Contrary to popular belief, snacking can actually be a great healthy habit that contributes to weight loss, assuming you’re making the right choices. Oftentimes we find ourselves hungry in between meals, but snacks can get a bad wrap for adding extra calories to your day. However, protein dense or whole grain choices may actually support your weight loss goals and nourish your body so it can function better. Building up your pantry arsenal? These are the five dietitian approved snacks to stock up on so you can satisfy your crunchy cravings throughout the day.
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Not only is it the perfect movie theater treat, but popcorn can actually be integrated into your daily life as a healthy and delicious snack when prepared with considerably less butter. “Popcorn is a great pantry snack because it is a whole grain, which means it contains fiber and is filling. The serving size is about 3 cups, so you can eat a lot and feel satisfied,” says registered dietitian Emily Danckers.
Chickpeas are a great source of protein straight from the can and are delicious in salads and other plant based dishes. But roasting chickpeas can make them even more delicious, and with the right seasoning they become a satisfying and crunchy midday snack. “Crunchy chickpeas are delicious, satisfying, and full of protein and fiber. Many companies sell flavored crunchy chickpeas, so you’ll have lots of options to choose from,” says Danckers.
Nuts are known for being a healthy source of fats which are a vital macronutrient that your body needs for weight loss. Danckers explains, “Mixed nuts are very healthy, but you do have to watch the serving size. A little bit goes a long way with nuts, but one serving is full of healthy, filling fats and some protein that should keep away hunger until your next meal.”
Although some protein bars are loaded with sneaky calories from sugar and fat, a high quality protein has a well earned space in your pantry. “Certain protein bars can be great snacks for weight loss. Make sure you choose one that has at least 10g protein and less than 10g sugar,” says Danckers.
Edamame isn’t just a side that comes with your sushi order, and much like chickpeas, they can be a delicious snack when roasted. Danckers notes, “Roasted edamame has a delicious earthy flavor and is super filling. One serving (1/3 cup) contains 8g fiber and 13g protein.” This is the perfect addition to your day if you’re lacking in protein or follow a plant based diet!