There are ways to make snacking something that can benefit your overall wellness, rather than just a salty or sweet craving. "Snacking can be great to help with weight loss. When snacks fill in during long gaps without food, they help to stabilize blood sugar plus give your body the nutrients to keep your metabolism working the best way it can," says Brooke Alpert, nutritionist and author of The Diet Detox.
We had Alpert and Tanya Zuckerbrot, registered dietician and author of The F-Factor Diet, give us a list of healthy snacks. Click through to see what they suggest.
"These are a fun take on your traditional jerky. Wild Zora combined great quality protein with veggies to make a chewy jerky-like snack," says Alpert. "I love them for their protein content (around 6 grams per package), the quality of the protein used, and the addition of veggies. Plus they are very convenient and easy to grab anytime! The protein is a super-important component to keep your blood sugar levels stable and to keep you fuller longer and aids in weight loss."
Zuckerbrot says you'll need the following to make this snack: four GG crackers, PB2, one cup of raspberries, and one cup of blackberries.
"Fiber aids in weight loss by boosting metabolism. The human body can’t digest fiber, but it attempts to, burning calories in the process. Fiber also adds bulk to food without adding calories, so high-fiber options like GGs will fill you up without filling you out," she says. "PB2 is a powdered peanut butter made by extracting natural oils from the peanut and then dehydrating what’s left, yielding a powder with all of the protein and just 10% of the fat. The protein found in PB2 takes longer to digest, keeping you feeling satiated."
"Snack bars done right can be a great thing. Easy, portable and often delicious, a good snack bar can provide protein and fiber—the perfect combination of macronutrients for weight loss," says Alpert. "Raw Crunch Bars are loaded with seeds and nuts, which also have the added bonus of healthy fats to help hold you over until your next meal."
"Fiber One is made of fiber-packed bran, which is a component of whole grains and can lower your cholesterol. It is good for weight loss because it improves digestion and makes you feel fuller which causes you to eat less," says Zuckerbrot. "[This snack] swells in the stomach, absorbing calories and fat from other foods in the snack before the body can absorb them."
"Chia pudding on the go is a genius idea! Chia seeds are full of protein; fiber and fat, making this little seed a trifecta powerhouse," says Alpert. "These little puddings are delicious and filled with nutrients all needed to keep your metabolism going."
"Fiber keeps you full longer, so you are less tempted to reach for unhealthy snacks. Carrots are high-fiber vegetables, packing about 4 grams per cup. They also give you a satisfying crunch and the low-calorie dip has an indulgent-like creamy texture," says Zuckerbrot.
"When you can find a 4% whole-milk yogurt with no added sugars, life is good," says Alpert. "One container has 10 grams of protein with only natural (from milk and fruit) sugars to make it a sweet treat. This is the perfect afternoon snack."
"Tomatoes are low in fat and in carbohydrates; they have fiber which fills you up and prevents you from overeating," says Zuckerbrot. "The protein in feta cheese keeps you feeling fuller longer. Spinach is a dark leafy green, which boosts metabolism because it's rich in iron."
"Popcorn is such a happy snack to eat. It’s fun and delicious, and when you buy the right kind, it’s great for you and your body," says Alpert. "Quinn popcorn is a healthy popcorn (non-GMO, no preservatives) that’s a great source of fiber. Fiber is great for weight loss, weight maintenance, and keeping your heart and colon healthy!"
"The protein from the turkey combined with the fiber from the cucumbers and healthy fats from the avocado all work together to keep you full," says Zuckerbrot. "Cucumbers are 96% water, so they are low in calories, very hydrating, and filling because of their fiber content. Turkey breast meat is typically leaner and lower in calories than other types of meat. Avocado/guacamole is a good source of vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, and vitamin E."
Next up, check out these sweet potato recipes.