We all tend to have our go to snacks. Are chips, crackers, or pretzels frequently on your list? Do you notice what all of these have in common? That’s right, they are mainly carbohydrates (more than likely refined as well which means no fiber and metabolizes more like sugar).
In these fast paced days we need to be able to eat on the go. Unfortunately our snack choices have taken a not-so-healthy turn due to this. We grab granola bars or crackers because they are quick and last a long time in our car or purse. More than likely you will find that when you are snacking on all carbs you don’t feel satisfied or are hungry again shortly after.
This is why we need more complex- i.e. nutrient dense- snacks. Carbs alone will often keep us searching for more food shortly. Try adding in some healthy fat or protein and fiber to your snacks.
Your goal should be to stick to snacks in the 150-200 calorie range. You want to use snacks as a mini meal to help you get to your next full meal. Used strategically in this way, it prevents us from overdoing our next meal. The ideal snack will include produce, fiber and a little protein or healthy fat. (It’s okay if they aren’t all ideal.. Aiming for more healthy snacks can be a big change! Plus, let’s also be practical sometimes it just isn’t possible to have the ideal.)
An apple with peanut butter
Red peppers and cucumbers with 2 Tbsps hummus
Sugar snap peas with 12 large olives
Carrots with 10 almonds
Celery sticks with peanut butter
Grape tomatoes with 1 ounce feta cheese
Carrots with hummus
Blueberries and plain Greek yogurt
Need a packaged bar- try a Larabar. I love that they have simple ingredients.
Feel like you won’t be satisfied unless you have carbs? Go for air or lite popcorn just make sure you have a little protein with it.
I’ll admit I’ve been guilty before too. I get stuck in a rut and reach for carbs because they are quick and easy. It may sound daunting to change but take it one step at a time. Plan to purchase items to make two different types of healthy snacks this week. Each week add to it until you feel more comfortable and have the variety you need to keep your snacks healthy.
What new healthy snack will you try this week?