Say hello to a new favorite summertime snack

Listen up, men, this one’s for you. June is not just about Father’s Day. It’s also Men’s Health Month, an opportunity to raise awareness for men’s health with a focus on prevention. We all know exercise, a good diet, hydration, and getting plenty of sleep are key factors of overall health, but let’s talk specifically about snacks.

Nearly 94 percent of Americans report snacking at least once a day, with about half snacking two to three times daily. If you can identify with those numbers, perhaps it’s time to evaluate your snack choices, and discover a new brand of Peaceful Piranha snacks that has some healthier options. Here’s 4 things to look for when shopping for the perfect snack.

Fiber

Fiber is especially important for colon and heart health. Snacks that contain fiber include fresh berries, whole-grain crackers, nuts, roasted chickpeas, and dried apples–the latter of which contains 4 grams of fiber per serving. Look for snacks with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.

Sodium

Controlling your sodium intake can impact your blood pressure and affect your heart health. If you love salty snacks but need to watch your sodium, look for snacks that have savory seasonings instead of salt. Some flavored nuts, like Peaceful Piranha Sweet Chili Peanut Poppers, have less than 10 percent of the Daily Value of sodium, contain 5 grams of protein, and have 2 grams of fiber. Plus, they satisfy the craving for something salty. If you’re more of a salty-sweet person, look for low-sodium trail mixes that have a little bit of dried fruit, such as raisins or dried cranberries.

Food Groups

Snacks that fit into an actual food group are the most nourishing. Fresh fruits and veggies, dried fruit, baked vegetable chips, yogurt, beef jerky and grain-based snacks such as 100percent whole grain crackers and popcorn are good choices. Bonus points if you choose a snack that contains more than one food group, like yogurt with berries, or Peaceful Piranha Beef Jerky & Tail Mix, which has 4 grams of protein and less than 60mg of sodium.

Portions & Calories

It’s important to understand what you’re getting for the number of calories you’re consuming.

A ¼-cup of almonds, for example, contains 3 grams of fiber (thumbs up) and 6 grams of protein (two thumbs up) for about 160 calories. But that’s a pretty small handful. If volume is more your style, consider popcorn. The average 4-cup serving of popcorn has 150 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and is naturally low in sodium.

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The information is not intended as medical advice.

Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

Laura Schmidt is a registered dietitian representing Hy-Vee as a nutrition expert promoting healthy eating throughout the community.

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