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.
Now that's an ingredient list we love looking at when we're picking our favorite healthy snacks to buy. Every bag of Skinny Dipped Almonds contains almonds, chocolate, organic maple sugar, sea salt, cocoa powder, and real powdered flavor (either espresso beans or dried raspberries)—none of that "natural flavor" stuff! Skip out on sketchy snacks to have this sweet treat instead.
Complete proteins. Proteins are made up of amino acid building blocks, which are used to repair muscle tissue and build new proteins. A complete protein is one that contains all 9 of the essential amino acids the body needs (English, 2015). Lacto-ovo vegetarians can get all of these amino acids from eggs. It has been found that eating a variety of plant proteins can provide all the essential amino acids and thus providing ample protein for the body. For example: having rice with lunch and then beans with dinner will result in consumption of all the essential amino acids. Additionally, many plant foods provide all of the essential aminos acids including quinoa, chia seeds,beans, and buckwheat (American Dietary Association, 2009).
Snacks can absolutely fit in your diet if you're trying to lose weight. Having ideas for healthy snacks to pack for work snacks, grab and go snacks, store-bought snacks and snacks you can make yourself will help vary the nutrients you get and keep you from going hangry between meals. Remember, think nutrient-dense (fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals) and your snacks will help you get the nutrition your body needs and keep you full.
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.
If you're craving something sweet and sinful, grab this mini pack of jelly beans. With just 4 calories in each bean, they're the slimmest way to enjoy cotton candy, toasted marshmallows, and strawberry shortcake. As an added bonus: Jelly Belly uses real fruit purees to flavor their beans. It's still candy in every sense, but it's certainly the lesser of many sugar-loaded evils.
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