You start out with the best intentions. You resolve to eat healthy and limit your snacking during the day. But when that bag of salty chips or sugary cookies is staring at you from across your desk, it can be hard to resist. What’s the solution? Give future-you a helping hand, and plan ahead with these easy healthy snacks for work.
If you put a little thought into what you’ll eat when hunger strikes between meals, you just may feel better about your choices. And while you’re munching away on your beautiful homemade chia pudding, you may find that those pre-packaged cookies don’t seem nearly as appealing.
Is Snacking Good For You?
Most people logically know that munching on typical office snacks, like processed chips or candy, is probably not a good thing. But what about snacking in general? Is it healthy to eat snacks between meals?
As with many in regards to nutrition, experts are split on this. In summary, snacking may help control your appetite or it may contribute to recreational, excessive eating. Research supports both opposing viewpoints. Although experts are split on the value of snacking itself, nearly all of them agree that the type of snack and amount of food consumed matters.1
Tips For Healthy Snacking
If you choose to snack during the say, one thing’s for certain: all snacks are not created equal. Snacks can help stave off hunger and give you additional nutrients if you eat the right things. If you want to make sure you’re snacking in a healthy way, follow these guidelines:
- Limit the amount you eat while you snack. In general, it’s best to eat snacks that provide about 200 calories or less.2
- Go for snacks that are high in protein. They are more likely to make you feel full for a longer amount of time.3,4
- High fiber snacks are also a good choice. They may suppress appetite and help control food intake.5
- Reach for whole foods. Whole foods, like nuts or eggs are a better choice than processed foods, like cereal bars.6
- Avoid sugary snacks that are high in calories. They may lead to weight gain.7
Healthy Snack Ideas
When you reach for a snack, remember that you’re aiming for something that is high in protein, low in sugar, and unprocessed if possible. If you plan to eat something processed, take a look at the ingredients to make sure you aren’t consuming any hidden fats or sugars. Here are some ideas for easy snacks you can eat at work.
If You’re Craving Something Salty
Simple, No-Fuss Snacks
- Hard-boiled eggs. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper and eat them on their own. They may help keep you full for hours.
- Low-fat cottage cheese. Eat it by the spoonful or scoop some up with tortilla chips. Like hard-boiled eggs, cottage cheese will make you feel full.8
- Grab a handful of mixed nuts, like almonds, peanuts, and pistachios. They have all been shown to reduce your appetite and the amount of food you eat at the next meal.9,10,11
- Grass-fed beef jerky. When eaten in moderation, beef jerky may be a healthy choice for a high-protein, low carb snack.12
Savory Snacks That Take A Little Prep
- Red bell pepper slices topped with guacamole and pumpkin seeds. Red bell peppers are packed with antioxidants, and avocados add healthy fats and fiber.13,14
- Celery stalks topped with hummus and sesame seeds. Hummus helps support healthy blood sugar and may help prevent weight gain.15 Plus, hummus is delicious.
- Kale chips. Create these the night before with these ingredients: chopped kale leaves, avocado or coconut oil, and salt. Combine the ingredients and bake at 225 degrees for 25 minutes, turning the pan once while they bake.16
- Roasted chickpeas with cajun spices. Rinse and dry chickpeas, coat them with olive oil and salt, and roast for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. When they’re done, toss them with cajun spices for an extra kick.17
If You’re Craving Something Sweet
Simple, No-Fuss Snacks
- Plain greek yogurt topped with berries. Yogurt may help reduce hunger and make you feel full, and berries are one of the best sources of antioxidants around.18,19
- Pieces of dark chocolate with almonds. Have a sweet tooth? Dark chocolate may be your answer. Unlike milk chocolate, the dark variety might help support heart health.20 Almonds add some healthy protein to the mix that may help you feel full longer.21
- A simple piece of fruit. If you’re looking for a truly easy snack, grab something like a banana, apple, pear, or an orange.
Sweet Snacks That Take A Little Prep
- Apple slices with peanut butter and sea salt. This is a popular combo for a great reason – it’s delicious. Apples and peanut butter both benefit your heart’s health.22,23 Peanut butter is high in calories, so consume in moderation.
- Chia pudding with almond milk and fruit. Chia seeds are a complete protein (meaning it contains all essential amino acids), and they’re rich in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber.24
To make chia pudding, add 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and ¼ cup of almond milk to a mason jar and refrigerate overnight. When you’re ready to eat, top your pudding with some chopped fruit to give it natural sweetness.
- A plant-based protein smoothie. A protein smoothie or shake is a good option if you’re looking for a filling snack. Try mixing whey protein powder, a banana, frozen fruit, and coconut milk for a filling and delicious snack.
Get Your Snack On
Whether you’re a health nut or you secretly love to eat junk food, the result of healthy eating is the same: you’re probably going to feel better. Making healthy food choices may help give you more energy throughout the day and allow you to better manage stress. You’ll likely also feel better about yourself – yes, even if you used to love those potato chips and cookies.25
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