Upgrade your snack time with tasty, satisfying and better-for-you treats.
By Taylor Lupo
Snacks can be a part of a healthy diet. In fact, the right kind of snacks may even help you lose weight! Healthy snacks should satiate hunger and prevent overeating—two important things when you’re trying to watch your weight. Before you find yourself halfway through a bag of chips, it’s important to remember not all snacks are created equal. “I encourage pre-planned snacking,” says registered dietitian, Jessica Crandall of Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center in Denver, Colorado. “I think protein and produce is a great way of helping Americans get more of their nutrient needs in their daily diet.”
Get the scoop on low-calorie snacks that keep you satisfied.
You’re hungry, but there are still two hours before lunch. Instead of starving yourself for what might be a mid-afternoon binge, reach for this crunchy snack. A typical serving of vegetables is about two cups, which will cost you only about 90 calories. “If you're really hungry, you may want to choose lower calorie items because they’ll help you to satiate yourself,” Crandall says. Pair your veggies with two tablespoons of creamy hummus—about 50 calories—for a filling and crunchy treat that will keep you satisfied.
Searching for a midday pick-me-up? Snack on a handful of almonds. One ounce packs a nutritional punch: 6 grams of protein, which keeps you fuller for longer; 3 grams of fiber, which aids in weight management and regularity; and 75 milligrams of magnesium, good for regulating blood sugar levels. For a sweet and satisfying snack, pair a handful of unsalted almonds with a small apple, totaling 225 calories.
Low-fat cottage cheese pairs well with many fruits and veggies. Low in fat and calories, but high in protein—14 grams per half-cup serving—the combination of fiber and protein may be just what you need to hold you over until your next meal. Hollow out a medium tomato and scoop in cottage cheese or dip cherry tomatoes in it. Jazz it up with a drizzle of tangy balsamic vinegar. This hearty snack will run you about 100 calories.
Not a fan of tomatoes? Check out other veggies that are in this (and every) season.
Apples are a great grab-and-go snack! Boost the protein content by pairing your fruit with string cheese. A part-skim mozzarella cheese stick contains just 70 calories and 4 grams of fat. Bonus: Both snacks are pre-portioned for you, so you don’t have to worry about overindulging.
A healthy snack should contain water, nutrients and fiber, and little fat and calories. This sweet snack has it all!
“Grab a fruit or vegetable and pair it with a low calorie protein source,” Crandall suggests. A half-cup of plain non-fat Greek yogurt contains no fat, just 65 calories and 11 grams of protein—the perfect partner for a serving of fruit. One cup of blueberries contains 84 calories, 4 grams of fiber, an abundance of vitamin C and vitamin K, which plays an important role in blood clotting.
Are you a gym rat? Peanut butter and banana makes the perfect post-workout snack. A medium banana weighs in at about 100 calories, and contains 3 grams of fiber, which helps keep you full. A heaping tablespoon of all natural peanut butter contains about 100 calories as well, but boasts 5 grams of protein per serving.
Looking to change things up? Swap your peanut butter for another protein-packed nut butter.
Drinks like soda and lattes are calorie bombs. Our expert advice? “The things that you want to avoid are liquid calories, like lattes, juices and smoothies. Those types of things may add up pretty quickly in calories,” Crandall says. A 16-ounce whole milk latte with run you about 220 calories. And a 12-ounce can of cola? Nearly 140 calories. Drink water instead!
Sipping a glass of fresh water has many benefits. Drinking enough water can help you lose weight, keep your body energized and regulate your body temperature. Filling your body with water also keeps your stomach full, so you won’t overeat.