For many, the word "snack" conjures up images of cookies, crackers and candy. These options may keep you going between meals, but they are not the best choices for your body. Fortunately, snack time doesn't have to be unhealthy. A number of healthy choices are out there for you to stay satisfied between meals.
Fruits and Vegetables
Portable vegetables and fruits such as baby carrots and oranges are a healthy and convenient way to get important nutrients like dietary fiber and antioxidants. Consuming fruits and vegetables on a regular basis can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, reports Tulane University School of Public Health's Lydia A. Bazzano. In a paper published in the April 2008 issue of "Diabetes Care," Bazzano found that women who ate at least three servings of fruits and veggies per day had significantly lower type 2 diabetes rates than those who seldom ate fresh produce.
Nuts, such as Brazil nuts and cashews, are convenient snacks that pack a powerful nutritional punch. They are rich in dietary protein, which can help curb appetite. Nuts are also rich in such heart-healthy nutrients as vitamin E and dietary fiber and eating nuts can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and certain cancers, reports Joan Sabaté of Loma Linda University. In research published in the May 2009 issue of the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition," Sabaté concluded that eating five or more servings of nuts can cut cardiovascular disease risk in half. However, because nuts are high in calories and fat, limit your total intake to a small handful per day.
Fat-free dairy products such as cottage cheese and Greek yogurt provide your body with important nutrients like calcium and B vitamins, and they are great sources of protein for satiety. People that regularly consume dairy have lower incidences of chronic diseases, such as cancer, hypertension and osteoporosis, the National Dairy Council reports.
Choosing whole grains over refined grains can combat hunger between meals. Complex carbohydrates in whole grains are digested slower than refined grains so they keep you full longer. Whole grain snacks, such as whole wheat crackers and fibrous cereal, are also important sources of minerals, vitamins and complex carbohydrates. Choose whole grain snacks with limited amounts of added salt or fat.
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.