Whether you're at home, at work or on the go, low calorie snacks can come in handy every time you feel those hunger pangs. Popular snacks like cookies, candy bars and potato chips can be delicious and filling but they also contain very little nutrients. Aside from their nutritional lack, they are also packed with calories and fats that can make you gain weight. The next time you find yourself hungry between meals, choose any of these delicious low-calorie snacks for a nutritious pick-me-up.
1. Protein Bars
When you find yourself nodding off drowsily in the afternoon, you might want to reach for a protein bar for a fresh supply of energy. Protein is a nutrient that stimulates activity and alertness in the brain so what better way is there to refresh yourself than to eat a snack fortified with protein? However, not all protein bars are made the same. In fact, many protein bars are really just calorie-laden candy bars in a healthy disguise. What you can do is check the labels carefully when shopping. The protein bar you buy should be very low in fat and sugar, but high in protein.
2. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Eggs are another great source of protein. Aside from protein, eggs also contain many other nutrients that are beneficial to your health. Some of the vitamins that can be found in an egg are vitamins A, E, D and B vitamins. Eggs are also rich in the minerals iron, calcium, iodine, zinc and selenium. Eggs are also very low in calories. Each egg typically contains no more than 76 calories. These benefits, plus the fact that they are easy to prepare, make hard-boiled eggs an ideal healthy snack.
3. Sliced Chicken Breast
Sliced chicken breasts are another delicious and low-calorie snack that you can make. To keep this snack low-fat, buy boneless chicken breasts that have had the skin removed. Marinate the slices for a few hours before barbecuing or broiling them. Looking for marinade ideas? How about some Tabasco sauce, garlic powder, black pepper and onion powder? For a bit of an Italian flavor, combine Italian herbs like arugula, basil, tarragon and rosemary with some stewed tomatoes. Refrigerate the cooked chicken slices and eat them cold for a tasty snack.
4. Non-Fat Yogurt
If you're used to enjoying snacks that involve cream, ice cream or milk then nonfat yogurt is an ideal low-calorie snack for you. Nonfat yogurt is also a good choice if you are lactose intolerant. Aside from being a good source of calcium and protein, nonfat yogurt also promotes a healthy gastrointestinal system and prevents conditions like diarrhea. Yogurt is also well-known for containing good bacteria, which is essential for sound health. When choosing a brand of nonfat yogurt, try to avoid those that contain extra fruit or granola as these can add to the calories.
5. Fruit Smoothies
A fruit smoothie is another quick, affordable and healthy snack that you can make on your own. All you need is a blender, a few ice cubes and several fruits of your own choice. You can also add some protein powder if you want to burn some extra fat. Try to use fruits that are in season for a bit of variety.