There are two types of people in this world. Those that play by the rules, eat 3 meals a day, get 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, and sit down for dinner every night.
Then there are the snackers. These are the ones who are eating to sustain life. The busy ones, the full timers, those that work at home, and those that travel. These are my snackers.
There are some snacks that are better than others. Here’s what you should be eating
This should not be a surprise that it tops my list. Full of protein, fat, fiber, and carbohydrates, a serving of nuts will give you less than 200 calories of energy and 5 or more grams of protein. Depending on the type of nut, you’ll also get a healthy dose of vitamin E, which may help with cognition, magnesium, which helps regulate blood pressure, and selenium, which some studies show can help reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
CHEESE AND FRUIT/VEGETABLES
Why both? Because eating a large amount of cheese is not recommended for snacking, but eating a small amount may not be enough. So, combine a serving of cheese, such as a cheese stick with carrots or an apple to give you more bulk without the addition of tons of annoying calories. The cheese has fat, which will fill you up and the fruit or vegetable contains fiber and water which will also keep you satisfied. Combine a low calorie and a high calorie snack when you need something that will keep you going.
WHOLE FOOD BARS
You have to be very picky about which “health” bars to choose. Choose one that does not contain a lot of added refined sugar (check the ingredient list to see the type of sugar added). Preferably, choose one that contains a combination of dried fruits, nuts, nut butters, seeds, and whole grains such as oats and quinoa. Aim for 200 calories. Some of my favorite bars are:
GoMacro Bars: Vegan, Organic, Just the right size, Delicious!
KIND Pressed Bars: No sugar added, Good Source of Fiber, Amazing!
Lara Bars: Gluten Free, Minimally processed, filling, So Good!
If you are a dipper, then you will love this. Dips are a favorite snack, but it is important to pay attention to portion size. For most dips, 2 Tablespoons is the rule. A savory yogurt based dip is great with carrots and celery, and hummus continues to be a hot option for snackers. Choose to dip vegetables instead of crackers or chips. Salsa is an excellent dip choice, but those tortilla chips – they can really take the health factor right out of it. Salsa is extremely low in calories (energy), so eat it up! Instead of using all chips to dip, try half baked chips and half carrot or zucchini chips. You get the same crunch and a punch of nutrition.
The mother of all filling snacks. Yogurt has been a favorite energy sustaining snack for a long time. With the introduction of greek and skyr yogurt, the options for healthy, high protein, and lower sugar snacking have gotten even better. Choose a yogurt that is less than 200 calories, at least 10-15 grams of protein and less than 10 grams of sugar. Yogurt contains natural sugars, so until the label starts reflecting the amount of added sugars, it’s hard to know how much sugar is added sugar. Just be smart about your choices.