Satisfying Snacks

Posted: Dec 07 in Health And Wellness, Nutrition, Weight loss, Weight Management Strategies by

Satisfying SnacksFollowing an eating plan for long periods of time can be boring. So many of us use “just a little extra” food for entertainment, as a pick-me-up, to fill time, or as a reward for good behavior in other areas of our lives. Where do snack foods fit in? A healthy snack, ( in the perfect world), would fit into our daily food plan rather than blowing our calorie limits out of the water. It would be satisfying, but not lead us into more unplanned calories. What works for you?

Protein is filling, low glycemic (doesn’t impact our blood sugar much) and convenient. String and other low fat cheeses, lean lunch meats, turkey pepperoni, hard-cooked eggs, jerky and cottage cheese or plain Greek yogurt are good choices.

Dairy such as skim or low-fat milk or plain regular yogurt work well too. Keep the sugars down to make these less glycemic.

Vegetables offer great color and crunch. You can get single serving paks of carrots, celery sticks, pea pods and grape tomatoes year round for on-the-go snacking. Most veggies stand alone beautifully, but if you need a dip, try one with some satiety like peanut butter or hummus. Notably, veggies are FREE on most diets, so go to town! Almost no one in the US eats the veggies they need.

Fats are satisfying, and can feel like a real treat. Unlike veggies, they need to be measured or counted very carefully. Serving sizes for nuts (for a 90 calorie snack): 12 almonds, cashews or pistachios, 20 peanuts, 4 walnut or pecan halves, 1 tablespoon of seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, chia, flax).

Fruit is luscious. Tart or sweet, it calls “dessert” to our savory-weary taste buds. Because fruit sugar (Fructose) becomes fat on us even more easily than table sugar, fruit portions are not unlimited. Fresh fruits are available year round, but always taste best when in season. Go for whole fruits when possible. There is no” bad” fruit. It’s all about the serving size. Apples, kiwi, oranges, peaches, nectarines are one fruit per serving. Other standard servings are: apricots (4 whole or 8 halves), banana (six inches), black or blueberries (3/4 cup), cherries or large grapes(12), small grapes (17), grapefruit (one half) , honeydew or cantaloupe (a whole cup)! You can eat less dried fruit (just 2 tablespoons or 3 plums or prunes). Watermelon and strawberries have huge servings – 1 and a quarter cups each!

Now, with all of the fabulous, delicious snacks available for the picking, you can Just Say No! to the highly addictive junky, sugary, fatty stuff in the convenience stores and supermarkets. HAPPY SNACKING!

-By Tracy Boykin, RD

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