Friday, October 2, 2009

Healthy Snacking

Snacking can be healthy when done in the right away. That means, staying away from high fat, empty calorie snacks, and opting for something with a little bit more fiber and/or protein. Sometimes snacks are the perfect pick-me-ups and can keep you from overindulging later in the day. Check out the following healthy picks that will be sure to leave both your brain and tummy satisfied.

1/4 cup of dried, unshelled edemame- These come in a variety of flavors. If you're looking for something simple, try the sea salt. If you want a little kick try my favorite, wasabi. One serving has a mere 140 calories and a whopping 14 grams of protein.
-1/4 cup of hummus with a few baby carrot sticks- I am absolutely in love with hummus. In high school, I ate hummus sandwiches like other people at PB&J, nonstop. This creamy, mediterranean dip is primarily made out of protein-packed chickpeas and heart-healthy fat containing sesame tahini. This snack is guaranteed to leave you completely satisfied, with only an added 80 calories to your days consumption.

One 8oz container of Fage 0% Greek yogurt with one tablespoon of honey- Greek yogurt is particularly dense and creamy, even without the fat. Add a tablespoon of honey and the snack comes to 180 calories (energy) along with a full 20 grams of protein. Mmm.
-Two individually wrapped Dove Dark Chocolate squares- Costing just 84 calories, the individually wrapped squares assure that you won't down a whole candy bar. Plus, a little dark chocolate can actually be good for you. And, when it comes to dark chocolate, a little goes a long way in making your tastebuds satisfied.
-An apple or banana- You can't go wrong with a piece of fruit. Typically containing around 80 calories, nature's sweet candy is filled with fiber and nutrients. Heck, if you're really hungry, indulge yourself in two pieces.

One tomato, sliced and sprinkled with 1 oz. feta cheese- This 100 calorie snack is the perfect combination between juicy, salty, and savory. Add some basil for a little extra punch of flavor.
-Zesty BBQ Soy Crisps- Crispy and savory like BBQ potato chips, without all the greasy fat. Try a brand such as Genisoy which enhances their crisps with soy protein. One serving packs just 120 calories and 7 grams of protein.

So the next time you reach for a snack, skip the Doritos and the gummy bears and try out these options, which are more nutritious but equally as satisfying. Determine if you're craving something salty, sweet, or savory and give it a go. There are tons of snacks that aren't on this list that are just as healthy and delicious. When it comes to snacking, aim for something under 200 calories with at least 2 grams of fiber or 6 grams of protein per serving.

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