Whether it’s just you at home or you live with an always-hungry mob, snacking is a serious pleasure. Having a stock of delicious and nutritious snack foods can go a long way toward satisfying cravings without adding empty calories.
Besides having a variety of fresh fruits and cut-up veggies handy, nutritionists suggest keeping these snack foods readily available in your kitchen:
Nuts – An ounce or two of nuts each day can lower the risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease, cognitive decline, certain cancers, and type 2 diabetes. Most nuts pack lots of antioxidants, a few grams of protein and fiber, as well as heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that keep you full.
Popcorn – A high-quality food at a budget-friendly price, popcorn is a satisfying, low-calorie food that, while not loaded with nutrition, supplies trace amounts of B vitamins and minerals and satisfies the urge to munch.
Whole Wheat Crackers – Providing a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals, 100% whole grain crackers provide full flavor and crunchy crispiness right out of the box. Top them with a bit of nut butter or hummus for a healthy snack choice.
Dried Fruits – Dried fruits, like raisins, contain substantial amounts of minerals, such as iron, copper, magnesium, and potassium, all beneficial to health. They are high in sugar, though, so limit portion size to a handful.
Almond Milk – Naturally creamy almond milk is a dairy- and lactose-free alternative to cow’s milk, whether or not you are trying to go plant-based or have issues digesting dairy. It’s significantly lower in calories and sugar than regular milk and it’s an excellent source of calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin E.
Greek Yogurt – A cup of creamy Greek yogurt per day provides protein, calcium, iodine, and potassium. It’s low in calories and contains probiotics to support a healthy bacterial balance in the gut. Try it with honey or topped with berries or granola.