Such a challenge! Some experts believe that you shouldn’t snack because it leads to excess calorie consumption. On the flip side of that not having a snack can lead to binge eating once you do eat. I speak from experience. I love to eat. My usual food cravings start at around 3 pm, two-three hours post my lunch. Dinner at our home isn’t until 6 or 7 pm. The gap between lunch and dinner is a very long one. Many of my patients have shared with me that they also have the same issue.
I always get asked WHAT should I eat? Below you will find a list of healthy snacks that only take a couple of minutes to make and can help curb your appetite between meals. Remember that calories add up so try to only do one snack a day two maximum.
Always try combining 1-2 ounces of protein and a serving of carbohydrate. Fat is usually found in proteins so we will not be counting it for the purpose of this post. You always want to combine protein, carbohydrate and some fat in all meals. The bad reputation currently for carbohydrates is not by registered dietitians as myself but a current food trend. Trends come and go. Carbohydrates are essential forms of energy for the body. You will never find me saying a “no carbohydrate” diet is ideal.
The definition of a serving of carbohydrate is very debatable. For the purpose of this post a serving is between 15-20 grams of carbohydrates. As a diabetes educator I always gravitate to this definition.
Pick one serving of carbohydrate and 1-2 ounces of protein for your ideal snack :
Not all fruit is created equal- one serving is equal to 15-20 grams of Carbohydrate:
1 1/4 cup of strawberries
15 small grapes
15 raisins (yes only 15)
1/3 cup 100% grape juice
1/2 cups orange or apple juice
1 cup of blueberries,
1 small apple
1 cup melon
Milk (any fat content, has the same amount of carbohydrates)
1- slice of bread (read label) or 6” tortilla
1/3 cup Rice or pasta (white or whole grain)
4- 6 crackers
1/2 cup of beans
1/2 cup of potato
1/2 cup oat meal
Proteins (choose 1-2 ounces)
Lean cold cuts- ham, turkey or chicken
1-2 ounces of nuts (approx. 12)
1 1/2 tablespoon of peanut butter or other nut butters unsweetened
Lean chicken (no skin)
These foods you do not have to worry about what quantity. These foods are high in fiber, low in carbohydrate and very little to no protein and no fat. Almost no calories: Example one cup of lettuce is 8 calories…. go ahead and eat all the lettuce you desire.
Here are some ideas:
-One small apple and 1 1/2 tablespoon of peanut butter
-1/2 cup of low fat cottage cheese with 16 small grapes (Or other fruit)
-1 slice of bread with 1 -2 slices of cheese
2-3 slices of ham or other lean cold cut and 6 crackers (whole grain saltines)
-1 hard-boiled egg and 1 cup of strawberries
1/2 English muffin with 1 tablespoon on peanut butter and 6 sliced grapes
1 low fat yogurt (no more than 20 grams of total carbohydrates) and 1 tablespoon of nut
1 cup of chicken noodle soup (low sodium)
1/2 cup of beans with a salad (all non-starchy vegetables) with low fat dressing