Following a vegetarian diet is a healthy lifestyle choice that is associated with lower rates of obesity and better cardiovascular health (American Heart Association, 2015). However, vegetarians must be vigilant about their dietary intake to ensure they get the broad array of nutrients needed to maintain health. Meat and animal products are a good source of certain nutrients that are less abundant in non-animal sources. In particular, it is important for vegetarians to prioritize getting the following nutrients:
Oatmeal is a complex carb, meaning it helps fill you up without spiking your blood sugar. Plus, it's a good source of fiber and eating more fiber helps people lose weight and keep it off. While we think of it typically as breakfast, a small bowl of oats makes a hearty, filling and delicious snack. To make this snack more convenient-keep a packet or two of unsweetened instant oatmeal at your desk or make overnight oats in a mason jar.
This colorful creation makes for a festive appetizer or a delicious bite-sized snack. Thanks to the zucchini base, they're loaded with vitamin A, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, calcium, and protein, just to name a few of its many nutrients. Plus the sun-dried tomato adds a dose of vitamin, iron, and antioxidants. While the goat cheese adds a boost of protein to keep you feeling full and satisfied longer.
Like olive oil, olives are filled with healthy monounsaturated fats that boost heart health and ward off hunger. With just 50 calories for an entire to-go pack, you can't go wrong with Milas Oloves' savory, citrus- and herb-infused snack. Though they're sold at a number of health food stores, most Starbucks locations recently started carrying them (along with some other new healthy snacks), so they're easy to find in a pinch.
According to experts, snacking in between meals wards off hunger and aids weight loss by maintaining blood-sugar levels and reducing blood insulin levels. "When your body produces less insulin, you're much less likely to convert dietary calories into body fat," says weight loss expert Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen. "If we feed the body at regular intervals we send a signal to the body that it doesn't have to store calories," he adds.
When tomatoes are out of season, you can still make great bruschetta by breaking out a can. Slowly roasting canned whole tomatoes concentrates their flavors, and mixing them with basil and red wine vinegar as a topping for toast produces a delicious year-round snack. We like to rub the toasts with garlic before spooning on the tomatoes to get an extra layer of flavor.
If you’re looking for a post-workout snack with a little more staying power, try this delicious sweet potato toast recipe. Sweet potatoes provide filling fiber and carbohydrates, and ham and egg offer protein to help build muscle. Spinach is a good source of magnesium, which often gets lost in sweat, and carbohydrates for replenishing glycogen stores. Photo and recipe: Carmen Sturdy / Life by Daily Burn
For this saucy Korean-style cauliflower snack, you can toss the golden-brown nuggets in either a sweet soy-garlic sauce or a sweet-and-spicy chili sauce, depending on your taste. The cauliflower florets' thin, shatteringly crisp crust is thanks to the same cornstarch, flour, and vodka batter we use for our Korean fried chicken—it's perfect for soaking up either sauce. We add sesame seeds and coconut flakes to the batter to give it a nice nuttiness and extra crunch. Leave out those ingredients, and your fried cauliflower is great for serving Buffalo-style.
Three words: So. Freakin'. Good. While eating something made solely of dehydrated squash and a bunch of spices may not seem like it would be tasty, Just Pure Foods dazzles us with this healthy chip alternative creation. It's crispy and full of an oniony, garlicky flavor that's hard to stop eating. Best of all, you don't have to. Even if you were to polish off half the bag in one sitting, it won't do much damage to your waistline.
Granola bars are perfect for so many moments: breakfast time; an at-work or school-safe snack; a picnic, playground, or on-the-trail treat; an after-school “moooooooom I’m hungry” snack; or even (if they’re really good) an after-dinner snack to crush your sugar cravings. But did you know that homemade granolas are super easy to make at home and have way less sugar than their storebought counterparts? We’ve got this easy granola bar recipe for you today that is packed full of protein and healthy fats AND it 100% vegan!
Good snacks are also relatively portable and easy to eat while you’re on the go. Search for snack ideas that can be thrown into your purse or bag, giving you the ability to always have food on hand. Additionally, a good snack is one that can be made ahead of time. For example, a trail mix that contains mixed nuts, dried fruits, and a small amount of chocolate provides a great balance of nutrients. You can portion a large bag of trail mix into smaller, snack-sized portions at the beginning of the week. Then, simply stick one in your bag before you head out the door to avoid mid-afternoon cravings.
For a sweet fix, try mixing mandarin oranges canned in their own juice with a couple tablespoons of light whipped topping. The oranges give a great hit of vitamin C and other antioxidants, and the light whipped topping gives the snack an indulgent feel (a feeling you often miss when you're watching what you eat). "This is a good substitute for ice cream when you're dieting," adds McLachlan.
This is a kind of springtime Greek ratatouille. We love the artichokes in this dish—they add their unique flavor and somehow make everything taste just a little sweeter. The olive oil emulsifies with the braising liquid to create a silky sauce that deliciously coats the bright spring veggies. Thin lemon slices, charred and caramelized in a cast-iron pan, make a nice garnish.
I want to make fermented cheeses though and will be experimenting a lot. I did recently use sunflower seeds in a recipe for cashew cheese (who can afford cashews these days!) and it turned out amazingly cheezy. I was making a quiche but the texture of the quiche was off (I only had extra firm tofu) and although it was really tasty, it wasn’t a huge success. I didn’t want to waste it so I boshed the quiche (I made it crustless) into a large batch of bechamel sauce that I was making for a vegan lasagna and it made the sauce AMAZING. Here’s the sunflower seed recipe if you want. I do have a vitamix blender (prehistoric from WAY back last century when we worked) but I am quite sure as the sunflower seeds are soaked, that you could get away with a cheaper blender or food processor, just let it run for a bit. Hope you like it. It tastes really cheesy.
If you're sacrificing snacks to cut calories, stop—to lose weight, you need snacks. "Snacking is an opportunity to fuel your body between meals," says nutritionist Rania Batayneh, author of The One One One Diet. Healthy snacks ensure you won't be ravenous come mealtime and keep your fat-burning metabolism revved up. Here are 21 nutritionist-approved choices for both store-bought and make-your-own snacks. Each nosh packs 150 to 200 calories, is filled with good-for-you nutrients, and will make you feel like your diet is about anything but deprivation.
Can’t get enough fall flavors in your life? You’ll dig these bite sized treats. (Plus, did you know pumpkin is a great source of vitamin A?) Cranberries add a dash of tart and fruity flavor to the mix. And because these muffins are made with Greek yogurt instead of butter, each mini muffin contains just three grams of fat. Photo and recipe: Emily Miller / Life by Daily Burn
They're mini health packets. Fresh herbs are calorie-free and loaded with antioxidants and other healthy ingredients. Basil and mint contain compounds that are potential cancer fighters; rosemary may help fight memory loss; and cilantro appears to slow the growth of certain bacteria that cause food-borne illness. Herbs are also a viable source of vitamins: 2 tablespoons of fresh basil, for example, delivers 27 percent of your recommended daily quotient of vitamin K, and just a handful of chives provides 10 percent of your daily requirement for vitamins A and C.
"Diet-friendly snacking doesn't necessarily have to be low-fat," says McLachlan. What's more important: Portion size. A homemade trail mix of walnuts, mini chocolate chips, and raisins is a snack that's satisfying (thanks to the sweetness and fat) and healthy for a dieter if portion sizes are kept in check. "Mix a palm full of walnuts with a pinch of chocolate chips and a pinch of raisins — it's not always realistic to measure," says McLachlan.