Snacks for a Healthy Eating Plan

healthy snacksYou might think that a site devoted to weight loss would be against the idea of snacks, but that’s not the case. We’re fans of snacks here – snacking done right helps level out blood sugar and can actually help you eat less overall.

In fact, one study discovered that people with the healthiest diets consumed 36 per cent more snacks per year compared to an average consumer.

The biggest challenge with snacking is probably inertia. It’s so easy to do what you’ve always done, instead of doing the research and preparation necessary for change. We’re here to try to make it easier for you, with some tips on healthy snacking, as well as healthy snack recipes.

Preparation Is Key

When it comes to healthy snacks, the last minute is when you’re reaching for them, and that’s too late to make an effective healthy snacking plan. Start at the grocery store, or better yet, before you even go there. Browse the list below to choose healthy snack ideas for work, home or school. If it’s not healthy, do your best not to bring it into your home. There are so many delicious and nutritious choices to select, instead of sugar and fat-laden junk food.

Low-Prep Ideas for Snacks

Veggies are always good choices:

  • baby carrots
  • celery
  • sugar snap peas
  • red, yellow, orange or green bell pepper slices
  • cauliflower florets
  • zuccini sticks
  • sliced cucumbers
  • grape tomatoes
  • thinly sliced radishes
  • edamame

To keep it interesting, add hummus , guacamole or tzadziki for a dip, or make your own dip with plain yogurt stirred with lemon juice and a little honey.

Try grilled pineapple for a sweet snackOther grab-and-go snacks include:

  • Individual servings of low-fat yogurt
  • Fruit like apples, bananas, cantaloupe, strawberries, watermelon or oranges. Try grilled pineapple!
  • Roasted, unsalted nuts (peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, brazil nuts, cashews, etc)
  • Roasted, unsalted seeds (pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds)
  • Small packets of dried fruit such as raisins, cranberries, dates, apricots
  • Pre-packaged string cheese sticks
  • A hard-boiled egg
  • Air-popped popcorn
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Cottage cheese with berries (fresh or frozen)
  • Half an avocado
  • Shrimp. Less than 70 calories in a dozen large.
  • Peanut butter on whole-grain crackers
  • Apple chips
  • Smoked turkey rolled up around honey mustard (and perhaps a cube of cheese)
  • A lettuce leaf wrapped around a slice of ham or chicken breast

Be careful of quantities, especially with high-fat choices such as nuts and seeds. With snacks, a little often does the job just fine.

Some snacks require a little more prep time, such as Fruit or Green Smoothies. They can be a meal replacement, or just a healthy pick-me-up during your busy day.

But What About Chocolate?

Chocolate, I’ve been told, is many people’s downfall, yet it doesn’t have to be bad for you. A couple of squares of very dark chocolate may well be a healthy snack choice. Extra dark chocolate has very little added sugar – read the label carefully.

In fact, a recent study shows that people who eat dark chocolate tend to have a lower BMI, and scientists suggest that its antioxidant properties may help boost metabolism.

The most important part is to stay away from office-donut temptations and sugar-rush snacks. They send your blood sugar soaring, and trigger your metabolism to store fat. Keep the sugar and sodium down, and choose snacks that also give you healthy nutrients.

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One Response to Snacks for a Healthy Eating Plan

  1. March 21, 2013 at 9:04 am #

    As for me, having the low calorie, small snacks and not eating after dinner is definitely do-able. Best and most practical advice, thanks a lot!

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