Today’s consumers see snacking as an integral part of their lifestyles. From stressed-out Generation Xers to comfort-seeking Baby Boomers and wellness-savvy Millennials, consumers recognize that smart mini-meals can be part of an all-day wellness plan, according to U.S. trend watcher Iconoculture.
Iconoculture reports that consumers want to bring their lives back into balance. They crave basic, comforting, filling and better-for-them foods when they snack, including nuts, seeds, fruits, popcorn and veggies.
Consumers want their snacks to be multitasking munchies,” said chef and cookbook author Tina Salter, who develops recipes for Diamond culinary nuts, Emerald snack nuts and Pop Secret popcorn. “They want snacks that provide health benefits, but that are also convenient, delicious, satisfying and taste a little indulgent.”
Healthy snacks, numerous benefits
One of the keys to healthy snacking is eating foods that aren’t merely good for the body, Salter said, but are handy and leave us satisfied without the guilt. That’s why so many healthy snackers are turning to nuts and popcorn. Both snacks are high in fiber, contain proven antioxidants and provide a host of other benefits.
In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says that scientific evidence suggests that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, might reduce the risk of heart disease.
Walnuts are one of the most concentrated sources of omega-3 fatty acids. One serving of walnuts, about 1/3 cup or 12 to 16 walnut halves several times per week has been shown to lower overall cholesterol and blood pressure while reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and fighting arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.
Almonds are a beneficial source of vitamin E, magnesium, manganese and a good source of fiber, copper, phosphorous and riboflavin. A 1-ounce serving, about 23 almonds, contains 13 grams of good unsaturated fats, just 1 gram of saturated fat, and is always cholesterol free.
“Nuts are delicious, nutritious and portable, making them an excellent choice for today’s busy consumers,” Salter said. “Stash them in your desk at work, in your purse or gym bag and in your car so you always have a healthy snacking option at hand.”
Movie night just got healthier
A recent study showed that plain popcorn has the highest level of polyphenols among snack foods (polyphenols potentially reduce risk of heart disease, cancer and other diseases). With zero cholesterol or trans fats, plain popcorn is 100-percent whole grain and is easy to prepare for the whole family.
An economical snack, popcorn provides a satisfying, high-fiber treat with high satiety levels to aid in hunger management.
– Courtesy of Family Features