#4 of 10 Healthy Foods

Beef jerky rests as one of the best protein packed snack foods out there. Looking for a protein fix? Try some beef jerky or maybe try another type of jerky... Each individual jerky type comes with it's own health benefits. Some may be healthier than others (less sodium, ect.).

1. Chili

Chili is one of the most versatile and satisfying foods around. It can be made with nearly everything, including ground beef, chicken, turkey, tomatoes, onions, garlic, pinto beans, and low-fat cheddar cheese. Chili can be a great source of protein, fiber, and numerous vitamins and minerals depending on the ingredients you add. For a treat, try adding hot chili as a topping to your favorite garden style salad!

2. Sugar-Free Jell-O®

It’s delicious, it’s sugar free, and it’s extremely low in calories! Sugar-free Jell-O® is the perfect dessert choice for anybody who’s serious about getting, and staying, in shape. Adding sugar-free whipping cream tops off this low-calorie dessert.

3. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a great alternative to white potatoes as they have a lower glycemic index (which helps control insulin levels). Sweet potatoes are also an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of potassium, vitamins C and B6, riboflavin, copper, pantothenic acid, and folic acid. They’re also very versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes. They taste great when garnished with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, or lime.

4. Beef Jerky

One ounce of beef jerky can contain about 11 grams of protein, 70 calories, and only 1 gram of fat! If you’re craving a meaty protein fix and you need something quick to satisfy it, beef jerky is the way to go.

5. Almonds

Almonds are a great addition to salads and cereals. They contain 6 grams of protein per ounce, and they’re also a good source of dietary fiber, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, and vitamin E, an antioxidant. One ounce of almonds also provides about 7.4 grams of alpha-tocopherol vitamin E. They’re also rich in the amino acid arginine. If that’s not enough, the monounsaturated fat in almonds may help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol while maintaining healthy levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. Just remember, though, that too much of a good thing can really add to your daily calorie intake.

6. Cream of Wheat®

Cream of Wheat® is not only a tasty source of complex carbohydrates, but also a good source of calcium. Research suggests that calcium plays an important role in supporting weight loss. Cream of Wheat® is also a good source of iron and folic acid.

7. Grits

Grits are another good source of complex carbohydrates. They’re a great low-fat side dish and an excellent alternative to bacon at breakfast. They also contain a decent amount of dietary fiber. Try adding a teaspoon of minced garlic and some low-fat cheese to liven up your grits.

8. Salsa

Though salsa is commonly linked to foods that aren’t very effective at helping you to build muscle and support fat loss, salsa itself is actually a great food to add to your eating plan. Tomatoes found in the majority of salsas are a major dietary source of lycopene, a potent nutrient and antioxidant. The body converts lycopene into vitamin A, which helps promote good vision and healthy skin. Salsa is easy to make – just dice some tomatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, and cilantro and mix it all together with cumin and fresh lime juice. Try adding it to tuna for a tasty high-protein treat!

9. Whole Grain/Wild Rice

While many people have become carb conscious, wild rice is still a great choice for overall health when incorporated into a balanced diet. Wild rice is high in fiber and full of vitamin B, iron, potassium, and zinc. It’s a great side dish at anyone’s dinner table.

10. Sashimi

Isn’t sashimi the same as sushi? Not quite. Sushi is generally made with white rice and seasoned with sweet rice-wine vinegar. Sushi can be calorie dense, and a 4-ounce serving contains around 225 calories and is low in protein. Though similar to sushi, sashimi is thinly sliced, raw seafood and is usually not made with white rice (though rice may be served on the side). Before they are eaten, sashimi pieces are dipped in soy sauce. Wasabi (Japanese horseradish) or gari (ground ginger) may be mixed into the soy sauce. Most sashimi is low in fat, while including some omega-3 fatty acids. It’s high in protein and low in calories, making it a great food choice for athletes.

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