(Natural News) If you’ve been trying to lose weight, you might be steering clear of all snacks. While that may seem like good advice on the surface – after all, most snacks are full of artificial ingredients and packed with simple carbohydrates, saturated fats and calories – the truth is that you could be setting yourself up to overeat later. The key is to choose healthy snacks that will keep you feeling full without adding too many calories. Here are some snacks that fit the bill.
Eggs are a great source of protein, which means they can satisfy hunger quickly. Put your cholesterol fears aside; recent studies have shown that eggs don’t actually raise cholesterol after all. In fact, they’ve been described as “nature’s perfect food” on account of all the nutrients they contain. Best of all, it’s easy to boil a batch and keep them in the fridge to grab when hunger strikes.
Hummus with raw vegetables
Hummus is made with chickpeas and tahini, a sesame seed paste, and it’s full of protein and fiber to keep you feeling full for longer. Consider making your own; it’s easier than you think, especially if you have a food processor, and you can control the ingredients. Of course, you can’t eat hummus on its own, and there is nothing better to dip in it than organic vegetables. This will give you even more fiber and a host of other nutrients depending on the vegetable. Raw red peppers, carrots, celery, and broccoli are all excellent choices.
Greek yogurt with berries
Greek yogurt’s high calcium and protein content make it a great choice for snacking, but be sure to opt for the plain variety as the flavored options are packed with excess sugar – or even worse, artificial sweeteners. Sweeten it yourself with a handful of berries for an antioxidant-rich treat that will keep you satisfied while enhancing your overall health.
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The popcorn from the movie theater or microwave bag is the stuff of nightmares, but air-popped popcorn is an incredibly smart snack choice. Filled with antioxidant polyphenols and lots of filling fiber and naturally low in calories, this whole grain is the ideal snack for those who like to eat in high volumes as you can consume a lot of popcorn for relatively few calories. For example, one ounce – about 3 ½ cups – contains 4 grams each of fiber and protein for just 110 calories. Add seasonings like salt, garlic powder, or curry, drizzle with omega-3 rich olive oil, or sprinkle on some nutritional yeast for a protein boost.
Celery sticks with nut butter
Celery is very low in calories, yet eating two large stalks counts as one of the 2.5 cups of vegetables recommended by the USDA for a 2,000-calorie diet. Celery is full of fiber but it’s not very exciting on its own, so dip it in a nut butter like natural almond butter or peanut butter (homemade is even better) to give you some protein and healthy fat as well.
Nuts are a great source of good fats and protein, and they’re also very filling. However, there are a few caveats here. First, you should eat the raw or dry-roasted varieties; watch out for added salt or sugar and artificial flavors. You also need to keep in mind that just a small amount will do the trick as nuts are high in calories. Pistachios are among the lowest-calorie choices.
Snacking can be the downfall of many diets, but so, too, can skipping snacks and overeating at your next meal. Make sure healthy snacks are readily available and just as easy to grab as that bag of potato chips. For example, cut up all your raw vegetables when you bring them home from the market and portion them out for “grab and go” snacks throughout the week.
Healthy, nutrient-filled snacks can be incredibly useful in helping you lose or maintain your weight, so stock up on these smart choices!
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