Tuesday, October 20, 2009

8 Snacks to Eat for Weight Loss

A new survey of U.S. workers found that one in 10 women is noshing more during the day because of economic worries. But if you make the right choice, there's nothing wrong with snacking—in fact, it's important to keep your mind and body energized and your metabolism pumping, says dietitian Wendy Bazilian, R.D., co-author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet. Women should have two to three 150-calorie snacks a day. The best choices have a mix of carbs for energy and protein and fiber (at least two grams) to keep you full, she says. Here, eight great low-calorie snacks that do just that. Instant Trail Mix Toss a one-ounce serving of dried fruit like cherries or raisins and a tablespoon of cashews, almonds or walnuts into a baggie in the morning and save it for a midmorning or late-afternoon snack. It's a perfect mix of carbohydrates, protein and fat—not to mention flavor, says Bazilian. Walnuts are also heart-healthy and full of nutritious omega-3 fatty acids. Baby Carrots and Hummus Crave salty chips or crackers? The carrot crunch and savory hummus can satisfy that need while delivering more energy and filling fiber—and way fewer calories—than chips. Yogurt With Berries Blueberries are a fabulous fruit to have on hand for snacking, says Bazilian. "They are the ultimate 'poppable' since they require only a rinse to eat—no peeling or chopping necessary." And frozen ones will keep in your office fridge for weeks. Make a sweet parfait with a nonfat yogurt and 3/4 cup of berries. An Apple With a Tablespoon of Peanut Butter This is the quintessential sweet, crunchy and creamy combo, says Bazilian: "It packs healthy nutrients and fiber, and the heavy peanut butter creates energy that lasts." Edamame Boil frozen edamame (soybean) pods like the ones you get at Japanese restaurants and bring 1/2 cup of them to work to eat cold. With a light sprinkle of salt, edamame is a fresh and easy snack, says Bazilian. And those empty pods might have a secret benefit. "The pods are like a trail of evidence, which research has shown can play a role in determining how we know when to stop eating and our feelings of satisfaction," she says. Four Whole-Grain Crackers and Light String Cheese Cheese can be hard to quit eating once you get started. So choose individually packaged light string or sliced cheeses that equal about one ounce. An Energy Bar Like Flavor & Fiber or Fiber One Energy bars are easy pick-me-ups, but choosing the right one can be tricky, says Bazilian. Her rules? Look for real ingredients like raisins or oats and aim for 120 to 150 calories and no more than 15 grams of sugar, 150 mg of sodium and 5 grams of fat. Popcorn If you skip all the greasy butter and opt for the low-fat variety, popcorn is the ideal thing to keep your stomach from rumbling while also not contributing to any expansion of your hips. You can eat four whole cups and manage to pack in healthy whole-grain carbs, fiber and even a little protein. Article Source

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