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Muy Yum!: Snacking

April 18, 2013

If there were an “MTV True Life: I’m Obsessed with Snacking,” I would be a featured participant (also, do people still watch this show? It’s definitely gone downhill. “I’m Dating a Mama’s Boy? Really?” Booo-ring). Snacking is a true joy: you can taste so many different things, you don’t have to cook a whole meal and formally sit down and eat it, you can satiate hunger on the go. But, of course, snacking is something that we have to be aware of as something SO GOOD can suddenly turn SO BAD for us.

Americans love to snack almost as much as we want to lose weight. But according to recent research by the USDA, our snacking habits are adding too many calories and too few nutrients to our diets. It doesn’t have to be this way, says Susan Bowerman, RD, assistant director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition. “When done right, (snacking) keeps your energy levels up and gives you more opportunities to get in all your nutritional needs.”

Luckily this article does not SNACK SHAME us (how dare they!) by focusing on issues (fine, important issues) such as tooth decay and weight gain, but gives us some actually delicious sounding snacks that help burn fat.  It’s not necessarily new information, but I like the way they think.

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Ricotta cheese is rich in protein, and pears are a good source of fiber. Together with a teaspoon of cinnamon, they make a delicious snack for any time of day. Each serving contains 8 g protein, 5 g fiber, and 170 calories.

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Eating snacks with the right ratio of nutrients, with the right calories, will help keep you body energized and help you lose weight. Protein (plus exercise) fuels the growth of lean muscle mass, which boosts metabolic rate and increases calorie burn. Fiber, meanwhile, helps improve digestion and keeps you from binging on fats and sugars. So while there’s no food that will literally “burn fat” while you eat it, smart choices with these ingredients will help your body operate at maximum efficiency. Bowerman suggests snacks under 200 calories, with 10 grams of protein and close to 5 grams of fiber. Here are 20 of our favorite fat-burning snacks.

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Lentils are a good source of iron, a metabolism-boosting nutrient that 20% of us don’t get enough of. This savory recipe makes four 180-calorie servings, with 10 grams each of protein and fiber.

Thanks, yahoo! I definitely want to try the lentil dip…and there are plenty of other recipes to try. Does anyone else have any healthy, delicious snacking suggestions? Please do share!

Happy Snacking!

 

(Images courtesy of Yahoo!)

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 18, 2013 8:40 pm

    Those ricotta-pear concoctions look yummy. I’ll have to try it.

  2. April 18, 2013 10:46 pm

    Nuts! Especially trader joe’s lime and chili mix. They are delicious, portable, and make me feel full fast so that I can hold out for my next tasty meal!

  3. Sexy Curmudgeon permalink
    April 23, 2013 12:10 am

    Oh! Why did I read this when I am so hungry. I think it’s a real battle to have ready to eat snacks available – it’s so much easier to eat a baked good or some chips, versus making a (totally delicious looking) ricotta-pear concoction. I’m ever impressed with people that prepare themselves small, nutritious snacks in advance; I hope to be one of them someday!

  4. May 14, 2013 4:18 pm

    I like the snacking suggestions – especially the pear and cinnamon one. We just need to be smart and crafty about snacking – and not tear into the first package of potato chips we hit.

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