If you are like most people, there are certain times of the day when you want a snack. Not a full meal, just something to tide you over and stave off hunger pangs.
But this can be tricky because the temptation is to just grab anything to fill the gap. Most often, these ‘grabs’ are unhealthy choices that don’t always fill you up enough and are also high in calories and fats.
The trick is to have your snacks planned ahead of time and readily available. That way, when a snack attack strikes, you can stop it right away without worrying about over-eating or blowing your diet.
If you fail to plan ahead, no doubt you will resort to poor choices. When youre hungry and there is nothing healthy around to eat, the easiest thing is to settle for whatever is available. And these are usually unhealthy choices.
So what are some healthy snack options to have on hand?
Here are six to get you started. They are healthy, low-calorie snacks that are simple to prepare and also taste great. Keep a stash of them around and snack time will be a healthy time.
1. Fresh Fruit
Anything goes when it comes to fruit. Pick fresh, seasonal fruit that is guaranteed to be full of vitamins, minerals, good carbs, fiber and lots of antioxidants. The best thing about fruit is that your options are always changing with the seasons. Plus, it is super easy to take with you. Mix it up and try different fruits each day.
2. Plain Popcorn
As a whole grain food, popcorn is a high-quality carbohydrate source that is high in fiber and low in calories. It is a very satisfying snack because it takes longer to chew and makes you feel full sooner. It also keeps you feeling full for longer compared to non-whole grain snacks. If you want to keep the calories down, opt for air-popped popcorn versus oil-popped. If you like, drizzle it lightly with butter and sprinkle over some salt.
As a healthy snack, yogurt is also a fantastic energy booster. It is a great source of protein which makes you feel full for longer. There are many types of yogurt available, but the best is to choose plain or Greek varieties. You can add your own sweetener if desired, along with fruits, nuts and seeds to create an individual snack.
Nuts are packed with good fats and fiber that help you feel full while fighting off hunger pangs. They also contain plenty of other beneficial nutrients and are a great healthy snack choice. There are so many varieties to choose from with the most popular being cashews, almonds and walnuts. Eat them alone, mix them together or create your own trail mix with seeds and dried fruits.
5. Protein Bars and Balls
There are many protein bars and balls available today that taste great and offer a healthy snack alternative. Many of them look and taste like candy, but are full of nutritious ingredients while offering a perfect balance of proteins and carbs.
Try a few different ones to find your favorite, or look at making your own. They are easy to prepare and you can make the flavors you love.
6. Light Sandwich
A light sandwich is sometimes what you need to fill the gap between meals. With the right ingredients, it is a healthy and filling option.
Try lean turkey or chicken on whole wheat bread with mustard which will provide you with energy-boosting carbs as well as valuable protein.
The key to healthy snacking is to plan ahead and have the best options available when snack attacks strike. Try the choices above as they are easy to prepare, very portable and taste good. It will help you maintain your healthy eating habits at all times.