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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Calories >>  Low Calorie Snacks

Low Calorie Snacks

Most diet experts recommend that you eat small portions of food throughout the day to boost your metabolism, burn calories, and lose weight. Naturally, low calorie snacks are an essential part of your daily diet. However, snacks and snacking habits can derail the most conscious weight watcher. Most store bought snacks feature high in sodium, sugar, or grease content. Even a small nibble increases the amount of calories consumed ruining your diet and fitness routine.
Sugary treats and carbonated beverages provide empty calories and no nutrition. On the other hand, low calorie snacks do not satisfy your hunger or keep you satisfied for longer. Parents, dieters, weight conscious individuals everywhere are seeking munchies that taste good, yet provide all the benefits of low calorie snacks.

Oft asked question includes what would constitute good low calorie snacks. Here are a few catch phrases that can help you make a healthy choice. Look for low calorie snacks that are nutrient dense. Low calorie snacks should provide nutrients such as proteins and carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Low calorie snacks that fill you up contain dietary fiber. It is best to avoid starchy foods with simple carbohydrates and reach for unprocessed foods with complex carbohydrates. Low calorie snacks tide your energy needs between meal times. Reach out for foods that provide instant fuel or energy to your body without compromising on calories.

Putting together a low calorie snacks list for everyday diet should not be challenging. Some of the best low calorie snacks come together with ingredients from your pantry or refrigerator. Here are few ideas for healthy low calorie snacks that are quick and easy:

• Keep a variety of fruits handy on your kitchen counter or in your refrigerator. These are a great source of nutrient dense, low calorie snacks. Mix them up to create a fruit platter or blend them into smoothies or shakes with skimmed or soy milk to create low fat low calorie snacks.
• Chop vegetables such as broccoli, celery, zucchini, colored peppers, carrots, and so on into bite sized pieces. You can do this ahead of time and store them in sandwich bags. Make a quick treat with low calorie yogurt dips, hummus, salsa, or low fat cottage cheese. Vegetable juice or a blend of fruits and vegetables serve as low calorie beverages.
• Dried fruits and nuts such as almonds, pecans, walnuts, and so on provide instant energy and are rich in antioxidants. Nuts do contain traces of oil so a handful of mixed nuts is enough for a mid-day snack. Homemade trail mixes with mixed nuts and low fat chocolate are healthy and an easy on-the-go snack.
• Try peanut butter on whole grain sandwich breads or hard-boiled egg for high protein low calorie snacks. Lean chicken sandwiches (whole or multi-grain bread) with plenty of veggies can satisfy your hunger without adding the calories. Make sure you skip the creamy dressing and extra cheese, though.
• Dieters fear that dairy and dairy products are high in calories and best avoided. However, dairy products such as low fat yogurt, low fat cottage cheese, skimmed or part skimmed milk maybe part of low calorie snacks recipes.
• Beat the sweet tooth cravings with chilled fruit or low calorie fruit sorbets. Craving French fries? Try a twist on the classic recipe with homemade, oven-grilled potato wedges instead. Making homemade low calorie snack recipes helps monitor the use of oil and salt.
• Midnight snack attacks are difficult to ignore. However, make sure your not confusing thirst for hunger. Reach out for water or fresh juice. Still hungry? Low fat frozen yogurt, fruits or even a square of dark chocolate can tide you over until morning.
• Try air-popped popcorn for a savory afternoon or midnight treat. Ditch the butter and salt and try other herb seasonings such as paprika, cumin, garlic flakes with a douse of olive oil instead.

Most of these foods can translate into very low calorie snacks with conscious portion control. Cooking methods using oil or butter contribute to additional calories. Salty seasonings, sauces and broth may also add to the amount of calories consumed.
Submitted on January 16, 2014