In today’s busy world, it’s sometimes difficult to maintain a nutritious diet. You often don’t have time to stop for a full meal, and most of the available quick snacks are full of empty calories, preservatives, and other “goodies” that don’t really do much for your health or energy levels. The solution to this conundrum is to spend a little time planning so that you always have some low calorie, nutrient-packed snacks handy when you need to grab and go. Here are five ideas to whet your appetite and your imagination.
Nuts may seem like a strange choice to lead off a list of low calorie snacks, but a handful of most varieties only has about 200 calories, and even half a serving can quell your hunger quickly. Nuts also have fiber, which, in conjunction with their fat, makes them very filling. In addition, nuts give you a dose of protein, important for healthy and satiety. Add in the fact that the fat in nuts is actually good for you, and these little powerhouses are clear snackfood champs.
Apples are packed with fiber and vitamins, they weigh in at about 100 calories each, and there aren’t many foods that come in a more convenient package. In addition, apples have a very low glycemic index, meaning that they won’t cause your blood sugar to crash, unlike other fruits and most sweet treats. Add it all up, and apples are another great on-the-run choice.
Got milk? You should if you want a low calorie food that gives you protein, calcium, and vitamins A & D. The packaging is very convenient, too, although you’ll need a method of keeping the white stuff cool. If you have access to an office refrigerator, milk is hard to beat.
Got cheese? Cheese offers most of the same benefit as milk, with the added bonus of being available in lots of different varieties. Cheese is also more resistant to spoilage than milk, so it’s a good bet if you need to take your snacks with you and don’t have a way to keep them super cold .
This option requires a bit of upfront work, but if you mix your own granola at home, you can take it with you in small containers or little plastic baggies. The nice thing about homemeade granola is that you can precisely control it in terms of nutritional value and taste. Some ingredients to consider include oats, rice, raisins, nuts, seeds, and even protein powder.
Use these snack ideas as they are, or let them stoke your creativity and come up with your own handy munchies that suit your taste. Either way, you now know that it’s quite possible to provide your body with some low calorie goodness, even when you’re pressed for time.