Snacks are an important part of a healthful diet and especially key if you're trying to lose weight. The problem is that supermarket snack foods have become a separate food group: chips, crackers, cookies, ice cream sandwiches, and all those other bite-sized treats that no longer qualify as "snacks" when they take up a large percentage of the total calories eaten in a day.
An ideal snack should be a small refreshment just enough to quiet those hunger pangs until your next meal. Skip the chocolate bar or bag of pretzels. The best snacks that go the extra mile contain carbohydrate, some protein, and a little fat. Below is a list of my top five power snacks, all less than 250 calories. I've included brand names for ease of finding them, but you can use equivalent generic store brands.
- 6 oz. cup Dannon yogurt (any flavor), 1/2 banana sliced, 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
- Whole-wheat English muffin with 1 tablespoon peanut butter and 1 tablespoon raisins divided among the two muffin halves
- 1 Laughing Cow Mini Babybel Cheese, 10 roasted almonds, 10 red or green seedless grapes
- On-the-go smoothie: Blend up 4 oz. (1/2 cup) orange juice, 1/2 banana sliced, 2 frozen strawberries, 3 oz. (1/2 container) vanilla yogurt, 1 scoop protein powder
- 1 Arnold Sandwich Thins lightly toasted, 2 tablespoons hummus, 2 thin slices turkey breast or roast beef