Sunday, July 14, 2013

Healthy Snacking 101

Hi there friends :)  As an RD, I'm always asked about food and for good reason.  After all, I do have a MS degree in nutrition science.  "What should I be eating?" "How much?"  "Healthy foods are so boring - can't I just snack on chips - I mean it's only 150 calories for a little bag right?" "All I snack on are carrots - that's good for me, right"  Ehhhh.  Pick up a magazine or look on the internet and you'll find a multitude of sources telling you to eat this or eat that, but is that really the best choice for you?  

Snacking has many benefits, that is, if you reach for the right thing.  Picking a snack that's higher in fiber with healthy fat and lean protein can help keep cravings at bay by helping your blood sugar stay stable throughout the day.  Skipping meals can lead to overeating... which often results in feeling sluggish and bloated throughout the day.

You might know the benefits, but what about the choices.  I fall into the rut of grabbing the same old thing.  However, I have a few "rules" for my snack habits.

1. It has to be "clean" - that means no processed foods allowed.
2. It has to have some source of lean protein and/or healthy fat

Even as an RD, I struggle with snacks and grabbing the same old thing everyday.  I've compiled a list of some of my favorite healthy snacks to share with you - feel free to add your own in the comments. 

Smart Snacks

  • Air-popped popcorn topped with nutritional yeast
  • 0% greek yogurt topped with 1/2 c fresh raspberries and 1-2 tsp of honey 
  • Low-fat string cheese with a small lunchbox sized apple
  • Pecan nut thins topped with nut butter and raisins
  • Chopped veggies with 1/4 c salsa or homemade ranch (use greek yogurt)
  • Homemade larabar balls
  • Dried fruit leather with 1/4 cup nuts
  • Guacamole and blue corn chips
  • 1/2 c fruit salad with a low-fat string cheese
  • Chocolate smoothie (blend 1-2tbsp ground flaxseed, frozen banana, chocolate almond milk)
  • Rice cakes with 1 tbsp nut butter & choice of preserves
  • Hard boiled eggs with crackers
  • Pear with a small dark chocolate square
  • 1% chocolate milk or chocolate soy milk
  • Edamame with sea salt
  • Homemade trail mix - gluten free pretzels, nuts/seeds, dried fruit & dark chocolate chips

Feast away!  What's your favorite snack idea?

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