By Ashley Koff, RDAuthor of Mom Energy: A Simple Plan to Live Fully Charged
You need it quick. It has to be easy. It should be nutritious, and you’d like it to taste good, too. Is there any chance that the snack fairy godmother could make all four of these wishes come true? Does the perfect snack really exist?
Dr. Oz and his audience put me to the test to find it. What we discovered is that, yes, on the shelves of grocery stores across the country, there truly are snacks made for the health-conscious and the busy. See what we came up with and why.
Snack #1: Savory, But Not Too Salty
We want flavor from a snack. But if that flavor comes with a hefty amount of sodium, it is not only bad for our hearts, but can also make you more thirsty and even crave sugar. Lucky for us, there are seaweed snacks that deliver a great savory taste, have almost no calories (if you get the munchies but you’ve recently eaten, you won’t blow your calorie budget), and are low in sodium, too.
Snack #2: Sweet, Naturally
Fruit is a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth naturally, but be careful: All “fruit” snacks are not created equal. Many fruit snacks have added sugar and are so processed that they lose all natural fiber and nutrients. Conversely, organic dried fruit snacks allow you to indulge in nature’s candy. And since they come pre-portioned, you won’t have to worry about consuming too much sugar.
Snack #3: Balance Your Nutrients
For optimal energy, to avoid energy highs and lows, and to lose fat, learn to balance your nutrients at every eating occasion. How does it work? Carbs give you quick energy. Protein and good fats give you longer, more sustained energy. If you have just a portion or two of each, your body uses what it gets as opposed to storing it. Ditch most “energy” bars or those 100-calorie packs of cookies – these are all carbs and no protein.
Snack #4: Fill Up With Fiber
The chia seed, when eaten, grabs onto water in the body and swells up, helping provide you with lasting fullness until your next meal. Add chia to any snack – even your latte – to get the benefits of fiber, essential fatty acids like omega-3s, calcium, antioxidants and even protein. Click here to learn more about the power of chia seeds.