Have you heard? Americans are snacking more than ever, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Snacks can be a great way to sustain and power your body between meals, provided that they’re “nutrient dense” – yes, those are a dietitian’s two favorite words and I just said them. #NutritionGeek
Nutrient dense is a fancy way of saying that a food provides lots of bang (or health benefits) for not very many calories. Ideally a snack should include at least 2 or maybe even 3 of these nutrient dense foods, depending on how much fuel your body needs. Contrary to what you might think about adding calories from snacks, including nutrient dense snacks in-between meals helps keep your blood sugar stable and prevents the hangry horrors and mindless eating that happens when you’re overly hungry. THAT’s where too many calories come from.
To make sure you’re snacking properly, follow these rules:
- Eat a snack if it’s been at least 3 hours since your last meal, and at least 2 hours until your next meal
- Include at least 3 different food groups on your snack plate (a fruit or vegetable, a grain, and a protein or dairy)
- Most snack foods should be whole foods – not overly processed foods
Here are my all-time favorites for healthy snacking foods – all perfectly portioned out for you. Pick a few and make a snack:
Yes. You read that right. 23 almonds is a good sized serving! And because they’re full of healthy fat, fiber and protein, chances are pretty good you’ll find them on most popular diet plans.
1 hardboiled egg
Yep, it’s the perfect protein, about 70 calories, and it comes with it’s own container.
1 string cheese stick
What? Adults need the calcium and protein too! And peeling them into strings gives you something to do.
1 individual size packet of tuna
Repeat after me – lean protein extravaganza.
1 cup of red raspberries
Can you say superfruit? Antioxidants, phytochemicals, 9 grams of filling fiber and only 80 calories
8 Trader Joe’s Multigrain Pita bite crackers
Their ingredient list includes whole wheat, rye, spelt, bran, barley, oats and seeds. Yes, it sounds like they might taste like cardboard. No, they are quite possibly the most delicious healthy whole grain snack around.
6 ounces of Greek yogurt
The perfect blend of protein and carbs, along with the added bonus of bone building calcium. Plus – you can make it sweet or savory.
The extra calories from these #HealthySnacks may actually help you lose weight! #EatToLose Click To Tweet
And there you have MY list of perfect snack foods to help you lose or stay at a healthy weight. What are some of yours?
the featured image in this post is from the National Processed Raspberry Council