Must-Read: Healthy Snack Options
If you’ve ever been in the middle of a diet before, you know the feeling. You’re sitting there, and the diet is one of those where you can only eat a few scant meals throughout the day. Yet, your stomach has not yet adjusted to this new way of living, so it understands that you’ve gotten to about 4 p.m. without your usual assortment of food. So it grumbles. And grumbles. And is goddamn angry at you. So, you satisfy it’s desires the only way you know how: By stuffing it with the nearby sack of potato chips. This, obviously, is a terrible idea. But what else can you do? Luckily, there are other options you can utilize.
So today, we suggest heading on over to Men’s Fitness, where they have a list of foods that will put an end to your cravings, or at least hold them steady until your next meal. For example:
YOU WANT POTATO CHIPS: Just 1 oz. of kettle cooked potato chips (approximately 15 chips) have 150 calories and 9 grams of fat. A standard bag of chips is 8 oz., so it’s easy to let a chip binge get out of control. TRY INSTEAD:
Baked potato chips are, in moderation, a decent alternative to fried or kettle-cooked chips. With 120 calories per ounce, the calorie content is comparable, but they only have 4.5 grams of fat.
1 oz. of air-popped popcorn kernels, which pops up to over 3 cups, has just 110 calories, 1.3 grams of fat and has 4 grams of fiber.
While nuts and seeds (almonds, peanuts, soy, sunflower seeds, cashews) are calorie-dense—they contain between 120 and 190 calories per ounce—they’re high in fiber and good fats, and will also make you feel fuller, longer than starchy chips.
Another way to satisfy a salt craving is with briny foods like olives, low-sodium dill pickles, sauerkraut and kimchi, a Korean spicy pickled cabbage dish. Six olives have just 20 calories and 1.5 grams of fat, pickles have zero calories, while sauerkrat and kimchi have under 15 calories per 2-oz. serving.
Seaweed snacks are a good alternative to chips if you want a crunch without any guilt. A 6-oz. package has just 30 calories.
Rice snacks have just 38 calories and 1.5 grams of fat per serving.
Pita chips, while also comparable in calories (110 per ounce), have just 3.5 grams of fat.
Head on over to check out the other healthy alternatives out there for other of the not-so-healthy snack foods out there.
About Rick Mosely Rick is the editor for TSB magazine.