5 Go-To Snacks That Won’t Tip the Scales
Many of us feel the urge to snack most days, especially after lunch and before dinner, when energy levels tend to dip. Before you reach for your snack, drink a big glass of water, a cup of tea (no sugar!), or some seltzer. Filling up with a drink can give you a lift and make you feel less hungry. Avoid the Frappucino Double Shot Mocha Latte concoction at the nearby coffee bar. Some of these drinks can be as calorically dense as an entire meal! Taking a stretch and a brief stroll around the office or house, or even a quick two minutes outside, can also help you feel refreshed. But snacking isn’t always bad – for people with diabetes taking insulin, snacks can be a necessity. The trick is to keep snacks balanced and healthy. Give these yummy ideas a try to help you out of your afternoon slump. Most of these aren’t so easily available, so preparation is key – pack your lunch and snack for work. Chop and wash fruit if you’re at home when you have some time and when hunger isn’t making all decisions for you. Chances are you’ll be able to stay within your “keepin’ it healthy” plan.
Apple + 1 tbsp. peanut or almond butter
You won’t feel guilty about having this snack – the apple is a great source of soluble and insoluble fiber. What’s the difference? Soluble fiber soaks up liquid in your gut, acting like poo-glue to keep it in one comfortably soft, solid clump. Insoluble fiber sweeps it all along. Fiber also helps to make you feel full so you’ll be just fine while you’re waiting for the dinner gong to sound. Nut butters are a dream come true – also full of fiber, they have great healthy fats and protein that add to that feeling of fullness, and it’s what my grandma calls “brain food.” Grandma really does know best! Now you’ll be able to power through the stack of work you still have left before you can skedaddle home for the day.
Low-fat mozzarella cheese + strawberries on a handful of whole wheat or rice crackers
This requires some assembly but wins the beauty queen prize. The presentation is just gorgeous! It’ll certainly brighten your afternoon. Strawberries are one of those fruits that are low in natural sugars but are packed with tons of vitamin C. And mozzarella…so creamy, so dreamy, so calcium-packed. Then of course there’s the fiber in whole-wheat or rice crackers. Just be sure to read those labels – many crackers have too much sugar. The other thing we haven’t mentioned is that fiber doesn’t get absorbed or add calories– it’s just there to make the plumbing work better! And FYI: this snack makes a great finger food if you’ve got guests coming over or need to bring a party treat. Super easy and super good for your guests, too.
A handful of almonds + 2-3 pieces of dried, no-added-sugar dried apricots
So you’re not in the mood to be that super-prepared person, with your meticulous snacks in order, who makes your office mates look at you like you’re crazy… Just kidding! They’ll actually want to be your friend so that you’ll share your delicious-looking snacks with them – they’re hungry, too! But if you’re trying to keep a low profile or save time, trot on down to the corner grocery and see if they have dried apricots, peaches, apples, or pineapples with no added sugar. That’s the key: NO ADDED SUGAR. Keep a bag of these and some unsalted raw or roasted almonds on hand, and you’ve got your daily snack within arm’s reach. Just make sure that you don’t eat entire containers in one sitting. A good guideline: 3-4 pieces of the dried fruit (or a small handful of raisins) and about a dozen almonds. Really, give it some time after snacking before thinking about going back for more – it’s fiber, it expands! You’ll feel full in about 20 minutes.
1 oz. sharp cheddar + celery sticks
This is such a great tasting combo! The celery is cold and crunchy, and, paired with a bit of sharp, creamy, cheddar, it absolutely comes to life! It’s a party in your mouth! If celery just feels too much like you’re on a diet, then have your cheddar with crisp, cold grapes – equally delish!
¼ cup hummus + sliced radishes for dipping
Hummus makes the world go round. There’s nothing like it for a filling but low-calorie snack (as long as you keep to only a few tablespoons), one that’s delicious, nutritious, and satisfying. Pair it with crunchy radishes, and it’s just downright easy and super good. Radishes contain vitamin C are very low in carbohydrates, and are refreshingly crispy with just a hint of spice. Hummus is full of fiber and a good source of iron, too. I also love mixing in hummus with balsamic vinaigrette to make a creamy, healthy salad dressing.
Our snack suggestions are just what you need for an energy boost that won’t tip the scales and will keep your blood sugar steady throughout the afternoon. Plus, they’re super tasty! Be sure to also check out these high protein snacks, thirty 100-calorie snacks, and high fiber snacks.