Be A Smart Snacker

When hunger strikes between meals, don’t ignore it—or dive into empty calorie potato chips. The key to fighting hunger while staying on good terms with your date-night dress is to snack strategically. That means filling up on foods that satisfy your appetite and your taste buds, while filling your body with anti-aging nutrients. Here are some 7 Years Younger-­­approved snacks to add to your repertoire.

By Samantha Cassetty M.S., R.D.

nutrition director, good housekeeping research institute

Nuts: Despite the fact that they’re high in fat, nuts should absolutely be part of a weight-loss plan. Studies show that nut-eaters weigh, on average, 4 pounds less than people who munch on other types of snacks (like fat-free pretzels). People find nuts filling, whereas other snacks are less filling and might lead to overeating. All nuts have protein, fiber, and healthy fats, but almonds are especially rich in vitamin E, a nutrient that helps protect your collagen, resulting in firmer skin. Emerald Nuts’ cocoa and vanilla-flavored almonds are a healthy way to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Kale chips: Considering that kale is rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene—both nutrients that fight signs of aging, baked kale chips are a simple and tasty way to sneak in a serving. With just 15 calories per portion, you could polish off the whole tray and still walk away with fewer than 100 calories under your belt.

Popcorn:  Many people don’t realize that popcorn is a whole grain that’s loaded with fiber and antioxidant polyphenols (translation: good-for-you nutrients). Four cups of air-popped popcorn is around 125-calories—not many when you consider how much you can eat. Just remember that toppings can turn this terrific snack into a terrible one in the time it takes to drizzle the butter. Better choices include zero-calorie herbs and spices, like garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika.

Roasted chickpeas: Beans are a great source of protein and fiber—two nutrients that help fight hunger. Roasting them is a fun and tasty way to enjoy their goodness. If you’re short on time (or kitchen confidence), you can also buy ready-to-eat versions at the grocery store from companies like The Good Bean and Saffron Road.

Chips and dip: If you’re the chips and dip type of snacker, the key is to upgrade your standby by selecting a whole grain chip and a healthy dip. Whole grains are crucial: One review of diet-friendly foods, including whole-wheat versions of products like breads, pasta, and crackers, found that a menu loaded with whole grains helped people stay slim. Whole grains also help lower inflammation that can lead to diseases as well as a dull complexion. Get your chip and dip fix with Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Tortilla Chips dunked in your favorite flavor of Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt Dip.

By: Samantha B. Cassetty, M.S., R.D.
Nutrition Director, Good Housekeeping Research Institute
7 Years Younger: The Anti-Aging Breakthrough Diet
Twitter: @nutritionistsam

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