Top 5 Healthiest Snacks You Should Integrate Into Your Daily Diet

Snack time is a favorite for many. Sometimes the hours we have to wait between meals can be downright unbearable without a little something to munch on.

Unfortunately, a lot of snacking is linked to adding too many calories to your daily diet (without adding many nutrients) and can, therefore, be bad for your health and your weight.

However, snacking can be a good thing and can actually help you achieve your weight maintenance or weight loss goals if it is done correctly. This means reaching for more filling and nutritious foods so that you can keep your energy up in between meals and get some extra nutrients in as well. Not all snacks are created equal. Reaching for a bag of potato chips is not going to do anything for you other than make you feel bloated and probably still hungry. Whereas grabbing some fresh fruit can help you to feel fuller because of all the fiber, and it also provides you with important vitamins as well. To learn more about the healthiest snacks that you can integrate into your diet, keep reading!

Top Healthy Snacks

While many healthy foods are great on their own, you can usually benefit even more from putting a couple of great options together. This makes a tasty and nutritious duo, especially when you pair something with high protein content and another item that has a lot of fiber.

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The protein (along with daily exercise) fuels the growth of lean muscle, which in turn boots your metabolism and increases the calories that your body burns. Fiber, on the other hand, helps to improve your digestion and also helps you feel fuller so that you do not overeat. Pair these two together, and you have a satisfying and healthy snack that can also help you to lose weight.

Just keep in mind that it is generally advised to keep snacks less than 200 calories and to try to choose foods that are high in protein (around 10 grams or more) and high in fiber (try for five grams or more per serving).

Regardless of what types of food you like, you are sure to find a snack you will enjoy within this list. Below are five of the healthiest snacks you should incorporate into your diet:

  1. Apple and peanut butter. Grab a fresh apple, cut it into slices and dip each slice into peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower seed butter or whatever other creamy and protein-packed spread you prefer. Apples are loaded with fiber and are also known to help give you an energy boost along with all of the vitamins they provide. Plus, when paired with the protein found in the nut or seed butter, it gets even better.
  2. Tuna and crackers. Open up a can of tuna (opt for the variety packaged in water to avoid any excess oils and fats) and put the tuna on some whole wheat crackers. For a little extra flavor, you can add a little bit of your favorite low-fat dressing to the tuna before you spread it onto the crackers. This provides you with some healthy lean protein and fiber from the whole wheat crackers.
  3. Berry smoothie. Smoothies are great because they are so versatile and really easy to make, even in a hurry. For the healthiest smoothie recipe, add your favorite fruits (berries are a great choice because they are packed with disease-fighting antioxidants) and some protein-packed Greek yogurt along with a little water and ice. This can also be a great after-dinner snack to replace a bowl of ice cream or another dessert.
  4. Also called soybeans, edamame is a fantastic food because just one cup contains a lot of protein and fiber. Most grocery stores have bags of edamame that you can simply throw into the microwave to steam for a few minutes and add a little bit of salt for flavor. You have a simple and delicious snack that will keep you full until your next meal.
  5. Carrots and a hard-boiled egg. Grab your favorite vegetable (carrots are great because they are packed with vitamins) and hard boil an egg. This combo is incredibly filling, which can greatly reduce the number of calories you consume before and during your next meal. Plus, eggs are often considered one of the healthiest and most weight-loss friendly foods you can possibly eat.

These are just a few examples of simple and healthy snacks that can help you to feel fuller and also meet your nutritional needs each day. You can easily create your own favorite snack by finding other nutritious options and pairing them together.

Snacking for Weight Loss

If you are interested in losing weight or maintaining your current weight, then it is important to note that snacking (as long as it is done in moderation and with healthy foods) can be a great way to do that. A lot of people believe that the only way you can successfully lose weight is to simply eat less. While cutting back on the calories you consume each day will most likely help you to lose weight, it is crucial that you do not let yourself get hungry very often. Usually, when you let yourself get too hungry, you will start craving all kinds of different foods and you may end up binge eating very large amounts of food.

It has been shown in various studies that eating smaller amounts of food, spread out throughout the day can keep your metabolism going and will likely keep you from binging or reaching for unhealthy options. However, snacking is only beneficial if you are very mindful about what snacks you eat.

Reaching for an ice cream bar or some tortilla chips will only pack on the calories and likely cause you to gain weight while eating one of the snacks listed above can provide you with added nutrition and help you keep your energy levels up, which is a true win-win situation.

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