Low Salt Snacks
Salt, otherwise known as sodium, can be tricky. It’s the essential mineral our bodies need, yet most of us are trying to limit it in our diets. Why try to limit an essential element? The problem is moderation. The recommended amount of daily sodium intake is 1,500 mg, and most of us have no problem hitting that. In fact, the average American consumes 3,400 mg of salt every day. So it’s not hard to find, but why limit salt anyway?
Why Limit Salt?
Sodium is a necessary part of our diet in order to regulate fluid balance, nerve and muscle function. But, too much of it can cause problems. High amounts of sodium can boost blood pressure and increase the risks of heart and kidney failure. These are major medical complications and adopting a change in sodium intake can make all the difference.
Making The Switch
When you need something quick and easy to tie you over until dinner, that vending machine around the corner becomes extremely appealing. But the potato chips, pretzels, trail mix, and popcorn in there all have one thing in common—they are high in salt! For example, one small bag of potato chips contains over 10% of the recommended “daily” sodium intake for the average adult. We get it, everyone has salty cravings, but that doesn’t mean you have to eat something with a ton of salt! So, skip the vending machine and try a low salt snack. Here’s a list of our favorites to help get you started!
Our Top 18 Suggestions
- Whole Fruit - This one may be a little obvious, but it’s so easy! Grab your favorite fruit in the morning, and you’re set when that sweet tooth hits later that afternoon. Tip: See what fruits are in season! The fruit is always rotating, which makes it easy to change it up and try something new. If you’re having an extra-strong salty craving, you can even find fruits that go well with salt such as watermelon or apples!
- Roasted chickpeas - Chickpeas are high in fiber and protein, and roasting them adds the extra flavor that will make this a recurring snack. Plus, you can season them any way you like them. Just remember to limit the salt!
- Yogurt Parfait - Greek yogurt is a great source of calcium and protein, without adding too much sodium. Pair it with your favorite fruit and granola and you’ve got a snack that will keep you full until your dinner group at 6.
- Fruit smoothie - This is a great way to get those fruits in with little to no salt. You can also sneak in those veggies by adding in some spinach or kale.
- Veggies and Greek Yogurt Dip - Did you know plain greek yogurt with a few seasonings (you pick your favorites!) makes the perfect veggie dip? You’re welcome. This dip makes it easy to get those veggies in and get rid of your hunger, while still being low in sodium.
- Fruit with peanut butter - Peanut butter is high in good fats and protein, so it will help you stay full longer. Natural peanut butter typically contains less salt and sugar, so keep an eye out for that. Try it with almond butter, too!
- Unsalted Nuts - This one is just about as easy as it comes. Throw it in a bag and you are good to go! Nuts are another great snack that is high in protein. There’s also a wide variety, so keep trying something new.
- Air-popped popcorn - Air-popped popcorn is a whole grain, so it’s actually a great choice for a snack. The problem is what we add to it. After popping the kernels, try giving it some flavor with something other than ingredients like butter or caramel. There are so many healthy options! Cilantro lime, rosemary parmesan, spicy sriracha and many more!
- Frozen yogurt bites - A kid’s favorite! Mix greek yogurt with your favorite fruit, spoon it into an ice cube tray and let it freeze. They will thank you, and you can enjoy it too!
- Unsalted Trail Mix - Trail mix with the right ingredients is the perfect on the go snack. Some of our favorite ingredients to include are dried fruits, nuts, seeds and some yogurt chips or dark chocolate for some fun.
- Low Salted cheese and Bell Pepper slices - This combo is divine and super easy to prepare. Just be sure to pick a cheese that is low in sodium. A few of our go-to cheeses are fresh mozzarella, cottage cheese and swiss cheese.
- Salsa - Salsa is one of the best snacks to take care of that salty craving. Tomatoes, onions, peppers, corn, cilantro, you name it! You can even enjoy it with some tortilla chips, just remember, moderation!
- Overnight oats - Overnight oats require a little bit of preparation, but you’re set the next day. Mix some oats, yogurt, and milk together then add any fruit you’d like. Stick it in the fridge and you’re ready to go!
- Protein bites - This is a great one because you can make as many or as little as you need. And you can make it just the way you like it! Sweet or savory, these will definitely be a hit.
- Dried Fruit - Another super easy one! It can be dried cranberries, apples, strawberries, you name it. These are great to have on hand to throw into your trail mix or oats as well. Some of these can be very high in sugar so make sure you’re reading the nutrition facts!
- Whole grain toast - We love this one because the possibilities are endless. Find your favorite whole grain toast and top it with some avocado, nut butter, eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper, whatever sounds great to you. It’s an easy way to hit more than one food group, too!
- Sweet potato bites - Sweet potato bites need a little more work beforehand, but they are a great source of potassium and fiber. Peel and cube the sweet potato, drizzle with a little oil and seasonings, and cook in the oven at 375° for 20 minutes. Then, top it any way you like it. Goat cheese, avocado, tomatoes and hummus are a few that we love!
- Hummus - The main ingredient in hummus is chickpeas. Chickpeas are high in fiber and protein but are still low in sodium. This is another healthy snack that can be paired with veggies, whole-grain crackers, or even low sodium pita chips. Enjoy!
Whichever snack you choose, remember, salt is not bad for you. Our bodies need salt, but we tend to eat more salt than they need. It’s important to learn how much salt your body needs and eat accordingly. These snacks are a great and healthy way to get your daily salt intake!
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