With all the time we’re spending indoors these days, it can be tough to avoid snacking between meals. After all, there’s not much else to do, right? If you’re trying to stay healthy, snacks can be both your best friend and worst enemy. An unhealthy snack will add unwanted calories and pack on the pounds, but a healthy snack will deliver a nutrient punch and keep you going until your next meal. Try these easy and delicious healthy snacks to do it right:
Bananas are one of the best snacks you can eat, because they provide you with a very well-rounded balance of nutrients. Not only are they a source of carbs (fruit-based sugar), but they deliver micronutrients like potassium and a hefty dose of fiber. Pair a banana with a glass of milk, and you’ve got a pretty darned balanced snack. Have a spoonful of peanut butter if you want to keep your stomach satiated for hours to come.
Apples make an amazing snack that will satiate your appetite, thanks to their high fiber and pectin content. Eaten on their own, they’re filling enough, but add in a spoonful of peanut butter and you’ve got yourself a very satiating midday snack!
Yogurt is rich in protein, contains a bit of carbs (from the lactose sugar in the milk), and even has fat to keep you from feeling hungry. As long as it’s plain, unsweetened yogurt, it definitely counts as a healthy snack! Add in a bit of fruit if you’ve got a sweet tooth that needs satiating, or go for some cereal to make it a high-energy snack to help you avoid midday slumps.
Pretty much any lean protein makes for an excellent, satisfying snack! Sliced turkey or chicken breast will give you the protein that will satisfy your body’s hunger, and will shut down your appetite. However, it won’t contain extra or unwanted calories, so you’ll be able to satisfy your hunger without packing on the extra pounds. Go ahead and turn this lean meat into a light sandwich (1 or 2 slices of whole wheat toast), with plenty of veggies to add crunch, flavor, and fiber!
Veggie sticks make for an amazing snack! Not only do they give your mouth that crunchy texture that will help to satiate your appetite, but they’re also loaded in dietary fiber that will expand in your stomach to fill you up faster and keep you full for longer. Pair your veggie sticks with the right dip—a bit of hummus or some peanut butter—and the combination of fat and fiber will do wonders to keep you from feeling hungry until your next meal.
As long as you make it in an air-popper, you’re good to go! Air-popped popcorn is wonderfully light in calories, and you’ll find that it can keep you entertained and satiated with far fewer calories than you might expect. Just go easy on the salt to avoid eating too much sodium, and DEFINITELY steer clear of the butter!
Nuts and Seeds
Almonds, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, and shredded coconut—all of them make for great snacks! These nuts and seeds are loaded in healthy fats, which will fill you up quickly and satiate your body’s desire for calories. They’re definitely going to keep you full for hours to come! However, be aware that they are high in calories, so you should limit yourself to snacking on no more than one large handful at a time.