Many research studies have discovered that munching between meals can have a valuable place in a healthy meal plan. That’s because when you get too hungry, you are much more likely to choose unhealthy foods as well as to overeat at meal time. By eating small amounts of food between meals, you stabilize your hunger and metabolism so that you have more control when you sit down for a meal. The trick is choosing the right snacks and eating them in moderate amounts. Here are some tasty and healthy choices. Enjoy!
Pistachios, like many other kinds of nuts, might not seem like a good choice due to their calorie content. While you will want to limit your snack to about an ounce, pistachios have a host of health benefits. They contain omega-3 fatty acids as well as lots of protein. That translates to a filling snack that also gives you a bunch of energy. Having to remove the shells helps keep you from overdoing it.
Grapes are prime snacks because they are very low in calories, allowing you to eat a large handful (or two) absolutely guilt-free. In addition to the fiber and vitamin C that grapes contain, you also get a lot of water, which staves off dehydration and hunger. Red grapes contain resveratrol, an antioxidant that helps ward off several health issues, including cancer.
3. Air-Popped Popcorn
Popcorn is considered a whole grain, which means it offers up plenty of fiber and is filling at the same time. It’s also very low in calories so a handful isn’t going to set you back too much. The trick is to avoid the butter and other fatty toppings, which can quickly turn a virtuous snack into a diet downfall. Try seasoning yours with chili powder instead. Yum!
4. Low-Fat String Cheese
String cheese was such a wonderful snack as a kid, right? You can still eat it now that you’re all grown up and the benefits are huge. Cheese is high in calcium, which women need to ward of osteoporosis. It’s also chock full of protein for energy. Choose low-fat options to keep saturated fat and calorie intake low.
5. Trail Mix
A handful of trail mix is a perfect snack to munch as you work through your afternoon inbox. It’s also great for a day hike or an afternoon spent playing with your kids at the park. Not only can you eat it on the go, but if you choose the right ingredients, you get a good dose of energy and nutrients. Your best bet is low-fat, whole grain cereal, a few nuts and a small dash of chocolate chips. A tiny bit of dried fruit is also beneficial, but keep it in check because dried fruit has quite a few calories.
This is just a fancy word for sliced veggies. A handful of them is perfect for snacking on during a busy day and you can even eat them while you’re in the car or walking to pick the kids up from the bus stop. Cucumbers, red bell peppers, carrots and broccoli florets are delicious options. If you’re able to sit down, drag those crudités through some hummus for extra protein and iron.
7. Fresh Whole Fruit
Nothing makes a better snack than a piece of fresh fruit, which you can eat anywhere, anytime without needing a plate or silverware. Carry an apple, orange, pear or banana with you and you’ll have an easy snack any time hunger strikes. That’s easy enough, isn’t it?
What’s your favorite snack? I hope this list gives you some tasty new ideas to enjoy today. Which one will you try first?