April 3, 2012

Try These Healthy Snacks

healthy snacksAre you hungry, but it’s too early for the next meal? Try these healthy snacks. We suggest our patients eat every 3 to 4 hours. This helps maintain energy levels throughout the day and improves metabolism. So in between meals we recommend people consume a healthy snack – a mid-morning snack and a mid-afternoon snack.

Rules for Healthy Snacks

Meals and healthy snacks should be based around a lean protein source.  Never eat carbohydrates by themself. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Choose natural foods and avoid refined foods, sweeteners, hydrogenated oils, artificial colors and flavors, and preservatives.

Choices for Healthy Snacks

  • Apple with one or two tablespoons of natural peanut, almond, or cashew butter
  • Pear with string cheese or peanut butter
  • 3 to 4 ounces of beef, pork or turkey jerky
  • Celery with 1 to 2 tablespoons of peanut, almond, cashew butter
  • Fresh veggies (carrots, bell peppers, broccoli, etc) dipped in hummus, guacomole, or olive oil.
  • Closed handful of nuts (your choice, but unsalted)
  • 4 ounces of water-packed tuna or wild/Alaskan salmon
  • One or two hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 cup low-fat or non-fat plain, Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup of fruit
  • 3 or 4 ounces of smoked salmon with cream cheese on Wasa® crackers
  • 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds
  • 2 ounces of cheese
  • Low sodium V8® with string cheese
  • Organic cottage cheese with ground flax seeds

There are 2 bars that qualify as healthy snacks: the PureFit™ Nutrition Bar and Kind Fruit and Nut Bar.  PureFit™ bars are made without additives or sugar and contain a balanced amount of macronutrients with 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 30% fats. The bars also do not contain gluten, wheat, dairy, sweeteners, hydrogenated oils, or trans fats. The bars contain 18 grams of protein.

Kind Fruit and Nutrition Bars are also gluten-free and all natural.  They come in 11 flavors.  Some of the bars are labeled as low glycemic, and in fact state the glycemic index of that bar on the label. Buy those that are specifically labeled as low glycemic.

Shakes are an excellent choice for a snack, too. We’re less particular here but recommend Bill Phillips Right® Nutrition Shakes which are sugar and fat-free and contain 22 grams of protein per serving. There are other very good shake products out there, though.

What About Granola?

Granola can be a healthy snack as long as it does not contain added sugar, preservatives, artificial coloring, additives, and trans fats.  So be sure to read the labels carefully.

Snacking between meals helps maintain energy levels and improve metabolism. The key is to eat healthy snacks like those listed above.

See related articles.

“Breakfast Foods to Avoid”

“Low Glycemic Foods”



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Dr. Joe Jacko

Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio at Grandview Primary Care. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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