Snacking as we know it kind of has a negative connotation… Especially if you’re trying to loose weight. However, snacking is actually a great tool for weight loss if it’s done right. It helps control portions for your actual meals and also control your hunger pains which is why we want to provide you with 5 healthy snacks from Tara Gidus, R.D., of the American Dietetic Association, to cater to your weight loss goal:
FROZEN PEAS AND CORN
Half of a cup of peas has 55 calories and 3 g of fiber; the same amount of corn contains 72 calories with 2 g of fiber. The high-fiber and low-calorie-density combination means they’re filling and satisfying, and the frozen part makes them interesting. They’re firm, but not rock hard, and they melt in your mouth. “You can use the same trick with fruit,” Gidus says. “Freeze grapes or cherries, and it’s a whole different experience.”
KASHI CHEWY GRANOLA BARS
These are the chewiest bars going (don’t confuse them with other types of Kashi bars—look for “chewy” on the label). They have 130 to 140 calories each, 4 grams of fiber, 5 g of protein, and they’re made with real nuts and whole grains. And they actually taste good. “You’ve got chewy, you’ve got sweet, and you’ve got a bar,” Gidus says. “That’s got a real snacky feel to it. The calorie range is right, and the fiber is high.”
A DRESSED UP APPLE
A 2003 Brazilian study found that three apples a day can keep weight gain at bay — and can even help you lose. “There’s no magic compound,” according to Rui Hai Liu, Ph.D., an apple researcher at Cornell University.”The best way to lose weight is to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables. That increases volume and decreases calorie density.” If you’ve got 5 minutes and a knife, cut your apple up and mix it with some chopped walnuts and a teaspoon or two of maple syrup. Or eat it with a tablespoon of peanut butter to add about 100 calories’ worth of the satiating power of nuts.
If edamame had a tryst with orange-dusted nachos, the result would look a lot like soy chips—a high-fiber, low-fat snack that’s a significant source of soy protein. And soy protein, according to a recent study in the International Journal of Obesity, not only helps facilitate weight loss, but also helps ensure that the weight lost is fat rather than muscle. The isoflavones in soy act like estrogen and inhibit the enzyme that facilitates fat deposits, according to Paul Cooke, Ph.D., a soy researcher at the University of Illinois.A pack of soy chips racks up as many as 7 g of soy protein in about 100 calories, which leaves room for a 1/4 cup of Guiltless Gourmet bean dip. The dip adds 60 calories and another 4 g each of fiber and protein.
FROZEN JUICE BARS
Unwrap a frozen juice bar and you can practically hear the ice cream truck rounding the corner of your cul-de-sac. “They’re sweet and tangy, and anything frozen takes longer to eat,” Gidus says. “They’re just a few calories, and they’ve even got some vitamins”. Our favorite: Edy’s Tangerine, with flavor as bright as its color—and a mere 80 calories.
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