Trying to figure out healthy snacks that can help satisfy your hunger without boring your taste buds can take some thought. After all, there are just so many celery sticks and other raw vegetables that you can tolerate before those cravings kick in. Therefore, I wanted to share some healthy snack ideas that can help with weight loss and then maintenance once you drop those few pounds.
What I have been finding helping is using rice cakes (35 calories each) as a base or a matzo cracker (56 calories) with a protein topping such as a tablespoon of low-fat 1% cottage cheese (11 calories) for a total of just 46 calories. Another protein topping for my rice cake has been low-fat cream cheese (35 calories per tablespoon). Nut butters also can satisfy hunger, provide protein, vitamins, wonderful fats, and minerals, but they do have more calories to use as a topping. Hummus or a homemade bean spread is another winner at 25 calories per tablespoon. One tablespoon of peanut butter or almond butter is about 100 calories so spread this topping more thinly.
Another of these healthy snack suggestions is turning to hard-boiled eggs. Eggs always got such a bad rap for clogging up our arteries. However, according to various studies, cholesterol doesn’t go up due to eating them as once thought. In fact, researchers claim that you can safely eat one egg a day without fear of any heart-related problems. On the other hand, if you do have heart diseases or diabetes, then they advise only eat three a week. I love keeping them in my refrigerator at 72 calories each and devouring with a shake of hot sauce. At the same, I am getting six grams of protein, lutein and zeaxanthin for eyes, choline, vitamins A, B, and D.
In place of those convenient little bags of microwave popcorn, what I found was better for my overall health and figure was to just buy an air-popper to make popcorn. Did you know that companies use a chemical called diacetyl in microwave popcorn that is has been linked to lung damage and/or chemicals such as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), PFOA or C8, PFOS, GenX to coat their bags that could also be linked to cancer as well? The great thing about air-popped popcorn is you can eat a few cups (31 calories per cup) without feeling so guilty.
Lately, when I normally want something sweet like ice cream, I have been freezing bananas and grapes. One frozen banana will seem to trick the brain into thinking it is an ice cream substitute is about 89 calories. One cup of frozen grapes reminds me more of a popsicle and yet I can eat a cup at 62 calories.
A cup of nonfat plain Greek yogurt has about 80 calories. What I have been doing is using a portion to dip cut strips of carrots, celery, fresh peppers, and mushrooms as a change or like a sour cream replacement for my baked potato.
When I want to turn plain Greek yogurt into ones of those sweet healthy snack ideas, I add some fresh berries or part of a banana and a dash of vanilla. The fruit helps curb that tartness.
Speaking of sweets, fresh fruit is always one of those healthy snack ideas. An apple that is of medium size has about 95 calories. An orange is even better with just 45 calories.
Dried fruit is another option, but you need to be careful. You may tend to eat more when they are in this form. Also, you need to check certain brands for added sugars, salt, etc.
Satisfying healthy snack options also include cooking up high-fiber cereal like oatmeal. You can eat one cup with one-half cup of low-fat milk and one teaspoon of sugar for about 102 calories.
These are just a few healthy snack ideas that I have found helpful as I attempt to drop a few pounds of COVID-19 weight gain. Really, these choices can help fill you up so that you don’t automatically head to kitchen and search for food.