Wheat Thins

Craving salt?

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I have to admit, salt is my weakness.  I love salt and extra-extra salt!  I have found the older I have gotten the more salt and spicy foods I crave.  This led me to do some research.  There is indeed a valid reason behind this: as we age, like all the other cells in the body, those special sensory cells that make up the taste buds eventually wear out. As we get older, the taste buds begin to disappear from the sides and roof of the mouth, leaving taste buds mostly on our tongue.  To avoid excessive use of salt, I have added a few more spices into my diet, cooking and as toppings.

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Here are some great salty healthy snacks I am sharing with you salt lovers to start your week:

Tip:  Remember to drink an 8-ounce glass of water with your salty snacks to reduce water retention and bloating salt can trigger.

1.  How about a handful of low-sodium pretzels?  Pretzels are every dieter’s best friend, a light and crunchy snack food.

2. Nuts.  Most nuts are high in fat, but eating just a small serving of walnuts, peanuts and almonds can keep your cravings under control and even serves as a source of healthy fat. They are also high in protein.

3. With movie or without popcorn! Instead of buying microwavable popcorn, why not try making your own with coconut oil?  Add a variety of toppings for fun.  Popcorn is a great way to steer clear of unhealthy foods and get your salty-food fix. Snacking on popcorn is a great replacement for potato chips or other unhealthy food and is a good source of fiber.

4. Soy crisps/crackers.  Soy crisps are very low in calories and available in a variety of flavors. You can eat these just like regular potato chips and do it without the guilt!  My husband and I especially like the Trader Joe’s thin soy crisps.

5.  Low-fat crackers.  Enjoy a handful of Triscuits, Wheat Thins or other low-fat crackers that contain less than 150 calories per serving. These crackers are also great with salsa and other fat-free dips if you want to further satisfy your craving.

6.  Cheese!  My favorite snack in the world, but requires self-control!  How about reaching for a low-fat string cheese when you’re having strong cravings for cheese. String cheese is packed with protein and can take care of almost any salty craving; plus, most types of low-fat string cheese contain less than 100 calories per serving.

7.  My next favorite salty snack: roasted pumpkin seeds!  Pumpkins seeds are a great source of fiber, and also contain a significant amount of iron, magnesium and protein. Add these to your daily menu to enjoy a low-calorie, guilt-free snack and get through any diet day with ease.  Stick to the “small handful rule” and put that bag of seeds away!  These are very easy to consume by the bowl-full!

8.  How about edamame?  Edamame are whole green soybeans that are rich in fiber, potassium and other essential vitamins and minerals. These are a great low-calorie snack food that can take care of those salty cravings in a jiffy.

9. Veggie sticks and hummus.  Hummus comes in a variety of flavors, or even try making your own.  Hummus is a spread or dip that’s made with a base of chickpeas and some olive oil, high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, as well as healthy fats.  Pickles and olives are also wonderful salty dip tools!

10. Chips and salsa.  Try baked chips, blue tortilla chips, or pita chips.

Bonus: Have an avocado!  Just add some sea salt, pepper and other spices if you wish.

Have a great Monday!

Wendy