Munch, Crunch: Experts Dish Up Scrumptious Slimming Snacks

Snacks
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If you open your cupboards and fridge, what percentage of foods do you use for snacking? Researchers say that more than 25 percent of our daily calorie intake consists of snacks, and for many of us, most of those fattening calories are consumed in the evening, says weight loss expert Cynthia Sass. So what can you do when you feel hungry between meals and want an option that won't add too many calories? We researched what the experts have to say, and are sharing their most scrumptious slimming tips below.

Heidi Skolnik, MS, CDN, FACSM
Heidi says that you should choose a snack with two or more food groups, such as protein and whole grains. Her faves include:

  • Peanut butter on a banana or apple
  • Apple and an oz of cheese (sliced thin)
  • KIND Bars
  • Sabra Hummus with baby carrots, peppers or string beans
  • Hot coco made from non fat or low fat milk
  • Corn cake with almond butter, sliced banana;
  • Greek Yogurt with almonds
  • Vanilla yogurt with or without (depends on my hunger) berries or other fruit
  • Whole grain cereal and low-fat milk
  • Half a turkey sandwich
  • Bowl of soup

Dr. Stephanie Walsh of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
Do you think of snacks as something special or a treat? Instead, Dr. Walsh urges that you consider them to be healthy mini meals. And she offers a recipe for healthy trail mix that fulfills that requirement.

Trail Mix Recipe

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18 servings (½ cup each)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups oat squares cereal
  • 2 cups toasted oat cereal
  • 1 cup dry roasted cashew pieces—unsalted
  • ½ cup seedless raisins
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 2 cups pretzel pieces

Preparation: Combine all ingredients and serve.

Toby Smithson of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic
How many calories are in your snack? Toby suggests you play it safe by knowing how many so that "you won’t over spend your calorie budget for the day." Among her yummy suggestions for snacking:

  • Greek yogurt with cinnamon and sliced almonds
  • Baked tortilla chips with salsa
  • Low fat popcorn with parmesan cheese
  • Fruit Kebab with yogurt dip
  • Baby bell peppers
  • Celery and hummus
  • Baked apple with cinnamon and sugar substitute

Dr. Michael Roizen
Fruits and veggies play a big role in Dr. Roizen's recommendations because they are "easy to keep on hand, delicious to eat." He suggests:

  • Fruit and nuts: ½ ounce raw nuts with an apple, banana, plum, pear, orange, wedge of melon, cup of berries, 2 kiwis, 1/2 grapefruit or any other fruit.
  • Grains and berries: 1/2 cup whole-grain cereal mixed with 1/4 cup almonds and 1/4 cup dried berries, apricots or raisins.
  • Revved up veggies: 1 cup of cut sautéed veggies, warmed in microwave and stuffed into small whole-wheat pita. Or try cut veggies dipped into 4 oz. plain yogurt or low-fat cottage cheese mixed with lots of dill, chives, ginger, red pepper flakes or other flavor spices—your choice. Or just reach for plain cut-up veggies.
  • Fruit and yogurt: Low-fat probiotic (live culture) yogurt covered with ½ cup of canned unsweetened peaches or mandarin oranges and some raisins.

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