Yes, you should be eating snacks. Despite the popular diets, eating a snack can be a great way to improve your overall health goals and help you maintain or even lose weight. How is that possible? Treating your snack like a small meal instead of mindlessly eating a bowl of french fries will give you more satisfaction with your snack so that you will feel full until your next main meal.
“Snacks are an important part of a healthy, varied diet,” says Sarah Schlichter, MPH, RDN of Bucket List Tummy. “First, they help bridge the gap between meals and enable individuals not to go without food for too long. This can improve energy levels, balance blood sugar and cravings, and prevent overeating with meals. Snacks are also a great opportunity to add extra food nutrients that may be missing from meals. “
It’s about choosing the right type of snack. When you make sure your snack contains the main elements of a meal that will help you feel full – protein, fiber, and fat – your body will feel nourished and satisfied, and you won’t feel the need for the bag of chips to grab while you are cooking dinner.
We spoke to a few registered dietitians to find some healthy snacks to stock up for those moments when you start to feel hungry. Here are the snacks they recommend – and for even more meal ideas, check out our list of the 100 Easiest Recipes You Can Make.
“Low-sugar, low-sugar yogurt with a splash of honey is a great snack because of the protein and beneficial probiotics in yogurt,” says Maggie Michalczyk, RDN at Once Upon a Pumpkin. “The protein helps you feel full longer, and the probiotics are beneficial bacteria that our intestines need for optimal health. I recommend honey-coating your yogurt for an even gut-friendly and delicious snack, as honey.” possibly acting as a prebiotic, essentially nourishing the good bacteria (also known as probiotics in the gut). “
Speaking of the gut, here is the best way to eat for your microbiome and improve gut health.
“Fruit contains fiber as well as beneficial vitamins, minerals and antioxidants,” says Michalczyk. “Combining it with unsweetened nut butters can help make this snack more filling thanks to the healthy fat and protein in nut butters. Most fruits and nut butters can be very portable, which is great for on the go. My favorite combinations are blueberries and almond butter or bananas – and peanut butter. “
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“When it comes to snacks, I like those with heart-healthy fat, protein, and fiber. Trail Mix is one of my favorites,” says Jinan Banna, PhD, RD. “I often feel like I have something sweet as a snack, but I choose sweet snacks with fiber and other nutrients to keep me full.”
Make it yourself with our quick and easy Macadamia Nut and Pepita Trail Mix Recipe!
“Hummus is the perfect snack because it has protein and fiber, as well as vitamins and minerals. There are so many ways I enjoy it,” says Lisa Young, PhD, RDN. “I love hummus and whole grain crackers or hummus and peppers or carrots and roasted chickpeas.”
Not a fan of hummus? Roasted chickpeas might be the answer!
“Chickpeas are a good source of vegetable protein and fiber – two things that are important for feeling full,” says Michalczyk. “Roasting them gives them a good crunch, and you can flavor them with almost any combination of spices to get great flavor. Another plus is that chickpeas are very inexpensive and can be found in almost every grocery store. Leave the chickpeas good Drain and dry them with avocado oil and spices of your choice before frying them at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. “
“”[A] Chia pudding snack has less than 200 calories, “says Shannon Henry, RD of the EZCare Clinic.” Chia seeds are full of fiber and can be included in all types of diets too, as they are rich in antioxidants that reduce inflammation and reduce inflammation and improve heart health. “
Make a couple of glasses of chia pudding overnight with our customizable chia pudding. Top with nuts and fruits to give it a little more flavor!
“Nuts and seeds are full of healthy fats and fiber that will help keep you full longer,” says Young. “Adding nuts and seeds to your diet is a great way to increase your intake of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids (walnuts, flaxseeds) that can benefit the heart, brain, and skin. They also contain the antioxidant vitamin E. “”
“Energy bites are the perfect take-away snack,” says Mackenzie Burgess, RDN and Recipe Developer at Cheerful Choices. “I love the way they strike a healthy balance between fiber and plant-based protein for long-lasting energy. Skip the store-bought items and make your own customizable bites. Add oatmeal alongside nut butters and add-ins Add your choice of mini chocolate chips, raisins or coconut flakes. “
“Dark chocolate is a great option for [a] Snack, “says Henry.” It contains flavanol compounds that can lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease. “
While dark chocolate can be a delicious (and nutritious) treat with no other elements to add to your snack, it doesn’t feel as filling. You can easily turn this sweet treat into a snack by combining it with something else, such as: B. these bananas dipped in dark chocolate or clusters of almonds covered with dark chocolate.
“The key to a good snack is having a high-fiber carbohydrate and protein that will give you energy and keep your blood sugar stable,” says Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, author of the Sports Nutrition Playbook. “Some of the best snack examples include cheese and whole grain crackers, Greek yogurt and fruit, and peanut butter on whole grain bread. All are satisfying, blood sugar stabilizing, and nutritious. If you’re looking for an all-in on-the-go snack, add almonds or pistachios. They’re rich of fiber and protein and a snack in one. “
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