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Smart snacks to keep you on track

Laura Williams, M.S.Ed. is a personal trainer, freelance writer and entrepreneur who works with a wide variety of fitness clients. She's the founder of the popular website, - Girls Gone Sporty, and she's the host of the High Impact Blogg...

Delicious and nutritious snacks

Snacking smart isn’t just about controlling calories -- you need foods that satisfy your hunger, keep you full and provide high-quality nutrients. This may sound like a tall order, but if you know what to look for, you’ll be snacking smart in no time.

Woman in office eating yogurt

1Fiber-filled snacks

When your stomach starts to grumble in the middle of the morning or during the mid-afternoon slump, grab a snack full of fiber. Fiber is a nutrient that helps keep you full by slowing down digestion. Legumes, fruit, vegetables and whole grains are all packed with fiber, making them good choices. Consider the following fiber-filled snacks:

  • Microwavable popcorn – light varieties that are low in saturated fat are perfect for the office
  • Cut vegetables dipped in plain Greek yogurt or guacamole
  • Mary's Gone Crackers Sticks & Twigs – a wheat free, gluten free variation of the pretzel that's delicious dipped in hummus
  • A piece of fresh fruit or a cup of berries
  • A half-cup of black beans mixed with fresh salsa – heat up for a quick and easy alternative to black bean soup
  • A packet of instant oatmeal
  • KIND snack bars – tasty and easily packable, these bars are made almost entirely of fiber-filled fruits and nuts

2Fat-filled snacks

Just because a food is filled with fat doesn't mean it's automatically off-limits when it comes to snacking. Fat is actually an essential nutrient that should account for 20 to 30 percent of your daily calorie intake. That said, make sure you're choosing the right kinds of fats. Fats that come from plant sources -- like olives, avocados and nuts -- tend to contain mono- and polyunsaturated fats, or "healthy" fats. These fats add satiety to your food without clogging your arteries. Just keep an eye on portion size, as fat calories can add up fast. Consider the following fat-filled snacks:

  • Nut butters (peanut butter, almond butter, etc.) layered on whole-wheat crackers, apple slices or celery sticks
  • Salsamole – an avocado half mixed with salsa as a dip to eat with corn chips or cut vegetables
  • Olives – the new Lindsay Recloseables come in an easy-to-carry package that makes snacking on olives a healthy and easy option
  • Homemade trail mix – mix two tablespoons mixed nuts with a quarter-cup dried fruit

3Protein-filled snacks

Eating protein-filled snacks helps keep you full until your next meal because proteins take longer for the body to digest and assimilate. Many of the snacks mentioned provide proteins from plant sources, but there's nothing wrong with turning to animal sources for a quick protein pick-me-up. Consider the following protein-packed snacks:

  • Boiled eggs
  • Greek yogurt mixed with berries and oats
  • A yogurt smoothie-style drink like Dahlicious Lassi -- great snack for when you're on the go
  • Half a turkey or chicken sandwich
  • A glass of milk and a banana -- milk is an excellent source of high-quality protein
  • Chunk white tuna layered on top of Pretzel Crisps or Mary's Gone Crackers gluten-free crackers

More healthy snacking tips

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Smart ways to snack

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