There are so many things to love about fall – colorful foliage, crunchy leaves, warm scarves, flannel pajamas – but the food is undoubtedly one of the best parts. That said, many autumnal treats are high in sugar and fat: pumpkin pie, pecan pie, apple cobbler, sweet potato casserole, pumpkin spice lattes, etc. If you’re trying to maintain a healthy diet, you may wish to save these foods for special occasions. So what are some healthy fall snacks that you can enjoy on an everyday basis?
Healthy Fall Snacks for Seniors
Apples, Apple Chips, and Applesauce
Does an apple a day really keep the doctor away? Unfortunately no, but apples are a great addition to a nutritious diet. They’re an excellent source of fiber, vitamin, and phytochemicals. The consumption of apples has been shown to reduce people’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes and to help people maintain their weight.
To consume as many of the fruit’s nutrients as possible, eat apples fresh and raw. You could also try sprinkling them with cinnamon or, for a protein-packed snack, dipping slices in peanut butter.
Looking for a replacement for salty, fatty potato chips? Try apple chips! They’re made by thinly slicing an apple, sprinkling the chips with cinnamon, and baking them in an oven. They’re crunchy, chewy, and naturally sweet.
Looking for something a little easier on the teeth? Try applesauce. Available in convenient little cups that are perfect for snacking, applesauce is an excellent way to enhance your daily intake of nutrients. However, try to avoid applesauce products that contain added sugar.
Although nuts are an excellent snack option year-round, most nut varieties are harvest in fall. For example, almonds, chestnuts, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, and hazelnuts are all harvested at some point between August and December. Although the health benefits of nuts vary based on your choice of nut, all nuts contain protein, unsaturated fatty acids, and nutrients like fiber and vitamin E, which are good for your heart health. Nuts are also easy to store and to pack when you’re on the go, making them an ideal snack. However, because nuts are high in calories, you may want to limit your portion sizes.
Like nuts, pumpkin seeds are full of fiber and nutrients. According to BBC Good Food, just six pumpkin seeds (approximately 28 ounces) contain 7 grams of protein, 1.7 grams of fiber, as well as nutrients like magnesium, potassium, choline, vitamin K, zinc, and iron. Plus, they may support blood sugar balance, regulate blood pressure, and benefit heart health. You can pick up shelled pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas) in the supermarket, or you might consider roasting some after carving a pumpkin for Halloween.
When you cozy up on the couch to watch a movie this autumn, why not munch on some popcorn? Depending on the type you choose, popcorn is a deliciously healthy snack. It’s full of fiber and antioxidants – plus it’s a whole grain! The healthiest popcorns are air-popped or popped in a small amount of oil. To keep your snack nutritious, avoid butter, sweeteners, and sugary toppings like caramel.
Because trail mix is so customizable, you can make it as healthy as you like! You might even consider adding some of the foods we mentioned above, like nuts, pumpkin seeds, popcorn, or apple chips. Other great additions include coconut flakes, dried cranberries, raisins, and perhaps some chocolate chips for a sweet treat. Once again, it’s important to watch your portion size. Because many trail mixes contain nuts and chocolate, they’re often high in calories. Stick with a small handful.
Fall will be gone before you know it, but luckily these seasonal snacks are available all year round. Happy autumn!
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