Made from just four whole-food ingredients: coconut, sprouted sesame seeds, naturally sweet dates and ginger powder, you can eat a few handfuls of these without breaking the sugar or calorie bank. Admittedly, they don't taste exactly like a traditional ginger snap, but they're not too far off. And they're far better for your waistline, which makes them so worth it.
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.
A mini-meal snack is a good idea when dinner is a long way off. The combo of tomato soup and baby carrots is not just filling; it also gives you lots of body-healthy nutrients, like potassium, cancer-fighting lycopene, and beta-carotene. Try a microwavable soup cup that you can stash in your car's cup holder. (Concerned about sodium? Pour about a quarter of the soup down the drain and dilute the rest with water, says McLachlan.)
This another “snack” that I personally wouldn’t choose. Coffee really doesn’t fill you up and soy milk is heavily processed. Every now and then, we all need a pick me up. You can have about a cup and a half of “light soy milk” but make sure you check the brand you prefer so that you stick within 100 calories. Black coffee has zero calories, kids. That’s what I drink.
Known for being a cheap staple, rice and beans is a classic lazy person’s meal that’s also good for you! Brown rice is packed with hardy nutrients and can be made in large batches to last for a few days worth of meals. If you don’t have the time to cook rice on the stove, opt for using instant. Although the texture will be different, this is still a healthier option for the time-crunched than processed foods and breads. Beans make a killer counterpart to rice as they are incredibly cheap and will keep you full for hours. Black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas or black-eyed peas are all quality options and are easy because you can buy them in a can. Make sure to rinse them well before using. Check out this White Bean Wild Rice Hash or this Cilantro, Lime and Black Bean Rice for either a side dish or a main course, and see Easy Ways to Spruce Up Classic Rice and Beans for more help to those feeling lackadaisical.
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.
That same vegan nacho cheese sauce makes for a serious plate of nachos. We use freshly fried tortilla wedges (they're sturdier than store-bought chips) as the base for vegan refried beans and chili, Roasted-Tomato Salsa, guacamole, and tons of fresh and pickled veggies. Layering the chips and toppings for even coverage is a little extra work, but it's worth it for the many more balanced bites you'll get.
Six grams of sugar in three of these chai-infused vanilla cookies?! It doesn't get much better than that. In lieu of butter, Bakeology uses coconut oil to bind the organic ingredients that make up their dessert, which is good news for your belly. The tropical oil converts into energy more easily than other types of fat, so less flab is apt to be stored on your frame. We're also big fans of the real bits of cinnamon, ginger, ground cloves and cardamom that give these cookies an authentic chai flavor.
Packed with fiber, water, and antioxidants, fruits and vegetables are great choices for diet-friendly snacking. But the standard banana or carrots and ranch dip can get old quick. Instead, try a sliced apple with a lowfat cheese wedge, like Laughing Cow Light. "Having a little extra fat is good in a snack because it sustains you longer," says McLachlan.
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.
Who doesn’t love a good snack? They’re essential for staving off hunger between meals and keeping you fueled from your early morning workout until your late night dinner with friends. But small bites can also be a nutritional trap, providing few nutrients and tons of unnecessary calories. A 2012 study examining the diets of nearly 5,000 adults found that almost a third of their daily calorie intake was from “empty,” or nutritionally void, snack calories.