Typical snack foods, such as candy bars, crackers, potato chips and cookies, will help fulfill a craving for sweet or salty flavors, but they won't satiate hunger or benefit your health. These types of snacks lead to excess amounts of fat and sugar in your diet and could lead to weight gain and a variety of health issues. Keep yourself satisfied between meals by choosing healthier snack options.
In addition to being a great tasting snack, Greek yogurt provides a number of health benefits. It contains bacteria that works as a probiotic, giving your immune system a boost. It is also rich in calcium, which helps build strong bones. By eating Greek yogurt, you get over twice the protein and a lot less sugar than most types of regular yogurt. You can create your own flavors by adding honey, fruit, seeds or chopped nuts.
Low-fat Chocolate Milk
A snack doesn't necessarily have to be something that you eat. A cold glass of low-fat chocolate milk is not only satisfying, but it is also one of the most ideal sources of calcium and is loaded with vitamin D. Drinking a glass of low-fat chocolate milk can actually trick your brain into being satisfied when you are craving candy bars or other sweets. It also makes a great choice after a workout session thanks to its protein content.
Air-popped popcorn is the perfect alternative to salty snacks like potato chips. It not only tastes good, but it is also full of fiber so it is sure to fill you up until it's time for your next meal. Air-popped popcorn is naturally low in calories. If possible, avoid microwave popcorn from the grocery store. Most brands are high in calories and are loaded with chemicals. By popping your own popcorn, you can control how much salt and toppings it contains. Instead of butter, try a little grated Parmesan cheese over the top.
Cheese and Whole-Grain Crackers
If you are craving a combination of crunchy and creamy, it does not get much better than the pairing of whole-grain crackers and low-fat cheese. Low-fat cheese comes in many varieties and provides you with calcium and protein. The whole-grain crackers give you the carbohydrates you need for energy to make it through until mealtime. If you do not care for crackers, try your cheese with apple slices for a sweet twist on the snack.
- MedlinePlus: Snacks for Adults
- “The Ultimate Healthy Snack List”; C Elias
Derek Buckner has been writing professionally since 2005, specializing in diet, nutrition and general health. He has been published in "Today's Dietitian," "Food Essentials" and "Eating Well Magazine," among others. Buckner is a registered dietitian and holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition and food science from Drexel University.