Easy Healthy Snacks

Learn How to Snack Right

Choosing a healthy snack is a great opportunity to boost your nutrition, maintain blood sugar, and prevent overeating at meals. The problem is that sometimes we don't know what to snack on and, instead of choosing a nutritious snack, we often opt for convenience, nibbling on salty and sweet treats. The key to healthy snacking is to have good quality ingredients at hand that are simple and nutrient dense.

For people with diabetes or those looking to improve health or lose weight, a healthy snack is one that is calorie and carbohydrate controlled. This will help to optimize your nutrition, increase your energy and prevent weight gain or help facilitate weight loss. A good rule is to keep your snacks to about 200 calories or less. In addition, you want your snack to have fiber and protein, two nutrients that help to aid in satiety. Lastly, it's a good idea to try to choose whole foods as snacks, and to avoid consuming processed, refined carbohydrates that can increase blood sugars, promote overeating, and produce inflammation.

Browse through this list of snacks. Pick your favorites or invent some new ones. These are just some ideas - increasing your variety will make meal planning fun and nutritious. 

1
Fresh Fruits - Naturally Good!

Photo by Eyup Salman

Fruit is naturally rich in carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals. If you have diabetes, aim to keep your portion to one serving (1 small piece - the size of a tennis ball, 1/2 banana, 1 cup of berries or melon, 1/2 cup mixed fruit) per sitting and consider adding some protein to your snack to reduce how quickly blood sugars rise. Fruit can be a good pre workout snack or an afternoon pick-me-up. It can also serve as a sweet treat after dinner. 

  • Apple
  • Banana (1 small or 1/2 medium)
  • Cherries (12-15)
  • Clementine 
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes (12-15 medium sized)
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Kiwi (1-2 small kiwi)
  • Mango (1/2 cup)
  • Nectarines
  • Orange
  • Papaya
  • Peaches
  • Pear
  • Pineapple (1/2 cup)
  • Plums
  • Tangerines
  • Watermelon

2
Unlimited Vegetables

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Non starchy vegetables are low in carbohydrates and calories. They are rich in filling fiber, vitamins and minerals. To complete your snack, pair 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw vegetables with a tablespoon of hummus, guacamole, or nut butter. 

  • Bell Pepper Strips
  • Berries
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Cherry or Grape Tomatoes (12-15) 
  • Cucumber
  • Jicama
  • Mushrooms
  • Snow Peas
  • String Beans

3
Grab-and-Go Snacks

Photo by Steve Woods

When you are on-the-go its easy to forget to pack something to eat,which leaves you having to purchase something to nosh on. To assure your snacks are nutritious and delicious, it's important to be a savvy consumer. Aim to find snacks that are nutrient rich and low in sodium and saturated fat. 

  • Snack Bar
  • Whole Grain Popcorn
  • Unsalted Nuts (almonds, pistacios, walnuts, cashews, 1 oz or 1/4 cup)
  • Low-fat Greek yogurt
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Raw Vegetables with Hummus
  • Dry Low Sugar Cereal
  • Hard-Boiled Egg
  • Olives
  • Pickles
  • Rice Cakes (Brown)
  • Soy Chips
  • Soy Nuts
  • String Cheese
  • Sunflower Seeds (unsalted)
  • Trail Mix (keep to one serving)

4
Fix It Fast and Enjoy

Photo: Photodisc / Getty Images

If you are home and have time to make a satisfying snack, instead of rummaging through the cabinets, whip up something quick and sit down, put it on a plate and enjoy it. Being mindful of what you eat can help you to portion control your food. 

  • 1/2 Turkey or Lean Ham Sandwich (2 slices of thin meat) on 1 Slice of Whole Grain Bread
  • 1 cup of Low-Sodium Soup
  • 1 Tablespoon Nut Butter  on 1 slice of Whole Grain Toast or 1/2 Whole Grain English Muffin
  • Apple or Pear Slices with Cinnamon and Low-fat Greek Yogurt
  • Apple or Pear Slices with Peanut Butter, Almond Butter, or Cashew Butter (1 Tablespoon)
  • 1 Small Baked Potato with a Dollup of Low-fat Cottage Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Cold Unsweetened Cereal with Low-fat Greek Yogurt
  • 3 Scrambled Eggwhites with Spinach
  • 1 Serving of Edamame with a Sprinkle of Parmesan Cheese
  • Green Salad with 1 Tablespoon Vinaigrette or 1 Teaspoon Olive Oil and Vinegar 
  • 2 Tablespoons Hummus and Carrots (or Other Non-Starchy Vegetable) 
  • Low-fat Cottage Cheese and 3/4 cup Blueberries or Strawberries 
  • 1 Tablespoon Peanut Butter on Celery
  • Raw Vegetables and 1-2 Tablespoons Dip (Guacamole or Bean Dip_
  • Smoked Salmon on Whole Grain Crackers
  • 1 Tomato Stuffed with 1 Tablespoon Low-fat Tuna or Egg Salad
  • Whole Grain Crackers (1 serving) with 1 Serving Low-fat Cheese 

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