Who can deny that snacking is an American tradition (at least in my family it is)? What we graze on during the day has a big impact on our health.
Do you have a favorite snack food? Chips, Oreos, Cheetos or Twinkies perhaps? No judgement here. My snack choices haven’t always been perfect either.
Just some food for thought….
As you probably guessed, the best snacks are those packed with nutrients and protein, which fuels the body until the next meal. These snacks are full of flavor, and dare I say, even fun to eat!
I used to teach preschoolers, what can I say? 🙂
20 Healthy Snacks
Peanut butter, peanut butter, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways….but, I digress.
Seriously, who can resist the creamy, nutty confection that is peanut butter?! And don’t forget the lesser known nut butters: hazelnut, cashew, almond and walnut.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health Nutrition Source, several large studies over the past few years “have shown a consistent 30 to 50 percent lower risk of heart attack, sudden cardiac death or cardiovascular disease associated with eating nuts several times a week.”
Plus, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter has 7 grams of protein and 180 mg of potassium. Just make sure to check out the ingredient list and avoid added sweeteners and trans fats, especially “partially hydrogenated oil”. Also, don’t bother buying the “low-fat” nut butters. Manufactures of these products simply replace the fat with sugar.
Once considered a “diet food”, cottage cheese is now a fan favorite of weight lifters, other athletes, and health foodies alike. This is no surprise considering the whopping 28 grams of casein protein in each cup of cottage cheese.
A summer favorite of mine is eating a sliced tomato, straight from the garden, topped with cottage cheese and plenty of Himalayan Pink Sea Salt. Sounds weird, tastes great! You also might like to try cottage cheese with fresh pineapple. Delish!
Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries, gooseberries and elderberries just to name a few…They are colorful, juicy, sometimes sweet, and full of vitamins and antioxidants (1).
Enjoy a cup of berries with a splash of cream for a decadent treat.
Whey Protein Shake
Whey protein can help you gain muscle, lose fat, and increase strength (2). I sometimes drink one as a meal replacement and I’m amazed how long it satisfies my hunger. You might like to try My Favorite Peanut Butter Protein Shake.
Most people tolerate regular whey protein concentrate, but if you have digestive symptoms you might find that isolate or hydrolysate is better suited for you.
Eggs are incredibly nutritious (3). Like, the perfect food. They are high in protein, healthy fats and amino acids.
They’re also high in cholesterol, but despite what you may have heard in the past, eating high-cholesterol foods does not increase cholesterol for the majority of people (4).
Plain Greek Yogurt
You may want to add berries, other chopped fruit or nuts to raise the vitamin and fiber content.
Cheese has many vitamins and minerals, including calcium, zinc and vitamin K2. Eating it can help prevent osteoporosis and heart disease (6). And the fat in cheese can help you feel full longer, preventing cravings and helping you make it to the next meal.
Jerky is meat, such as veal, beef, turkey or venison which is dried and cut into strips. It is low in carbohydrates and high in protein.
The healthiest kind is made at home. But the kind you see at the grocery store has all sorts of added preservatives and sugar so please keep this in mind.
Are you surprised chocolate made it to this list of healthy snacks? Pretty cool, huh?
Studies have shown that dark chocolate eaters have a lower risk of heart disease (7). Eating chocolate can also improve brain function.
Choose dark chocolate with a 70-85% cocoa content (minimum). Any less and you’re looking at a lot of sugar.
Simply take a slice of meat, such as turkey and a slice of cheese. Roll it up, and voila! Another favorite is spreading cream cheese on the turkey and wrap it around a dill pickle. You can slice it first, or simply eat it like this.
Another high-protein snack, tuna is a great choice if you’re on the go. Just be sure your office buddies are cool with the smell if you decide to pop open a can in the afternoon.
Veggies And Hummus
If you’ve never tried hummus I encourage you to give it a try. Some might say it’s an acquired taste, but I’ve loved it from my first taste and make my own from home.
I throw some white beans, garlic, lemon juice, cumin and olive oil in the blender and it makes the most delicious hummus in no time.
Here’s a similar recipe you might like to try: Super Easy Hummus
Homemade ones are the best, in my humble opinion. But if you like to have prepackaged ones on hand I recommend you try the Luna, Kind and Quest ones.
Kefir (pronounced like “Kiefer Sutherland” the actor in 24, love that show) is full of tummy-loving probiotics and protein.
On its own, kefir is tart (and perhaps a little “gloppy”), and many prefer to drink it in a smoothie.
I love this handy Mix-And-Match Kefir Smoothie Chart for creating tasty smoothies, chock full of delicious flavor and nutrition.
Pumpkin, sunflower, hemp, flax and chia seeds give you quick, long-lasting energy and satiety. They can be eaten by themselves or in smoothies, oatmeal or granola. One serving of pumpkin seeds (pepitas) has 7 grams of protein.
Bean And Cheese Mini Quesadilla
Smash 1/3 cup of black beans and spread it on a small tortilla. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese and 2 tablespoons of salsa. Warm in a skillet or pop it in the microwave for a few seconds just until the cheese melts.
This is a tasty mini-meal/snack that stays with you.
Milk (2% Or Whole)
Milk is a great source of high-quality protein, as well as vitamin D, calcium and B12. It is linked to higher bone density in humans (8).
Do not, I repeat, do not worry about the fat in whole milk. As long as you drink a serving size you’ll be fine. The fat keeps you satisfied longer. More importantly, growing research shows a myriad of health benefits of consuming full-fat food versus low-fat (10).
According to Dr. Mercola, “Accumulating research is showing, however, that this switch to low-fat has not only caused rates of chronic disease to skyrocket; it’s also been making people fat.”
Please keep in mind, some people are allergic to the sugar in milk, lactose. If you’re lactose-intolerant you’ll want to stay away from milk and other dairy products. There are dairy-free milks on the market, such a coconut, soy and cashew milk which should be fine for you to drink.
4-Ingredient Peanut Butter Energy Bites
Liv over at Healthy-Liv.com posted this easy recipe for these incredibly yummy energy bites.
I just made them for my family to enjoy. But let me warn you, it’s hard to eat just one!
The perfect sweet treat!
The anthocyanins and resveratrol in grapes reduce inflammation and lower your risk for disease (9)
Homemade Guacamole And Tortilla Chips
My personal favorite. 😉 I can eat an entire bowl of freshly made guacamole all by myself…it’s that’s good! (Not that I’m recommending you do this, just keepin’ it real.)
Here’s my favorite recipe:
There are so many delicious snacks to choose from. And the best ones are those that help you become the healthiest, strongest version of yourself.
What are your favorite healthy snacks? Please share below in the comments.
Also, you may want to check out this video below for more great healthy snacking ideas.