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5 Healthy Snacks that are Satisfying

We all love to snack! It’s built into our culture. And in many cases, we need to snack.

Updated: December 6, 2020
healthy snacks
By MBL Featured Blogger: Aimee Hughes
Originally Posted: September 30, 2020

Healthy Snacks | Our bodies crave and need healthy and satisfying snacks to keep energy levels high, especially if we’re doing more exercise than we’re used to.

And many of us are exercising a lot more these days, with less social events to go to, our leisure time often revolves around getting outside and moving our bodies. I know this applies to me, as I’ve started taking long bicycle rides—anywhere from 20-40 miles most days. I’m always looking to upgrade my snacking routine while on the road. But, what to eat? 

These days, most of us are working to lose weight. We all want to lose those excess pounds, but we also want to snack. Which means we want to figure out which snacks will help us do that because some snacks can actually help us lose weight. As long as we focus on snacks with plenty of protein and other nutrients, we can promote healthy and sustainable weight loss while keeping our blood sugar levels balanced and our taste buds satisfied. 

Let’s take a look at 5 healthy and satisfying snacks that will keep us going throughout the day. They’re all super healthy, and easy to prepare. In fact, none of them require any preparation at all. And many of them do so much more than support our weight loss efforts. Many of these snacks help promote heart health and even help prevent cancer. 

Sound intriguing? Read on! 

Apples and almond butter

This is probably my all-time favorite snack. It’s the one I eat the most, anyway. Apples are full of fiber, an essential weight-loss nutrient, and almond butter is ripe with protein, another major weight loss macronutrient. When enjoyed together, apples and almond butter make for a truly healthy and satisfying snack. They’re also a great breakfast combo if you need to eat on the go. 

Even studies show just how healthy apples are. Studies like this one, published in the journal Nutrients, show how apples are really good for our gut microbiome. As we now know, the health of our gut is necessary for a healthy immune system. The study also shows how apples are really good for our cardiovascular health, yet another boon. When it comes to a healthy snack, you really can’t go wrong with apples. 

Then there’s the almond butter part of the equation. Almond butter is an incredible weight loss snack because it’s a healthy fat, as well as a great source of protein. Protein-rich foods, and foods full of healthy fats, are both keys to losing weight. This makes eating apples with almond butter one of the most healthy and satisfying snacks you could possibly eat. The only caveat is this: don’t go crazy with the almond butter. It’s far too easy to eat out of the jar and get carried away. A tablespoonful or two is all you need.

Almonds with dark chocolate

This is probably my all-around favorite dessert combination. Lucky for us, it’s also a healthy and satisfying snack. Almonds are high in protein, while dark chocolate is a healthy fat. As you know, this makes for an effective weight loss treat. What’s more, dark chocolate contains flavanols. Flavanols are believed to promote heart health by lowering blood pressure and even reducing your risk of heart disease. Look for dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cacao. This is where the chocolate actually gets healthy. 

A dark chocolate bar with 70-85% cacao contains ample amounts of fiber, iron, copper, manganese, selenium, zinc, phosphorus, and potassium. Just make sure you don’t eat too much dark chocolate at night. Dark chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, two stimulants that will likely prevent a good night of sleep. 

Both almonds and dark chocolate are rich in magnesium, a nutrient that’s part of so many functions of the body. Magnesium is a part of every, single cell in the body. As such, we want to make sure we eat foods that contain a fair amount of this essential nutrient. Almonds are also beneficial for the heart, as they contain monounsaturated fat. 

Almonds are a weight-loss snack, too. Studies show that almonds reduce cravings, balance blood sugar, and even decrease appetite. If you want to check out the science, take a look at this study, published in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, as well as this one, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The more you read up on almonds, the more you’ll want to eat more of them! 

 

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Cheese and tomatoes

I love cheese. Who doesn’t? And there are so many varieties to choose from! Most of us love a good cheddar, while others have more upscale tastes. Whatever cheese you like, enjoy it. You don’t have to feel guilty about eating cheese, as most varieties are quite good for you. And when it comes to cheese and tomatoes, my favorite combo is mozzarella with vine-ripe tomatoes, a popular Italian snack.

Mozzarella is a weight-loss food because it’s high in protein. It also contains essential nutrients like vitamin B12 and calcium. According to this study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, high-fat cheeses like mozzarella promote heart health by elevating good LDL cholesterol levels, which lowers your risk of heart disease. 

The tomato component of this snack feeds the body a good amount of vitamin C, lycopene, and potassium. Vitamin C is essential for weight loss, as well as boosting your immune health. Lycopene is believed to be a cancer preventative, and potassium is essential for all sorts of bodily functions. Eaten together, tomatoes and cheese are a really healthy and satisfying snack. If mozzarella isn’t your favorite, pick one that is. The combination will satisfy not just your appetite, but also your taste buds. 

Canned sardines

If you’re a fan of sardines, lucky you! Sardines are such a great snack, full of many health benefits. Why? Because they’re good for your body and mind on so many levels. On the mental side of things, sardines are full of omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fats boost brain health and even stave off depression. Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential nutrient for cognitive function. If you want to prevent these types of diseases, you’ll definitely want to add canned sardines to your grocery list.

Omega-3 fatty acids are also essential for heart health. They’re a necessary nutrient for cardiovascular disease prevention.This makes canned sardines a true snack for promoting heart health and reducing heart disease risk. And like the other weight-loss promoting snacks on this list, sardines contain plenty of protein. In fact, your average serving of sardines will give you between 17 and 23 grams of protein. Not bad for a simple snack that you don’t have to cook! 

Canned sardines also contain vitamin B12, as well as potassium and magnesium. All these components make sardines a nutrient-dense snack that also helps you lose weight. What’s not to love about sardines? For some, it’s the taste. If this is you, no worries! Canned salmon is just as good, albeit a bit more expensive.

Hummus with raw veggies

Hummus, a popular snack that originally hails from the Middle East, has been a favorite of mine since my college days. It’s so tasty and so versatile. While traditionally eaten with pita bread, in this case, we’re eating it with veggies to make it a truly nutrient-dense snack. Hummus is high in protein, with garbanzo beans as its primary ingredient. There’s also garlic, tahini, extra-virgin olive oil, and lemon juice. These ingredients not only make hummus a great weight-loss snack, they also make hummus a good heart healthy snack. 

Instead of eating hummus with a simple carb like pita bread, eating it with nutrient-rich veggies like cucumbers, celery, carrots, and bell peppers, make for a more healthy and satisfying snack. Cucumbers are probably my favorite veggie to go with hummus. Cucumbers and hummus taste wonderful as a duo. What’s more, cucumbers contain a potential cancer-fighting compound called cucurbitacin E. If you’re a fan of hummus, but not big on raw veggies, I encourage you to go for the cucumber/hummus combo. The hummus flavor overpowers the lightness of the cucumber. You’ll forget you’re even eating veggies with this healthy and satisfying snack. 

I hope you love these 5 healthy and satisfying snack ideas. You simply can’t go wrong with any of them. They’re all incredibly nutritious and full of flavor. As you can see, it’s a misnomer that snacks are bad for weight loss. They can actually be a weight-loss tool if you eat the right ones. Have fun integrating these snack ideas into your weight loss routine. And make changes as needed. These are meant to get your creative healthy eating ideas flowing. There’s always room for new combinations! 

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