Snacks are fast and convenient foods that are often used to curb hunger or keep the body under constant energy supply. While they contain high calories, taking the wrong snacks may impact negatively on your health.
Most snacks are loaded with calories, and eating them frequently may add extra calories to your daily calorie intake. As a result, you may gain weight and increase your risk of obesity. Studies indicate that consuming snacks high in fiber, protein, and healthful nutrients may increase fullness and satiety and reduce the number of calories taken per day. There are lots of these foods from which you can easily choose. Read on to learn of delicious and low-calorie snacks you can include in your diet.
1. Vegetables and Hummus
Vegetables have been an all-round fix into any healthful diet, and for a good reason. They can promote your health in many ways and reduce your risk of chronic ailments, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Sadly, vegetables are not food for many. Noteworthy, vegetables can go well with varieties of proteins, hummus is one of them. Hummus is a creamy Arabian dip made from olive oil, chickpeas, lemon juice, and tahini. You can make a delicious and satisfying snack by pairing high protein food like hummus with a low-calorie food high in fiber like broccoli, celery, radishes, or bell pepper. For example, 30 g of medium sliced carrot paired with hummus offers up to 100 calories.
2. Apple Slices Paired with Natural Peanut Butter
Apples are a highly nutritious food and can stand on their own perfectly, but pairing them with natural peanut butter can drastically promote feelings of fullness. Peanut butter is high in protein, which is a most filling nutrient than other macronutrients, including fats and carbs. Consuming peanut butter alongside other healthy foods can promote feelings of fullness and prevent weight gain. When choosing peanut butter, ensure that it is a natural one with peanut butter and salt only on the ingredient list. Plus, try to use the recommended serving portion of 32 g of or tablespoons only to avoid overconsuming calories. Combining a small apple with peanut butter weighing 32 g provides about 267 calories.
3. Coconut Chips
If you like snacking on potato chips, then coconut chips are a perfect substitute. Potato chips pack high amounts of calories and sodium, thus increasing your risk of chronic diseases. Coconut chips, on the other hand, are rich in fiber and healthy fats. Apart from purchasing coconut chips online or from the nearby store, you can perfectly make them on your own. All you need to do is mix coconut flakes with melted coconut oil and bake in the oven for about seven to nine minutes at 150 degrees Celsius. To have a tastier serving, you may add honey and cinnamon to coconut flakes before baking. Just 42 g or half a cup of coconut chips provides up to 315 calories.
4. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Adding eggs to your healthy diet as a low-calorie snack can improve your health significantly. Eggs are sometimes called “nature’s multivitamin” – and for a good reason. One large hard-boiled eggs provide78 calories, alongside other beneficial nutrients like selenium, vitamin A, vitamin B12, 6 g of protein, proteins, and healthy fats. You can boil them earlier and sack with them conveniently paired with fruits, vegetables, cheese, or nuts.
5. DIY Energy Balls
Energy balls are small bite morsels made by combining several ingredients like dried fruits, nuts, oats, and coconut. Snacking on these nutritious foods can pump healthy protein and fiber into your body and help you maintain a healthy weight. You can make energy balls at home by putting the following ingredients in a food processor: 32 g of cashews, 107 g of almonds, 240 g of dates, 30 g of shredded coconut, 16 g of cocoa powder and 15 ml of coconut oil. Design the mixture into bite-sized balls and keep it in the fridge for a convenient snack. One energy ball can provide about 100 calories, though the number of calories varies depending on the ingredients used and ball size.
6. Greek Yogurt Paired with Berries
Greek yogurt is a nutritious dairy product rich in beneficial nutrients like magnesium, potassium, and calcium. On the other hand, berries are high in fiber and loaded with powerful antioxidants, which help protect against oxidative damage. There are several varieties of berries you can use to top unsweetened Greek yogurt and promote feelings of fullness while pumping in healthy nutrients. You can get 180 calories from a mixture of plain Greek yogurt and 70 g of blueberries.
7. Banana Paired with Nut Butter
Bananas have never gone wrong at keeping your energy levels high and maintaining your health. Given that bananas have a sweet taste, you can add them as a perfect snack by combining them with the salty and nutty flavor of cashew, peanut, or almond butter. This combination provides healthy proteins and fiber, keeping hunger at bay and preventing weight gain. A small-sized sliced banana topped with 32 g of almond butter provides a whopping 280 calories.
8. Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Most people have a tendency to discard pumpkin seeds. Any health-conscious person knows how nutritious these seeds are, packing healthy proteins, magnesium, copper, potassium, and manganese. These minerals are essential for strong bones and improving health.
9. Chia Pudding
Chia seeds have attained the status of superfoods – and for a good reason. These tinny black seeds are loaded with healthy fats, calcium, magnesium, and protein. When soaked in water, they expand and absorb water up to 12 times their weight producing a gelatinous mixture with excellent satiety properties. You can make chia pudding by mixing the following ingredients: 60 g of chia seeds, 375 ml of nut milk, one teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 15 ml of maple syrup. Keep the mixture in a refrigerator overnight. To have a more balanced snack, you can top it with nut butter, coconut, seeds, or berries. A 240 ml serving of chia pudding provides about 400 calories.
Snacking on unhealthy foods may lead to weight gain and complicate further health problems. To sustain your weight loss efforts, you can take low-calorie snacks high in fiber and protein. This may include chia seeds pudding, coconut chips, or hard-boiled eggs.
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