Healthy snacks to dig into for weight loss

Published 2:02 pm Saturday, January 27, 2018

Need some snack ideas that will help you lose weight in the new year?  Finding simple, tasty food options that won’t break the calorie bank doesn’t have to be hard with the help of Hy-Vee.  Put together easy recipes that will give you the nutrition you need while keeping you and your family on the go.

Healthy snacking is actually good for you. Snacking is a great pick-me-up, and it provides an opportunity to include all the important food groups in your diet. Snacking also can keep you from overeating at your next meal, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. And if you’re an athlete, healthy snacks can help meet the increased calorie and nutrient needs of maintaining/gaining lean body mass.

The key? Snacks full of quality nutrients, not added sugars and processed foods. Keep your snacks under 200 calories each for an average adult, or between 200-300 calories for athletes, and limit snacks to one or two a day. Think of snacks as mini-meals that contribute nutrient-rich foods.

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Healthy snack options

Here are some healthy snack options, which include a protein, fat and /or fiber food with a carbohydrate food:

•¼ cup nuts, such as pistachios, and a piece of fruit

•Two sheets of graham crackers with natural peanut butter or almond butter

•Popcorn trail mix: 1 cup light popcorn mixed with ¼ cup nuts and 2 tablespoons raisins

•Low-fat yogurt with 2-3 tablespoons chopped nuts

•Hummus with cut vegetables or whole wheat pita bread

•Sliced apple or banana with peanut butter

•Fruit smoothie: Blend 6 ounces low-fat vanilla yogurt, ½ cup skim milk, 1 cup fresh or frozen berries (strawberries, raspberries or blueberries)

•Fresh fruit or vegetables with ½ cup low-fat cottage cheese

•A hard-boiled egg with a piece of whole grain toast topped with light, non-trans-fat margarine

•Toast an English muffin, drizzle with pizza sauce and sprinkle with low-fat mozzarella cheese.

(Adapted from the Food, Nutrition and Health Tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics)

Pineapple Green Smoothie

Serves 1: about 1-½ cups

Active:  5 minutes   Total:  5 minutes

All you need

•½ cup Hy-Vee unsweetened almond milk

•1/3 cup Hy-Vee nonfat plain Greek yogurt

•1 cup baby spinach

•1 cup frozen banana slices (about 1 medium banana)

•½ cup Hy-Vee frozen pineapple chunks

•1 tbsp Hy-Vee HealthMarket chia seeds

•1-2 tsp pure maple syrup or honey (optional)

All you do

1. Add almond milk and yogurt to a blender, then add spinach, banana, pineapple, chia and sweetener (if using). Blend until smooth.

Nutrition per serving: Calories 297; Fat 6 g (sat 1 g); Cholesterol 4 mg; Carbohydrate 54 g; Total sugars 29 g (added sugar 0); Protein 13 g; Fiber 10 g; Sodium 145 mg; Potassium 1038 mg.

Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (102% daily value), Vitamin A (64% DV), Magnesium (31% DV), Calcium & Potassium (30% DV), Folate (28% DV).
Source: Adapted from Eating Well, Inc.

The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.