Snacking refers to the consumption of foods other than staple foods during the day. Snacking usually consists of small amounts of food distributed between meals.
Research on whether snacking helps weight loss is mixed, but some evidence suggests that snacking may help manage hunger and improve blood sugar regulation by increasing the number of meals.
Additionally, snacking can help increase intake of nutrient-dense foods such as fruits and vegetables.
By keeping snacks with protein, fiber, and healthy fats in mind, you will be able to fill your stomach throughout the day and make healthier choices for your next meal.
Focusing on nutritious foods and planning your intake will help reduce hunger, keep you satisfied between meals, and support weight management.
While not every snack choice will help you lose weight, these snacks may help promote weight loss as part of a healthy diet.
Here are 4 healthy, weight-loss-friendly snacks.
- Mixed Nuts
Nuts are an ideal nutritious snack, providing the perfect balance of healthy fats, protein, and fiber.
Not only are they delicious, but they also offer many health benefits and are filling. Research also suggests that despite their high calorie and fat content, eating nuts in moderation may lead to weight loss.
There are many types of nuts to choose from, including walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, cashews, and pistachios.
They are ideal for on-the-go snacking because they do not need to be refrigerated. Pay attention to portion size and aim for about 1 ounce or 1/4 cup.
- Apple Slices and Peanut Butter
Apples and peanut butter are a perfect match in terms of nutrition and taste.
Apples, on the other hand, are a high-fiber fruit. Peanuts, on the other hand, have most of the nutrients you should look for in a snack, including healthy fats, vegetable protein, and fiber.
Combine apples with peanut butter for a crisp and creamy snack. A sprinkle of cinnamon adds even more flavor.
Many commercial peanut butters contain sugar and fat. Check the ingredient list and choose one that contains only peanuts and salt.
- Baby Carrots with Blue Cheese Dressing
Baby carrots with blue cheese dressing make the perfect snack when you are in the mood for something savory.
Additionally, carrots can be paired with a creamy dressing or dip. The fat not only keeps you feeling fuller longer, but it also enhances the absorption of carrots' fat-soluble micronutrients, such as carotenoids.
Blue cheese dressing is not as nutritious, but it may help you eat more carrots (or other vegetables).
3.5 ounces (100 grams) of baby carrots and 2 tablespoons (30 grams) of blue cheese dressing can be used as a light snack with about 180 calories.
- Beef Jerky or Beef Sticks
Beef jerky or beef sticks are a great high-protein, portable snack. However, some brands and flavors contain a lot of added sugar and sodium.
Look for jerky with as few additives as possible. While all jerky may contain sodium, flavored jerky tends to be higher in sodium, so check the Nutrition Facts panel for a low-sodium version.
This equals 13% of the Daily Value (DV) for minerals.
Most beef jerky and sticks contain about 7 grams of protein per ounce (28 g).
Next time you're in the mood to eat, choose whole foods that add to your daily nutritional needs rather than those that are more processed and less nutritious.
Getting healthier foods will help you feel satisfied, get more nutrients, and support weight management.