If you’re trying to lose weight, stay healthy, or simply eat less junk food, snacks are most probably your biggest nemesis. This is because controlling portion sizes with snacks is next to impossible, especially if there’s a bag of chips and your favorite sitcom involved.
However, this doesn’t mean that you need to give up on the idea of snacking or settle with boring old nuts and juices. Here are a few delicious snack ideas that won’t pack on the pounds.
1. Apple and Almond Butter
Apart from keeping the doctor away, apples are known for their nutritional content. One cup will give you 117 grams of potassium, 62 milligrams of vitamin A, 5 grams of vitamin C, and traces of folate, magnesium, vitamin B6, and fiber.1
Peanut butter, on the other hand, is a good source of calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, riboflavin, and vitamin E. Additionally, it contains healthy fats.2
So, cut your apples into round slices and lather on a tablespoon of almond butter on them. You could also add raisins and dark chocolate chips to the snack to amp up the taste.
2. Hummus And Veggie Sticks
Hummus is rich in protein and fiber, which will keep you fuller for longer, hence preventing overeating. Additionally, it is high in calcium and iron.3 4
Having them with vegetable sticks is an easy way to get more fiber and nutrients in your body. To make this snack even quicker, you could chop up some carrots, celery, zucchini, and cucumbers in advance and store them in an airtight container.5
3. Yogurt And Fresh Fruit
Yogurt is a good source of complete protein, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, probiotics, vitamin B12, riboflavin, and vitamin D. If you’d like to amp up the protein, you could go for Greek yogurt instead.6
Fruits, meanwhile, make this snack fun, add sweetness, and give you nutrients and fiber. Studies state that a diet rich in fruits can lower blood pressure, prevent some types of cancer, improve vision, and fight digestive problems.7
Additionally, fruits have a positive effect on blood sugar which can help keep your appetite in check and prevent overeating. To make this snack fun, you could chop up different types of fruits and put them on a skewer before dipping them into the yogurt.
4. Avocado On Rice Cakes
Avocado on toast was all the rage around health circles not too long ago. But, if you’d like a quick, no-fuss snack that’s still delicious, try adding avocado to a whole grain rice cake.
Rice cakes are high in fiber and nutrients depending on the brand that you go for. Brown rice cakes, for instance, are rich in magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, selenium, and folate.8
Avocado, meanwhile, offers fiber, potassium, vitamin E, B-vitamins, folic acid, and a good dose of healthy, monounsaturated fats.9 You could either top your rice cake with mashed avocado seasoned with salt and pepper or add a little bit of low-fat cream cheese to the cracker and top that up with sliced avocados.
5. Air-Popped Popcorn
Popcorn is rich in fiber and is a low glycemic food, which can help you control your weight by minimizing blood sugar spikes and reducing hunger.10 It also has many polyphenols found in plant foods which help rid the body of free radicals that damage cells and cause aging.11
However, be sure not to add any oil, butter, or cheese to your popcorn. If you miss the cheesy flavor, add nutritional yeast and salt, instead.
6. Wheat Crackers And Low-Fat Cheese
Whole wheat crackers are a good source of carbohydrates, fiber, and other nutrients. They also take a longer time to digest as compared to refined grains, thus keeping the blood sugar and insulin levels from falling and rising too quickly. This will prevent you from overeating and keep you full.12
Low-fat cheese, meanwhile, is a good source of calcium and protein. Not to mention, it’s delicious.13
7. Dairy-Free Banana “Ice Cream”
This is a vegan treat that doesn’t make you feel as guilty as a tub of ice cream would. Bananas are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. They’re also low in calories and have no sodium in them.14
Research indicates that bananas might lower blood pressure and offer an energy boost quite like that of sports drinks. What’s better is that this snack is easy to make. All you have to do is blend frozen bananas in a blender until they’re smooth. You could, additionally, experiment by adding dark chocolate chips or berries to the mix as well.15
8. Oatmeal And Protein Powder
Not just a breakfast food, a small bowl of oatmeal can prevent high blood cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.16 Additionally, they are high in protein, fiber, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorous.17
Adding your protein powder will give you an extra boost of this macronutrient, which is especially important if you’re trying to bulk. You could top your oatmeal off with berries, chocolate chips, or nuts.
9. Frozen Grapes
Grapes are rich in fiber, magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K. And, when they’re frozen, they taste exactly like fruit sorbet.18
All you have to do is wash the grapes, pat dry them, and remove them from their stems before freezing. You could pop one in when you’ve got a craving for something sweet or add them to a bowl of oatmeal.
10. Celery And Peanut Butter
This snack is a classic and is both, healthy and delicious. Celery is rich in calcium, potassium, phosphorous, vitamin A, and vitamin K.19
Peanut butter, meanwhile, will give you some protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. All you have to do is cut up a few celery stalks and lather on some peanut butter on them. If you’d like to add some sweetness to it, you could sprinkle some raisins on top.20
Snacking can be both, easy and healthy if you make the right decisions. Try and shop for healthier supplies at the grocery store to ensure you’ve got all that you need to whip up something nutritious when you’re hungry at seemingly random times during the day.
|↑1||Basic Report: 09003, Apples, raw, with skin a b. The United States Department Of Agriculture.|
|↑2||Sunflower Seed Butter and Almond Butter as Nutrient-Rich Alternatives to Peanut Butter. The United States Department Of Agriculture.|
|↑3||After School Hummus. Iowa State University.|
|↑4||Paddon-Jones, Douglas, Eric Westman, Richard D. Mattes, Robert R. Wolfe, Arne Astrup, and Margriet Westerterp-Plantenga. “Protein, weight management, and satiety.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 87, no. 5 (2008): 1558S-1561S.|
|↑5||Smart Snacks: Healthy Ways to Beat Hunger. Alabama Cooperative Extension System.|
|↑6||Yogurt: Active Nutrition for Active Lifestyles. Penn State University.|
|↑7||Vegetables and Fruits. Harvard Health Publishing.|
|↑8||Snacks, rice cakes, brown rice, buckwheat, 1 cake. University Of Rochester Medical Center.|
|↑9||Avocados: Which variety is the healthiest? Columbia University.|
|↑10||Keeping popcorn healthy. Michigan State University.|
|↑11||8 principles of low-glycemic eating. Harvard Health Publishing.|
|↑12||Nutrition. Indiana University.|
|↑13||What foods are included in the Dairy Group? United States Department Of Agriculture.|
|↑14||Bananas. Michigan State University.|
|↑15||Bananas are as beneficial as sports drinks, researchers find. Appalachian State University.|
|↑16||A Nutritionally Hot Recipe for Oatmeal. The University Of Nebraska-Lincoln.|
|↑17||Basic Report: 08640, Cereals, QUAKER, Instant Oatmeal Organic, Regular. United States Department Of Agriculture.|
|↑18||Basic Report: 09132, Grapes, red or green (European type, such as Thompson seedless), raw. United States Department Of Agriculture.|
|↑19||Basic Report: 11143, Celery, raw. The United States Department Of Agriculture.|
|↑20||Ask the doctor: Why is peanut butter “healthy” if it has saturated fat? Harvard Health Publishing.|