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Smart swap: How to switch out the unhealthy for better options without sacrificing taste

As you sit down in front of the television or stand in front of the snacks counter at the movie theater, for example, you know exactly what you should or shouldn't be having. The issue is whether you choose correctly or not.
That isn't to say you can't have a handful of potato chips or sneak a few cookies here and there from time to time but rather ultimately making smart choices for an extended period of time. The other option that often is overlooked isn't so much choosing but rather implementing snacks that are similar in nature that would be considered healthy alternatives that would easily suffice.
This can be tricky, however, considering some so called healthy snacks really aren't. It's up to you to find a balance between some of your snacking favorites and finding something that closely resembles them. Take for instance a classic: trail mix.
Most of what is marketed and sold is about as healthy as a bag of potato chips or cheese curls. Popcorn is another snack that isn't a given as far as being healthy, particularly if you gravitate toward the buttery kind or, worse yet, the kind without the kernel that is always filled with fat and extra sodium (mostly because it is flavored with processed cheese dusting).
Finding low fat popcorn makes sense or even making your own trail mix that includes dry almonds, raisins and peanuts or anything else you might want to add without the additional sodium or preservatives from the bagged variety.

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Often times, the snacks or beverages consumed often are an afterthought mostly because you've been eating or drinking them for so long, such as soda or other sugary drinks. Even drinks marked as "energy" include a mountain of sugar and very little redeeming qualities as a beverage. Instead, water with plenty of lemon is extraordinarily healthy and works to keep you hydrated, while the others do the exact opposite. And don't even thinking about the diet soda, either. The aspartame causes stomach and digestive issues and actually can lead to weight gain.
As for Gatorade or Monster Energy Drinks, those should be reserved for athletes who burn thousands of calories (Gatorade) or if you for some reason needs to stay up for 24 hours in a row (which is hopefully never since the "Monster" drinks are terribly bad for your heart.)
Enjoying a midday snack that isn't cakes, cookies or ice cream doesn't have to be so difficult. You still can have those items, and more, but doing so with your best health interests in mind.

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