Well, February is National Heart Health month, so us dietitians at RBA of course wanted to participate in the fun. I talk to my clients a lot about having heart healthy snacks in between meals. Many times my clients are surprised because they are used to snacks being something like cookies or chips. While it is possible to have chips and still have a healthy diet, I do encourage my clients to have nutritious snacks more often. So, I decided to write a blog this month about heart healthy snacks to try! Let us know your faves on this list or if we missed any 🙂
1. Heart Healthy Trail Mix
This is the ideal on-the-go snack. Unsalted nuts and dried fruit are a great combination. Sometimes I add in Cheerios or popcorn to mine. What’s great about trail mix is that it can store well in your car. So, if you need something quick, it might be a good idea to store some trail mix in your trunk or bag! I buy the kind from Trader Joe’s that are already portioned out into individual servings. Try this recipe for a base for your trail mix, and personalize your recipe with your favorite additions!
2. Avocado or Peanut Butter Toast
Basically, all you do is toast a piece of whole grain toast and then add avocado and other toppings. There are so many yummy variations of this tasty treat. See below for my faves:
- Avocado slices, garlic and pepper
- Peanut butter and banana
- Avocado, sundried tomato and a sprinkle of feta cheese
- Peanut butter and pomegranate seeds
Nuts are packed with unsaturated fat, which is the “good” kind of fat and will protect your heart against cholesterol and plaque build up.
3. Tuna Salad and Crackers
I bet you thought you couldn’t have tuna salad as a snack! Well, why not? To make this heart healthy, be sure to go light on the mayo or you can even try using plain fat free Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise. Tuna is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. These help to lower triglycerides in your body. If you substitute avocado for mayo, you will get an extra punch of heart health!
4. Low Sodium Bean Salsa and Baked Chips
Beans being high in fiber help to lower cholesterol levels. The baked chips are a better option than regular fried chips when it comes to heart health. If you aren’t a fan of baked chips, try pita chips or pita bread instead or maybe some whole grain crackers. Try this delicious black bean salsa for your next snack time!
5. Fruit and Low-Fat Yogurt or Cottage Cheese
A fruit and yogurt parfait is a great way to get in a serving of fruit for the day! Try to use a variety of fruits so you get a TON of different colors to make sure you’re getting in different antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. I enjoy using a variety of berries in mine!
6. Chia Seed Pudding
This recipe is so easy and tasty! You can change up the flavors and get creative! That’s it! I like to add fruit and almonds to mine and maybe a dash of cinnamon for flavor.
7. Heart Healthy Smoothie
Also take a look at our Low FODMAP smoothie!
See this handout for our REBEL Smoothie Matrix to get some ideas on how to make a smoothie. We also have this awesome blog with 6 different smoothie recipes for you to try!
8. Heart Healthy Baked Oatmeal Bars
I like to top my baked oatmeal with almond butter for a satisfying, complex-carb snack! These baked oatmeal bars can also be used for breakfast! Find the recipe here.
These aren’t the only heart healthy snacks you can enjoy. There are many other combinations you can try. Do you have a favorite heart healthy snack recipe? Share it with us in the comments!
To make an appointment with one of our Registered Dietitians, click here or call 301-474-2499.
Blog reviewed and updated February 2020.
Whether you are a novice in the kitchen, or a seasoned chef, Dietitian Klara will work with you to help you reach your nutrition goals. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating, Cooking with Diabetes and Cooking with Food Sensitivities Guide.