Snacks can absolutely fit in your diet if you're trying to lose weight. Having ideas for healthy snacks to pack for work snacks, grab and go snacks, store-bought snacks and snacks you can make yourself will help vary the nutrients you get and keep you from going hangry between meals. Remember, think nutrient-dense (fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals) and your snacks will help you get the nutrition your body needs and keep you full.
For many women, dieting equals food restriction. Snacks? They usually get eliminated in the name of saving calories. But snacking when you're watching your weight is actually a good idea. "[When dieting,] people often wait too long in between meals, so by the time they eat, they're so hungry, their portions or choices are out of control," says Linda McLachlan, RD, CDN, a New Jersey dietitian with Nutrition Matters, LLC. "Snacking helps keep you satisfied and wards off cravings." Here, seven low-calorie snacks to help you with your diet goals.
Kale chips pretty much keep my chip cravings at bay so the next time you’re craving something crispy and salty, try a batch of kale chips as a healthy alternative to store-bought potato chips. Sweet potato chips and beet chips are also a favourite of mine and make a great snack for movie nights. Try these kale chips or sweet potato chips. Beets work well for this too.
For a dairy-free take on addictive spinach-artichoke dip, a purée of cooked cauliflower and raw cashews proves impressively effective as a creamy base. We blitz them in the food processor along with the cauliflower cooking liquid, then add flavor to the mixture with vegan mayonnaise (homemade or store-bought), nutritional yeast, mustard, garlic powder, and lemon juice. Add the artichokes and cooked spinach, pulse until combined, and it's ready to be baked until browned and bubbling.
If eating a popsicle at breakfast seems out of the ordinary, know that this one hides several healthy breakfast ingredients: yogurt, fruit, and granola. Make a batch on the weekend, and pop one out each day for a tasty healthy snack to eat as you’re getting dressed. Make a “cup” at the base of the pop with a piece of aluminum foil large enough to catch up wayward drips.
If you’re not a big on raw veggies, this is a great way to sneak more of them into your diet. In addition to the vitamin-packed veggies, hummus is high in protein, fibre and healthy fats to keep you satisfied for hours. Slice up a bunch of carrots, celery, mushrooms and your other favourite veggies and dig in. I recommend preparing a batch on the weekend as well as pre-chopping a selection of veggies for quick, healthy weekday snacks.
For a more substantial alternative to cookies, try these no-bake, oat-based bites, where almonds and almond butter pack in healthy fats to make them highly satisfying. Note that the dark chocolate drizzle on top adds a bit of time to the recipe, but as with most things chocolate, it’s totally worth it. Swap in maple syrup for the honey if you follow a strict vegan diet.
Making your own raisins at home might sound silly, but these oven-dried grapes are a cut above the sad, shriveled raisins you buy in a box. Plumper and juicier, they have a flavor that's more similar to fresh grapes—just concentrated, and with a little caramelization. Try playing around with different varieties and cooking times to find the flavor and texture that you like.
Keto Smoothies and Shakes — Some of our favorite keto smoothies are the Peanut Butter Caramel Milkshake, Blueberry Banana Bread Smoothie, McKeto Strawberry Milkshake, Cucumber Spinach Smoothie, Blackberry Chocolate Shake, and Keto Tropical Smoothie. Feel free to add your favorite low-carb protein powder to your shake or smoothie to help you meet your protein needs and build muscle.
One of the many powers of polyphenols, like those found in popcorn, is their ability to block enzymes that cancers need to grow and, in doing so, regulate the spread of cancerous cells, notes the American Institute for Cancer Research. The traditional way to reap these health benefits is by eating fruits and vegetables, but the high concentration of polyphenols makes eating popcorn a healthy alternative. Since they can also prevent inflammation and plaque buildup, foods rich in polyphenols may help prevent cardiovascular disease. Replace some of these foods cardiologists never eat with air-popped popcorn.
That same vegan nacho cheese sauce makes for a serious plate of nachos. We use freshly fried tortilla wedges (they're sturdier than store-bought chips) as the base for vegan refried beans and chili, Roasted-Tomato Salsa, guacamole, and tons of fresh and pickled veggies. Layering the chips and toppings for even coverage is a little extra work, but it's worth it for the many more balanced bites you'll get.
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For a more substantial alternative to cookies, try these no-bake, oat-based bites, where almonds and almond butter pack in healthy fats to make them highly satisfying. Note that the dark chocolate drizzle on top adds a bit of time to the recipe, but as with most things chocolate, it’s totally worth it. Swap in maple syrup for the honey if you follow a strict vegan diet.
If you’re craving chips and dip but don’t want to compromise your healthy diet, reach of some buckwheat crackers with herby edamame dip instead. Both buckwheat groats and edamame are packed with protein, making them an ideal option to help ward off hunger. Buckwheat groats also filled with nutrients like zinc, copper, manganese, and magnesium. Plus this dip is so creamy and flavorful, you’ll likely forget that it’s actually healthy.
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