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HEALTHY SNACKS
for Your Weight Loss Program

Here's a list of healthy snacks to help control hunger between meals:

  1. Fruit:
    • one apple, pear, orange, tangerine, nectarine, mango, banana
    • or 1/2 cup of grapes, cherries, or plums
    • or 1 cup of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, apricots, sliced pineapple or kiwi - with no added sugar. If you wish to sweeten these fruit, use a zero-calorie sweetener such as Splenda (Sucralose) or Equal (Aspartame).
    • canned fruit with little or no added sugar (sometimes labeled "lite"). Respect the serving size indicated on the can.

    Warning: Beware of fruit juices! Even fruit juices that claim to have no added sugar usually bring in too many calories. Fresh fruit is a much better alternative: It's much lower in calories, and also supplies the fiber necessary for effective weight loss (which fruit juices are lacking).


  2. Vegetables:
    • a plateful of fresh vegetables (such as lettuce, celery, cucumbers, spinach leaves, tomatoes, red or green peppers, etc) - with 2-3 crackers and low-fat salad dressing
    • canned vegetables - e.g., sweet corn, beats, green beans, etc (most types are quite low in calories)
    • vegetable juice (for example: 8 oz of V8 vegetable juice = 50 calories)


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  4. Soup: One can (10 oz) of low calorie soup (e.g., Campbell's or Healthy Choice) - shouldn't bring in more than 120 calories per can (read the nutrition label to make sure of this fact).


  5. Low calorie broth (chicken or beef flavored bouillon cubes that dissolve in water - 5 calories per cube, and tastes like real soup).


  6. Sandwiches:
    • A lean ham sandwich, with low fat dressing or mustard.
    • One piece of whole grain toast with a tablespoon of peanut butter or jam.
    • etc, etc - you get the idea...

  7. Coffee (preferably decaf, with a non-dairy creamer and a zero-cal sweetener such as Equal or Splenda). If needed, you may have 2-3 biscuits along with your coffee.


  8. Tea (preferably green or oolong tea), but regular tea is fine too - sweetened with Equal or Splenda, plus/minus 2-3 biscuits.


  9. Diet drinks - such as diet pop, unsweetened ice-tea, flavored water, tonic water, sparkling water, etc


  10. Low fat yogurt or cream (Dannon, Yoplait, etc) - one or two servings


  11. One hard boiled egg, or 2 hard boiled eggs without yolks


  12. Two tablespoons of honey


  13. One ounce (about 2 tablespoons) of nuts (e.g., peanuts, walnuts, almonds). Avoid however prepackaged products containing added sugar - e.g., honey-roasted peanuts.


  14. Combination snacks, such as:
    • One tomato with one tablespoon low fat cheese
    • One red pepper with one tablespoon low fat cheese

  15. Any carb snack (except chocolate or candy) that doesn't exceed 250 calories and contains sugars less than 6-7 grams (identified on the nutrition label). For example:
    • water crackers
    • peanut butter crackers
    • biscuits
    • reduced sugar cookies, etc

The idea is, you don't want to put more than 150-250 calories in your body with any one snack, and you don't want foods high in saturated fats or sugars.


Finally, here are the rules of thumb for choosing healthy snacks:

  • Total Calorie Count up to 250 calories per serving. This can be increased to 300 calories per serving, if needed for adequate hunger control.
  • Saturated Fat up to 3 gram per serving
  • Trans Fat zero
  • Sugars up to 6-7 gram per serving *
  • Additionally, a high fiber content (2-3 gram or more per serving) is a bonus - since fiber is known to facilitate weight loss.
  • Also, a high protein content (5 gram or more per serving) is beneficial for providing energy and may control hunger more effectively.

When choosing a prepackaged food product, always check the nutrition label on the package to ensure it meets the above conditions for healthy snacks.

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*For fresh and canned fruit, the healthy sugar limit can be increased to 15-16 gram per serving, since fructose (the main sugar in fruit) has a low glycemic index. Higher sugar levels (up to 20 gram per serving) may be acceptable for canned fruit - provided adequate portion sizes are respected.


 

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