Who doesn’t love a good snack?! Whether you’re pressed for time and need something quick or you’re sitting at home and get a little peckish in between meals, snacks to the rescue! How good of a snack-er you are (or are not) can make a big difference in your daily caloric intake and overall health.
Nothing beats fresh food, or as you may commonly hear, real food. Real, whole foods are good for us because they are chock full of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that help to keep our immunity up and help fight disease. Sometimes we do not have the luxury of consuming fresh foods all the time. Many real foods are perishable and are therefore not as easily transportable or attainable in busy situations.
All of the items I listed are meant to be consumed in moderation. The items on the list, (when portioned properly) are ones that are a good standby that will not wreak havoc on your overall health or weight loss goals. Some are also healthier than others!
What do I look for in a snack?!
- Low in sugar (not more than 7-10 grams per 100 grams)
- Low in overall ingredients (when I look at a label and feel overwhelmed, I just put it down! Real food doesn’t require many ingredients, so the more that’s listed, the further you are from the real thing)
- Calories. If it’s a meal replacement bar, it’s OK if it’s 300 calories. If it’s a snack, you don’t want to go a lot higher than 150 (depending on your size, weight, etc).
- Taste! It’s not all rules and regulations! I’m not going to eat something only because it’s good for me, low in calories, or anything else and I certainly do not expect you too either!
You may notice I don’t have a list of “100 calorie” snack items. Just because they fit in the calorie-qualifying category doesn’t mean they’re good to eat. Many “100 calorie snacks” often have loads of additives, chemicals, or contain a high content of other not-so-desirable sugars or fats. Many of these can also be considered ’empty calories’ meaning other than being edible, they are serving no real nutritional purpose or benefit to us. Why does that matter? Because our bodies don’t recognize them as food. This leaves your body wanting more because it seeks nutrients from everything we eat.