Best Healthy Snacks for Weight Loss
Wise snacking can help you satisfy your hunger, maintain a healthy weight and even lose extra pounds. The best healthy snacks are low in fat, low in sugar, and provide vitamins and microelements your body needs for health. Plan your snacks in advance; do not leave it to chance. This will allow you to control your total calorie intake.
Fruit and vegetables
Make fruit and vegetables a part of your daily diet. They are low in calories and provide you with vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients essential for good health. Celery sticks, lettuce, cucumber, green pepper and broccoli are a very good choice. A salad from these vegetables will fill you up and give you energy for your day.
If you are a fruit-eater, a fruit salad is a good snack for you. A small apple or an orange, a medium-sized kiwi or a cup of cherries have about 50 calories. Fruit fiber satisfies your hunger and keeps your digestive system healthy. When choosing fruit as a snack, you get all the necessary nutrients and very few calories.
Prefer whole fruit to juices or dried fruit. Thus, you get a bigger snack for the same number of calories. A small box of raisins (1/4 cup) contains more than 100 calories, while one cup of grapes ( 92 g ) has 62 calories. Therefore, you can enjoy almost two cups of grapes for only 100 calories.
Dairy products are very beneficial to your health. Milk, yogurt, and small cubes of cheese can be good snack. These products are high in calcium, protein, B vitamins and vitamin A. To meet your daily calcium requirement, you should eat three portions of milk, yogurt or cheese.
Choose low-fat dairy products. One cup of whole milk has 146 calories and the same cup of skim milk has only 86 calories. However, skim milk contains the same amount of calcium as whole milk. You can get about 100 calories from one cup of plain yogurt made from skim milk. If you add some strawberries to your plain yogurt, you get a healthy and tasty snack within 150 calories.
Most calories in hard cheeses come from fat. Low-fat and diet cheeses such as pot cheese, cottage cheese, skim farmer cheese and many others are made primarily from skim milk. For example, 100 grams cottage cheese has less than 80 calories. If you eat this cheese with whole grain bread or lettuce, you will have a high-fiber and low-fat snack.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds have high nutritional value. Walnuts, pecans and cashews provide you with healthy fats, protein and iron. One tablespoon of walnuts contains about 50 calories. One almond can give you 7 calories. Nevertheless, a dozen of roasted almonds can be a good snack. Besides, almonds are good for your heart.
You can use pumpkin seeds as a snack. Eat them raw, cooked and served on salads. These seeds are rich in protein, iron, zinc, and phosphorous. 100 g of pumpkin seeds contain 29 g of protein. Sunflower seeds are a good source of potassium, phosphorous and calcium. As nuts and seeds are rather high in calories, eat them in moderation.
Try to avoid chips, pretzels, packaged popcorn and soda. These snack foods may contain lots of empty calories. Besides, you are more likely to overeat sweets and chips than lettuce.
If you plan one to three healthy snacks a day, you can manage your weight and improve your health.
- Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How to Use Fruits and Vegetables to Help Manage Your Weight