By Adam Cerny, FB/LinkedIn: Adam Cerny, IG: adam_cerny3, Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Reviewed by Jinan Banna, PhD, RD
In today’s hustle and bustle type of world, there isn’t always time to sit down and enjoy a nice meal in the middle of the day. A lot of people have to make do with snacking in order to fit the time restrictions they are under and to get their daily intake of proper nutrients.
Especially if your daily routine involves exercise, there should be healthy snacks in between meals in order to keep you satiated and functioning optimally. Snacks that are high in protein and fiber will keep you feeling satisfied for longer periods of time, while snacks that are high in sugar will do the opposite.
Snacking and losing weight
When trying to lose weight, it is important to consider every snack you eat. Depending on the snack you choose, it can be easy to over-indulge.
In fact, many studies show that consuming healthy, nutrient-dense foods are a much better way to lose weight and combat obesity than forcing yourself to simply stop eating (which can also lead to a plethora of other problems including binge-eating). Practicing healthy eating habits will always have wonderful benefits.
Foods that are unnecessarily high in calories, sugar, and sodium may hinder your weight loss efforts. Focusing on foods that are in their whole form as snacks is a good way to move toward your weight loss goals.
Energy- versus nutrient-dense snacks
Energy-dense snacks are usually highly processed and have a lot of calories. Some examples are candy, cookies, chips, and some other packaged foods.
Nutrient-dense snacks are generally lower in calories and higher in fiber, and also contain vitamins and minerals. They also create a feeling of fullness for longer.
Here are some nutrient-dense snacks that you can put together for optimal satiety and energy levels!
1. Almond butter on celery with raisins (healthier ants on a log).
This snack provides sufficient protein, fat, and fiber to help you stay full.
They are a very healthy nut that is easy to snack on and are packed with protein!
3. Hummus and vegetables.
Rich in heart-healthy fat and fiber, this snack is easy and delicious!
Steel cut generally has a lower glycemic index making it a more suitable candidate for satiety over time according to Harvard’s public school of health. A great breakfast as well, steel-cut oatmeal is an excellent source of soluble fiber.
All kinds! Dried fruit can also be useful. Fruit provides many water-soluble vitamins that are necessary for the body’s functioning, such as vitamin C.
6. Sweet potato sticks.
Cut sweet potato into french fry style sticks, great to air-fry or dip in hummus. The low glycemic index in these nutrient-dense potatoes keeps blood glucose levels stabilized for longer than other potatoes.
7. Quinoa salad.
One of the most protein-packed plant-based foods you can choose is quinoa, and making it into a salad with some chopped vegetables and dressing makes for an excellent choice.
Hard-boiled, easily scrambled, can go with a lot of different foods. The egg is a great source of protein, as well as vitamins and minerals.
Choose ingredients such as nut butter and fruit for fiber and protein. Fiber and protein are important in choosing snacks.
10. Greek yogurt.
This choice offers a variety of gut-healthy probiotics as well as protein to help you stay full.
11. Turkey sliders.
Turkey is a very high protein, low-fat meat, and if you put that on slider buns with some lettuce or pickles, it makes for a great snack.
12. Avocado (plain or on toast with a little lime).
The unsaturated fats in avocado will fill you up, and topping it with some lime will give it an extra zest that makes it pop.
One of the tastiest nuts around, and a good source of heart-healthy fat!
14. Kale chips!
Just throw some kale in an air fryer with a pinch of salt for taste, and you have crunchy, delightful snacks filled with beta-carotene.
15. Chia seed pudding.
Soaked overnight, chia seeds will make for a great and ready to eat snack at any point during your day. Try to put some raspberries or granola in there for some extra flavor!
16. Ezekiel bread toast (for extra fiber) with peanut butter and jelly.
Ezekiel bread is a fantastic choice to replace your regular bread. It is typically stored in fridges or freezers, and the whole grains provide much healthier nutrients than the white bread you can typically find in stores. If you really want to get healthy with this snack, try almond butter and natural fruit preserves instead of flavored jelly.
17. Almonds with raisins.
This snack provides a good amount of protein and fiber, and also satisfies your sweet tooth.
18. Lightly salted or unsalted sunflower seeds.
These are a source of fiber and heart-healthy fat, as well as fiber.
19. Banana pancakes (just banana and egg!)
This snack can trick your brain into thinking you are eating real sweet pancakes, when you are actually getting less carbohydrate while increasing your potassium and protein intake.
20. Steamed vegetables!
Steaming vegetables is one of the best ways for you to keep all the fantastic nutrients from being destroyed during the cooking process. Spinach, kale, and broccoli are all excellent examples of foods that carry very high amounts of vitamin C, calcium, and magnesium.
Whether you enjoy snacking or not, a healthy goal will always be to strive for eating more nutritious food. Obviously, eating a healthy diet all the time is hard, but you must remember that progress is not linear. Every day we are given an opportunity to be the best we can be, and we must remember to seize it!