We’ve all been there – the midmorning slump that sends us straight to the vending machine, or that annoying afternoon exhaustion that can only be relieved, it seems, with a Grande Latte and a Snickers Bar.
Snacking is fine – in fact, many nutritionists say that five or six small meals a day are better for most of us than the traditional three square meals. Eating smaller meals more often should help you avoid the food coma typical to large meals, is easier on the digestive system, and helps provide you with steady levels of energy throughout the day. That is, as long as your snacks are sensible!
High Protein/High Fiber Snacks are the Best!
The best snacks are around 200 calories – not so small that they won’t satisfy, and not so large that they’ll cause you to break your diet; and they combine a protein and a healthy fat, to help you stay fuller for longer. The worst snacks, obviously, are sugary, empty-calorie-type snacks. Those will provide energy in the short term, but they tend to be high in calories and will send your blood sugar into a nasty roller coaster.
So ditch that Snickers Bar (it’s a yummy occasional treat but not a great everyday snack) and let’s look at a few ideas for snacks that are healthy, filling, and won’t break your diet.
1. An ounce of cubed sharp cheddar and a medium apple. This filling snack provides you with about 180 calories, 3 grams of fiber, 7 grams of protein and 10 grams of fat (6g saturated). Bonus: you’ll also get 20% of your daily calcium needs.
2. A cup of plain nonfat VOSKOS® Greek yogurt, mixed with a tablespoon of softened creamy peanut butter. This 190-calorie snack contains 22 grams of protein and 20% of your daily calcium requirement.
3. A hardboiled egg, 10 large baby carrots and 1/4 cup dip made with VOSKOS nonfat plain Greek yogurt. This healthy snack contains 160 filling calories and provides you with 12 grams of protein and 450% of your vitamin A requirements.
4. Apple slices are extra yummy when dipped into vanilla or honey flavored VOSKOS® and sprinkled with cinnamon. This 211-calorie snack contains 16 grams of protein and 20% of your daily calcium needs.
5. Ants on a log aren’t just for kids! Spread a tablespoon of almond butter on 1/2 cup of celery strips, and dot the almond butter with 2 tablespoons of raisins. This 150-calorie snack will keep you satiated, thanks to the combination of healthy fat from the almond butter and fiber from the celery.
The best way to make sure your snacks are healthy and nutritious is to plan ahead. Don’t wait until the next snack attack! Fill your fridge with pre-portioned healthy snacks and stay full without breaking your diet or succumbing to the vending machine.