Most people can fit two to three healthy snacks into their diet by keeping them small (about 100 to 200 calories each). Many of these snacks can be found at a convenience store if you need to grab last-minute snacks before work. Many snack foods have trans fats, the unhealthiest type of fat. Read the ingredients label. If a food is made with hydrogenated oil, it contains trans fats and should not be eaten. Listed below are examples of healthy snacks by categories:
- Veggie slices with 2 tablespoons low-fat dip (yogurt dips, low-fat ranch, hummus, bean dip, etc.)
- Apple, banana or celery with one spoonful peanut butter
- Peanut butter with one serving high-fiber crackers (typically five to 13 crackers; read the label)
- Fat-free tuna salad kit with low-fat crackers
- 1.5 ounces reduced-fat cheese with one serving high-fiber crackers (typically five to 13 crackers; read the label)
- Reduced-fat cheese stick
- Handful of pretzels (no-salt added)
- Small handful of seeds (no-salt added)
- Small handful of trail mix
- Small handful of dried fruits and nuts (no-salt added)
- A small portion of popcorn (3 cups = one serving), sprinkled with chili powder, cinnamon sugar, parmesan cheese, etc., if desired
- A roll-up of two slices low-sodium deli meat (preferably turkey or chicken) with two slices low-fat cheese
- 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese with 1 cup fruit
- Half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread
- Instant oatmeal packets
- 1 cup canned soup (high-fiber, low-sodium such as Amy’s Organic Lentil Soup or Healthy Choice Chicken Tortilla Soup Cup)
- Pudding or Jell-O cup:
- Fat-free (contains no fat and typically has 80 to 100 calories/pack) OR
- Sugar-free (the sugar is replaced with artificial sweeteners such as Splenda to maintain sweetness, and typically has 45 to 60 calories/pack)
- 1 cup strawberries and fat-free Cool Whip
- Fruit with dip made of 1/2 cup plain yogurt and honey
- Fiber One bars, Lara bars, or any bar with fewer than 200 calories, low if fat, low in sugar, and high in fiber
- Two Fig Newtons
- One Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwich
- Fresh or frozen fruit with ½ cup low-fat frozen yogurt or 1 cup regular yogurt
|Your Craving:||What You Need:||Better Option:|
|Chocolate||Magnesium||Nuts, seeds, dark green and leafy veggies|
|Sugary Foods||Chromium||Broccoli, tomatoes, onions, whole grains|
|Tryptophan||Chicken, turkey, soybeans, salmon, spinach|
|Salty Foods||Chloride||Seaweed, celery, lettuce|
|Carbohydrates||Protein||Meats, nuts, beans, legumes, dairy, soy|
|Greasy Foods||Calcium||Green leafy veggies, broccoli, nuts, dairy, canned fish|
It is important to know that calories from beverages count just as much towards weight gain as calories from food, although they likely will not keep you full as long.
- Mineral water: Make your own by putting cut up pieces of fruit (citrus, berries, melon) in a bottle of water.
- Unsweetened tea: You may flavor with lemon or a small amount of sugar).
- Coffee: If you use creamer, limit it to a 1 tablespoon serving. A calorie-free sweetener like Stevia or Splenda might be a better option.
- Diet sodas and fruit juices
Caloric beverages that offer nutritional value and are low in sugar:
- Fat-free, skim or low-fat (1%) milk. Suggestion: When having a sweet tooth, drink light hot chocolate mix with low-fat milk.
- 100% fruit juice or vegetable juice. Suggestion: Mix half juice with half sparkling water.