But first, a bit of definition: "Free foods," in my opinion, are those that have 25 calories or less per reasonable serving. "Almost free foods" have 25 to 60 calories per reasonable serving. Portion control is key here. While 2 cups of popped, 94% fat-free microwave popcorn may contain only 40 calories, if you eat the entire bag you'll end up with closer to 200 calories -- definitely not an "almost free" food situation.

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.

More than 7 million Americans identify as vegetarian, while another 22.8 million follow a largely vegetarian diet (Vegetarian Times, n.d.). Whether you are a dedicated vegetarian or an omnivore exploring healthier meat-free options, getting the right balance of nutrients is essential. Snacking is a healthy part of any diet, making it important to choose vegetarian snacks that satisfy your hunger while meeting your unique nutritional needs.


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.
×