Snacking can be good for you as long as your snack smart. It’s important to snack between meals in order to avoid hunger, stay energized and keep glucose levels consistent. If you don’t snack and go long periods between meals, you will often end up overeating later. If you feel a snack attack coming on, don’t reach for a bag of greasy potato chips or a box of cookies, instead try some healthy snack options.
When choosing snacks, try to avoid foods with a lot of simple carbohydrates (sugars) such as candy and soda. Instead look for foods that contain complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, as well as protein-rich, low-fat snacks. By snacking smart and avoiding empty calories, you can be healthy and manage your weight. Here are some healthy food items to consider next time you are reaching for a snack.
Peanut butter on wheat crackers
Peanut butter contains good fat, so as long as you eat moderate amounts, it’s healthy. It’s also rich in protein and niacin. Have a tablespoon of peanut butter with 8-12 whole wheat crackers. Peanut butter is also yummy with fresh apple slices or carrot sticks.
Vegetables and hummus
Fresh cauliflower, celery and other crunchy vegetables are low in calories, high in fiber and have little to no fat. Eat fresh vegetables with hummus rather than blue cheese or ranch dressing. It’s a terrific party dip. Hummus is made with chickpeas. It’s protein-rich without saturated fat.
Fat-free yogurt with fruit and walnuts
Fat-free yogurt is a creamy, delicious dairy snack. Add fresh berries, which are high in antioxidants, and a sprinkle of walnuts for unsaturated fat.
WeightWatchers chocolate cake
Got a craving for chocolate? Satisfy it with WeightWatchers Chocolate Cake. These rich, satisfying snack cakes allow you to get your chocolate fix without blowing your diet.
Popcorn doesn’t need to be dripping with movie theater butter to be a yummy snack. Air-popped popcorn is very low-calorie. Add fat-free butter spray, a dash of seasoning salt or a bit of parmesan cheese for some extra flavor.
Cottage cheese and fruit
Non-fat cottage cheese is a protein-rich snack that is also a great source of calcium and riboflavin. If you don’t like the taste of plain cottage cheese, jazz it up with fresh blueberries, peach slices or other fruits.
When you have a craving for a sweet dessert, grab some Jell-O instead. Gelatin contains collagen, which is a structural protein that helps build strong bones and healthy skin. For a special treat, top it with non-fat whipped topping.
Blueberries are often considered a “superfood.” They contain dopamine, which improves your concentration and memory. Blueberries are rich in vitamins and powerful antioxidants, while also being very low calorie. Choose blueberries with lots of color. The more color the berries have, the more antioxidants they contain.