Healthy Snacks That Keep Extra Pounds Away

Healthy snacks can be as close as your desk drawer

Healthy snacks can be as close as your desk drawer

Finding healthy snacks between meals can be a challenge. Often the selections in vending machines are full of empty calories, setting you up for a slump later in the day and added pounds as time goes by. With just a bit of planning, a healthy snack can be as close as your desk drawer. These snacks are deliciously filling without expanding your waistline.

Popcorn

Munch on 3 cups of air-popped popcorn for a satisfying snack that is less than 100 calories. Popcorn is an excellent source of fiber, with 3.5 grams, which will keep you feeling full for longer. The American Heart Association recommends that you consume 21 to 25 grams of fiber each day, as it may reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in addition to helping keeping those extra pounds at bay.

Nuts

Almonds are a great snack for curbing hunger without packing on the pounds. They are high in protein and monounsaturated fat -- the healthy type of fat -- making them the ideal choice to fuel you until your next meal. Just remember to keep the portions small, such as 12 almonds or 2 tablespoons of peanuts. Typically, 1/2 ounce is a normal serving size for this power-packed snack food to keep the calories below 100.

Legumes

Beans are often considered a side dish for a meal, but they also make an excellent snack. A serving of fat-free refried beans or dish of black bean soup can be a nutritious between-meal treat. Due to their high-fiber content, they have been called nature's health food. Just 1/2 cup of beans contains 6 to 9 grams of fiber to keep you feeling full until the next mealtime.

Sweet Potatoes

A surprising snack to curb those cravings for sugary treats is a sweet potato, also called a yam. Full of vitamin A, they are also packed with 4 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein to satisfy your sweet tooth. The rich orange filling need not be smothered with fattening toppings to make a delicious treat. Try sprinkling the yam with a dash of cayenne pepper or cinnamon -- or both -- to give this snack a tasty kick.

Avocados

Avocados are considered taboo by some people watching their weight because they contain fat. However, the fat in avocados is a monounsaturated fat -- the healthy kind -- which in small quantities can improve your health. In addition, one-half of a medium-sized avocado has 4 grams of protein and just 90 calories. Add the juice from a wedge of lime for extra zest.

 

About the Author

Jennifer Hanes is a nationally recognized physician and best-selling author. She is board-certified in both emergency medicine and integrative medicine, combining traditional and alternative treatments. Hanes holds a doctorate in osteopathic medicine from the University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine.

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