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Healthy Snacks

The original snack eaters were primitive cave people looking for portable and long-lasting food.  You can imagine that they had to eat their meat fresh, as the nearest refrigerator was at least a couple thousand years away.  The prehistoric human, being an omnivore, began as a gatherer before a hunter.  What exactly did he gather?  Well if you think about it, they gathered the precursors to what we’d later call snacks.

Where there were berries, nuts, and honey readily available, there were snack eaters looking for a quick fix.  Later in history, the Chinese and Arabians soon figured out that coating dried fruit and nuts with honey would make a delicious food that wouldn’t be eaten as a meal.

These early snacks were pretty healthy.  You can’t really go wrong with natural ingredients.  The main problem came with the advent of refined sugars, corn syrup, and milk chocolate.  All told, they upped the energy content of snacks to the point where it was not advisable to eat more than one chocolate bar or a small bag of candy per day.

Problems with obesity throughout America have prompted confectioners to shift their products towards a more healthy diet.  There are several ways to achieve this:

  • The original healthy snacks did not rely on sugars or artificial flavors.  Things like granola bars, fruit bars, and rice cakes are all made from natural ingredients and tend to be low in fat. 
  • Meal replacement snacks and energy bars tend to be high in proteins and are really good for you if you live an active lifestyle.
  • Some health-food snacks simply replace the sugar with a no-calorie substitute like Aspartame.
  • Certain manufacturers are now offering their snacks in reduced sizes or bite-sized portions.  This helps to control binging on snacks.

That’s all well and good, but you don’t need to rely on healthy snacks to live a healthy life.  Let’s face it, you only live once, and snacks are the sort of guilty pleasure that makes life worth enjoying!  Just remember that everything in excess tends to lead to bad things, while taking things in moderation can be a reward in and of itself.

So enjoy a snack here and there, mix in some healthy ones, but most of all, enjoy your snack experience!