One question I get all the time from clients and friends is “I do good all day long, but I can’t stop snacking at night.” Or I hear things like “I do well with meal prep, but I can’t stop myself from digging into the candy dish at work in the late afternoon.” These are real frustrations that can throw even those with the best of plans off their healthy track. So how do we combat this? How do we manage these pesky cravings?
Well, the first line of offense is always a good defense.
And by that, I mean cut the craving before it hits and the best way to do that is with a healthy snacking plan. Often, we think about eating in terms of big meals throughout the day. But this can leave gaps of time where blood sugar levels can drop and cravings can start to kick in. Healthy snacks are an essential part of a balanced meal plan and should not be left up to chance.
In fact, about one third of your daily calories can come from snacks. When you plan for these appropriately with balanced, healthy, craving kicking foods, you can not only boost your health, but you can control cravings and even prevent mood swings by promoting stable blood sugar.
What is in a healthy snack?
A well-balanced, healthy snack is something that provides all three macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fat), a little color and of course, tastes good! The most nutritionally perfect food is a waste if you’re not going to want to eat it when the time comes. It also has to be realistic, something that does not require complicated or hard to find ingredients and can be tossed together in a matter of minutes. And lastly, it needs to be portable so you can have them with you when the time comes.
One of My Favorite Healthy Grab & Go Snacks
An excellent naturally sweet snack ingredient to have on hand are Craisins® Dried Cranberries. I love them and use them to naturally sweeten all kinds of things from oatmeal and yogurt to cookies and snack mixes. Cranberries can be an all-natural bacteria blocker and the USDA MyPlate guidelines indicate that eating ½-cup is the equivalent of adding one cup of fruit to your diet. Plus, they are naturally fat-free, cholesterol-free and are a good source of fiber.
Grab & Go Snack Mix
- 2T Craisins® Dried Cranberries
- 12 Raw Almonds
These are both regular staples in my pantry so it’s really easy to scoop them out grab and go! And this simple combo is not only yummy and easy, it’s nutritionally the perfect snack. It delivers 168 calories with over 7g healthy fat, 3g fiber and protein and less than 20g of natural sugar. These macros make it incredibly satisfying and also a good source of mid-day energy.
To learn more about the benefits of cranberries
What is your favorite grab and go healthy snack?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ocean Spray®. The opinions and text are all mine.
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