5 Snacks to Fight Off Hunger

by in Healthy Tips, October 6, 2009

cottage cheese
For me, snacking is a must! It helps me get from one meal to the next — no headaches, drops in energy or stomach rumbling. My secret: choosing snacks that contain hunger-fighting ingredients. Here are five favorites.

Snacking Basics
Snacks aren’t bad. In fact, they are “mini meals” that are meant to curb hunger and help supplement nutrients you may not be getting enough of from meals (like fiber from fruits and veggies). Studies show that waiting too long to eat between meals can cause you to overeat later in the day — not exactly the best way to lose weight or stay healthy.

Stick to snacks that are between 100 and 200 calories each. You especially need them when you have three to five hours between meals. My snack breaks often fall at 10:30am and 2:30pm — about one and a half to two hours between my meals.

1) Peanut Butter and Whole-Wheat Crackers
Combine lean protein, fiber and healthy fat and you’ve got a satisfying snack. Protein and fiber work for cutting down and controlling hunger, while fat takes a bit longer to digest and keeps you feeling full longer. Peanut butter is high in healthy monounsaturated fats, but be sure to portion out one tablespoon to keep calories in check.

Portion: 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter and 4 whole-wheat crackers
Total: 180 calories, 5 grams of protein

2) Vegetable Soup
Don’t eat enough veggies? Try snacking on a warm, hearty vegetable soup — 20 minutes later you’ll feel like a new person. Vegetables contain fiber, which helps you feel full and also helps stabilize blood sugar throughout the day — meaning no gnawing hunger pains. Try a minestrone or bean soup for additional protein. If you’re feeling extra hungry at snack time, add one or two whole-wheat breadsticks or a small whole-wheat roll.

Portion: 1 cup vegetable soup
Total: 100 calories, 4 grams protein

3) Low-Fat Cottage Cheese and Fruit
With its good balance of protein, carbs and fat, cottage cheese is one of the most underappreciated foods. Add fiber with fresh fruit, such as berries, melon, pears or pineapple, for a perfect snack. A 1/2-cup serving contains 7% of your daily calcium needs, which is important for healthy bones.

Portion: 1/2 cup low-fat or nonfat cottage cheese with 1/2 cup sliced or 1 medium piece of fresh fruit
Total calories: 140 calories, 14 grams protein

4) Hummus with Sliced Veggies
This Middle Eastern chickpea spread is packed with protein, fiber and heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Veggies like carrots, bell peppers and broccoli make great dippers and add good nutrients, including beta-carotene, vitamin C and, of course, more belly-filling fiber. Two tablespoons of plain hummus has 50 calories and 3 grams of fat, so you’re probably better off measuring out two to three tablespoons instead of sitting down with the entire container.

Portion: 3 tablespoons of plain hummus plus 1 cup of sliced veggies
Total calories: 120 calories, 7 grams protein

5) Trail Mix
Almonds, cashews, walnuts, peanuts or pecans are full of healthy fat, fiber and protein. A delicious homemade trail mix is simple: Portion out a handful of nuts and mix in two tablespoons of dried fruit like raisins, cranberries or apricots. To minimize calories, choose nuts that are dry roasted or raw. For a change of pace, throw in whole-wheat pretzels or some of your favorite cereal (I’ve been on a Puffins kick lately). Packing your trail mix in plastic bags or containers makes it easy to grab and go. If you find yourself plowing through your snack mix, try using shelled nuts that will take longer to eat.

Portion: 15 nuts plus 2 tablespoons of dried fruit
Total calories: 170 calories, 7 grams protein

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Comments (43)

  1. Niche Topics says:

    I enjoy homemade popcorn, lightly sprinkled with a bit of turmeric and chili powder — best whole grain snack to perk me up in the afternoon! Check out more seasoning ideas here http://www.nichetopics.info/homemade-popcorn-seas

  2. Helen Roberts says:

    Guest: There is a new product that is like peanut butter but is made from soybeans and it is delicious. It's called "WOW Butter" and is safe for children to take to school. It is just as tasty or even better than peanut butter. It is gluten free, does not require refrigeration, made in a 100% peanut, nut, and dairy free facility,
    7 g soy protein, 1200 mg OMEGA-3, 4 g fiber, 0 trans fats, low glycemic response, and natural ingredients. I buy it at Wal-Mart but Kroger has the same toasted soybean spread called Healthy Spread, I think. It's found with the peanut butter in the store.

  3. cApricoN07 says:

    I thought i was the only one who liked a nut butter in my oatmeal and yes, I use it for that reason "quick/slow burning energy"

  4. Mary says:

    What is nut butter?

  5. tamidor says:

    Hi Mary,
    Butters made from various nuts are called nut butters. You'll find almond butter, sunflower seed butter, peanut butter, soy nut butter (and others) on market shelves.

  6. danawhite says:

    Hi Mary -
    Here's another article we have on nut butters.

  7. cyn says:

    Yoplait yogurts have high fructose corn syrup. Not good to have in your diet.

  8. Kendall says:

    Nice work! Thanks for sharing, it encourages me to stay on my similar routine change.

  9. Barbara says:

    If you've commited to a change of lifestyle eating routine, I hope you will look into an anti inflammation diet that would include no dairy at all. Read about "leaky gut" and all that you can eat- not all that you can't. Inflammation is the cause of all chronic disease. You can look better and feel wonderful through your life!

  10. Sheila says:

    I luv saltine crackers with PB&J. Great snack!

  11. sue says:

    soo good for you too

  12. Tami says:

    This sounds terrific! One to try ASAP after I get to the store for the items! Thanks for the tip!!

  13. Nichole says:

    like nutella

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