Snacking between meals can keep you from getting too hungry and help you maintain a more consistent energy level throughout the day. The secret is eating the right kind of snacks, ones that will give your body the nutrients that it needs.
It can be difficult to get all of your daily recommended nutrients from breakfast, lunch, and dinner alone. Eating small, healthy snacks between your regular meals can add to that nutrient intake.
Snacking on a combination of fruits and a few nuts can be a great and easy way to introduce more vitamins, antioxidants, and healthy fats into your body. Grain crackers and vegetables can give you a fiber-rich boost, and low-fat dairies can provide an increase in calcium.
Feel Fuller, Longer
If you’re concerned about snacking because you’re trying to manage your weight, smart snacking with fiber- rich foods is one way to actually help you out.
Take almonds, for example. A one-ounce serving of almonds (approximately 23) contains about six grams of protein, four grams of fiber, and is only around 160 calories.
A healthy snack fills you up with the right nutrients and can actually allow you to stick to a moderate amount of food when you do eat your next meal. High-fiber snacks take longer to digest than other snacks, causing you to actually eat less.
Have a Plan
One of the best ways to avoid reaching for unhealthy junk foods is to create weekly meal plans that account for cravings between meals. Put tasty, convenient pairings—like apples or celery with peanut butter—and healthy snacks such as cherry tomatoes, olives, and pickles on your shopping list.
Just make sure to mix up your snacks. While it’s important to incorporate whole, low-glycemic foods into your diet, it’s easy to fall into a snacking rut and just go for the same old, same old. And boredom can lead to the sugary, empty-caloric dark side.
Plan your snacks and save yourself any post-eating guilt.
Consider These Snack Options:
These delicious and quick snacks are under 300 calories:
4 Tbsp. hummus + 1 large carrot = 170 calories
1 medium apple + 2 oz. cheese = 235 calories
1 oz. almonds (approximately 23) + ¼ c. dried cranberries = 255 calories
1 slice whole-grain bread + ½ an avocado = 260 calories
1 cup Greek yogurt + ½ c. granola = 290 calories
2 Tbsp. peanut butter + 1 banana = 295 calories