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Snack Smart with These Foods

If you've resolved to start eating better in the new year, you're not alone. Weight loss and nutritional goals are among the most common in the U.S. But while you may start the day with a healthy breakfast or pack a low-calorie lunch, another area you may want to consider improving is your snacking. During a long day at work or when bored at home, what snacks do you reach for?

Whether you're trying to lose a few pounds or maintain a healthy weight, healthy snacking can help you reach your goal. You just have to keep a few guidelines in mind:

  • Choose foods with a lot of fiber, such as fruits and vegetables. They tend to fill you up, and they're almost always fat-free.
  • Look for healthy snacks in 100-calorie serving sizes.
  • Include lean protein. It will help you feel satisfied.

Below are healthy snacks and their 100-calorie (or less) portion size. Take this list with you to the grocery store or post it on your fridge, and remember these foods the next time you want to reach for a bag of potato chips:

Food

Portion Size

Fruit

 

Apple

1 medium

Applesauce, sweetened

1/2 cup

Applesauce, unsweetened

1 cup

Banana

1 small

Cantaloupe

1/2

Cherries

1 cup

Fruit bar, frozen

1

Fruit cocktail, canned in own juice

1/2 cup

Fruit, dried

2 tablespoons

Grapefruit

1/2 large

Orange

1 large

Orange juice

1/2 cup

Raisins

1/4 cup

Red seedless grapes

1/2 cup

Strawberries

1 cup

Vegetables

 

Baby carrots

5

Celery sticks

10 small

Cherry tomatoes

1 cup

Corn on the cob

1

Green pepper

5 rings

Vegetable juice, low-salt

1 cup

Bread, Grains, Rice

 

Angel food cake

2-inch slice

Animal crackers

6 small

Fig bar

1

Gingersnaps

2

Graham cracker squares

2

Multigrain rice cakes

2

Oat circles cereal

1/2 cup

Popcorn, air-popped

3 cups

Pretzels

12 twists

Whole-grain granola bar

1

Whole wheat bagel

1/2

Whole wheat crackers

4

Dairy

 

1 percent low-fat cottage cheese

1/2 cup

Fat-free chocolate pudding

4 ounces

Fat-free frozen yogurt

1/2 cup

Fat-free milk

1 cup

Fat-free vanilla yogurt

1/2 cup

Low-fat cheddar cheese

1 ounce

Part-skim mozzarella cheese

1 ounce

Meat, Chicken, Fish, Beans, Nuts, Eggs

 

Almonds

10

Chicken leg, roasted

1

Egg, hard-boiled

1

Hummus

3 tablespoons

Pistachios

25

Roast beef, lean

2 ounces

Shrimp, steamed

8 large

Tuna packed in water

3 ounces

Turkey breast

2 ounces


Combination Snacks

If you're looking for a little more variety for your snacks, try these simple combinations.

  • Apple, sliced (1/2), smeared with peanut butter (2 teaspoons)
  • Assorted fresh vegetables (2 cups) with fat-free ranch dressing (2 tablespoons)
  • Celery sticks (5) with peanut butter (1 tablespoon)
  • Celery sticks stuffed with soft light cream cheese
  • Corn tortilla with melted low-fat cheddar cheese (1 ounce)
  • Cream cheese, light (2 tablespoons), on English muffin (1/2)
  • Dill pickle wrapped with a thin slice of ham or Swiss cheese
  • Green salad (2 cups) with fat-free Italian dressing (2 tablespoons)
  • Small baked potato topped with salsa (1/2 cup) and nonfat sour cream (2 tablespoons)

For more information, visit the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at www.nhlbi.nih.gov.

Sources: Krames Staywell; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; USA.gov

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