To Snack, or Not to Snack

Healthy Spread

When we go too long between meals and snacks, our blood glucose levels can drop causing us to feel hungry, shaky, nervous, irritated or even sick. If we don't have a snack or meal soon, we start on our hunt for something to eat. Our judgement is clouded as we impulsively grab something that will increase our blood glucose levels rapidly. This would typically be a calorie-dense food high in sugar or fat or both. And these days, those foods are readily available. Think about when you were too busy for lunch at work and on the way home you went through the drive through and ordered that Super-Sized meal at a fast food restaurant or ate a sleeve of oreo cookies when you got home (okay if you haven't done this before you are the exception to the rule, but most of you reading this probably have once or twice).

Try not to go longer than 4-5 waking hours between meals and snacks. Always make sure to include some sort of protein (preferably 8 grams of protein or higher) with your snack. Adding protein will increase satiety (make you feel fuller and for longer), will stabilize your blood glucose levels and help you maintain lean body mass as you are losing weight. A combination of a small amount of healthy carbohydrate with a healthy protein and even a little fat can make the perfect snack that will help you keep your appetite and blood glucose levels in check. 

Here are some suggestions for healthy and tasty high protein snacks:

  • 1/2 cup of low fat cottage cheese with added pineapple, peaches or berries

  • homemade turkey or beef meatballs with tomato sauce, celery sticks for fiber and crunch

  • Steamed edamame (optional sea salt if you do not have a health problem that requires a low sodium diet)

  • Slim chicken tacos (small tortilla with grilled chicken, leafy greens and plain yogurt or salsa)

  • Healthy egg muffin cups with sautéed vegetables

  • Tuna salad stacker - make tuna salad with celery and top 5-6 whole grain crackers with tasty tuna salad

  • Strawberry protein shake - 2 scoops whey protein powder, 1/4 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, 1/2 cup low fat milk or almond milk and ice...blend and drink

  • Caprese salad made with cherry tomatoes, mozz balls, fresh basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar drizzled over the top

  • Greek yogurt (Greek is better than regular yogurt because of the higher protein content). Try Chobani Greek Yogurt100 calorie Whips. Chobani uses stevia instead of sucralose which is a healthier alternative

  • Handful of unsalted or lightly salted almonds with 2 mozz cheese sticks

  • 1-2 Tablespoons of natural peanut butter with 1 small organic apple