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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Snack Ideas

For people trying to eat healthier and / or lose weight, a big question is often what to snack on. Snacks are important - they keep our metabolism reved, our blood sugar stable and our stomachs satisfied so we don't fall on our next meal like ravening wolves and overeat. The best snacks provide a mix of protein, complex and simple carbohydrates and some fat, without loading us up on calories.

The 100-calorie packs that are so popular, while low in calories, are made up almost entirely of simple carbs, causing a spike and dip in blood sugar and leaving us hungry half an hour later. Plain fruit, while a little longer-lasting because of its fiber and water content, presents a similar problem.

So, what to do? Below are some healthy snack ideas that fit the above criteria. Calories are approximate and will vary depending on the brand of ingredient you choose, unless the brand is specified.

* 1/2 whole wheat bagel with 1 tbsp cream cheese (175 calories)
* Cottage Doubles cottage cheese with fruit topping (130 calories)
* 1 apple, sliced, with 1 tbsp peanut butter (175 calories)
* 4 Triscuit wheat crackers with 1 slice of deli cheese cut in quarters (160 calories)
* Yoplait Light Thick & Creamy yogurt (100 calories)
* 1/2 whole wheat pita with 2 tbsp hummus (154 calories)
* 1/2 peanut butter & jelly sandwhich with whole grain bread, 1 tsp reduced-sugar jelly and 1 tbsp peanut butter (250 calories)
* 1/4 cup mixed nuts and unsweetened dried fruit (150 calories)
* 1 container Fage Greek Total 2% fat yogurt, 2 tsp honey (173 calories)
* 6 whole wheat crackers spread with a mix of tuna (the kind that comes packed in water), pickle relish and lite mayo (200 calories)
* 8 oz. of Bolthouse Farms Perfectly Protein Vanilla Chai Tea with Soy Protein (160 calories)
* Frozen yogurt pops (127 calories)
* 2 rice cakes spread with hummus and sliced tomatoes (135 calories)
* 1 cup chopped raw broccoli and baby carrots with 1/4 cup hummus (170 calories)
* 1/2 cup low fat vanilla yogurt with 1/4 cup frozen mixed berries (120 calories)
* 1 Mission 6" low carb tortilla with 2 slices of turkey, spinach, sliced cucumber and balsamic vinegar (140 calories)

If you have ideas or favorites, put them in comments. I'd love to hear them!

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