Snacks are one of the most frequent topics brought up by my clients. Appropriate snacking in-between meals is important. Many people get hungry at times throughout the day but, when it comes to what to have as a snack they’re at a loss.
A mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack can be important – as ideally it should help sustain energy levels between meals. While cookies or donuts might be appealing during that afternoon slump, they also can do the complete opposite of what we’re hoping for: sugary snacks can make our blood sugar, along with our energy levels, spike and then drop.
What should a healthy snack contain?
Two key elements in healthy snacks that will help to keep you full, satisfied, and energized are protein and fiber. A snack which contains protein has been proven to help us feel satiated.1 Protein and fiber together can help us to really feel full.2 Even more importantly, unlike sugary snacks that might help us feel full momentarily, both protein and fiber can help keep blood sugar balanced. This winning combination helps to keep our energy levels stable and prevent that spike and crash cycle.3
As summer officially begins, it’s the perfect time to start adding some healthy summer snacks into your day. More fresh fruits and vegetables are usually available this time of year, which makes healthy snacking easier.
What are some healthy snacks examples?
Below (and what you’ve probably been waiting for) are my favorite options for protein- and fiber-packed healthy summer snacks.
- 2 tablespoons of hummus with veggie sticks (cucumbers and zucchini are both in season now and great options!)
- 1 tablespoon of nut butter with whole grain crackers
- String cheese with one cup of popcorn
- 1 ounce of pistachios with ¼ cup raisins
- 6 ounces of Greek yogurt with a peach
- A hard-boiled egg with a slice of whole grain toast
A Healthy Snack Recipe for Summer
You might’ve heard that flavored Greek yogurt is often packed with too much sugar. You might’ve also heard the suggestion to flavor plain Greek yogurt using fruit. Personally, I still find this way too tart and not that flavorful. Instead, try sweetening plain Greek yogurt with a little SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener for a refreshing summer snack.
Sweet Summer Greek Yogurt
- 6 ounces 0% (non-fat) or 2% (low-fat) plain Greek yogurt
- 1 packet SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener
- 1 cup blueberries and raspberries
- Mash berries with a mortar and pestle or using the back of a spoon.
- Mix mashed berries and SPLENDA® into Greek yogurt.
I have been compensated for my time by Heartland Food Products Group. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
- Ortinau LC, Hoertel HA, Douglas SM, Leidy HJ. Effects of high-protein vs. high-fat snacks on appetite control, satiety, and eating initiation in healthy women. Nutr J. 2014;13:97.
- Wanders AJ, van den Borne JJ, de Graaf C, et al. Effects of dietary fibre on subjective appetite, energy intake and body weight: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Obes Rev. 2011;12(9):724-739.
- El Khoury D, Brown P, Smith G, et al. Increasing the protein to carbohydrate ratio in yogurts consumed as a snack reduces post-consumption glycemia independent of insulin. Clin Nutr. 2014;33(1):29-38.