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Snack Attack!

10 Ways to Have That Snack and Lose Weight

Tip 1: Soluble Fiber to The Rescue!

Foods rich in soluble fiber make for great snacks because soluble fiber leaves the stomach slowly, encouraging better blood sugars and making you feel satisfied longer. Here are some possible snack ingredients that are high in soluble fiber:

  • peas and beans (make a quick bean dip in the microwave with some vegetarian refried beans or have some cooked "edamame" soybean pods ready in the refrigerator)
  • oats and oat bran (make a batch of oatmeal flavored with low-fat milk, a little vanilla extract and cinnamon in the microwave -- or freeze a batch of blueberry oat bran muffins so you can grab one when you need a quick afternoon pickup!)
  • some fruits (apples, peaches, citrus, mango, plums, kiwi, pears, berries)
  • some vegetables (artichokes, celery root, sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips, acorn squash, brussels sprouts, cabbage, green peas, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, asparagus, beets)

Tip 2: Eat Slow-Release Snack Foods

The following foods, even in large amounts and if eaten alone, are not likely to result in a big rise in blood sugar. (Remember, we don't want food to hit your blood stream quickly, otherwise you're just going to feel hungry again shortly after.)

These are based on the American Journal of Nutrition's international table of glycemic index and glycemic load values. (Glycemic load considers the glycemic index of a food and the grams of carbohydrate that a reasonable serving size of that particular food contains)

  • meat
  • poultry
  • fish
  • avocados
  • salad vegetables
  • cheese
  • eggs

Tip 3: Go Nuts!

An ounce of nuts is a perfect healthy snack. An ounce of most nuts will add about 170 calories, 7 grams of carbs, 6 grams of protein, and 15 grams fat. (The higher amount of fat in nuts will take longer to digest and will help the snack seem more satisfying.)

  • hazelnuts and almonds are lowest in saturated fat
  • macadamia and hazelnuts are highest in monounsaturated fat (this is a very good thing)
  • pistachios and macadamia nuts are highest in fiber (about 3 grams per ounce)
  • walnuts have the most omega-3 fatty acids (also a very good thing).

Tip 4: Calling All Yogurt Fans

A container of light fruit yogurt (low fat and with artificial sweeteners) is a great snack at work or on the go. A 7-ounce container has about 13 grams of available carbohydrate and a glycemic index of 20, adding up to a glycemic load of only 2! Remember Tip #2 about the benefits of slow-release foods? Add some fresh fruit, ground flaxseed, or reduced-fat granola to yogurt to make a fun snack parfait!

Tip 5: Portable Fruit

Fruit can travel well in your car or briefcase and come in handy for a quick pick-me-up, many offering just enough carbohydrates with a nice dose of fiber. You can make a more balanced snack by enjoying your fruit with cottage cheese, yogurt, or some cereal and milk.

The following fruits have a low glycemic load (5 or less per serving):

  • Cherries, glycemic load of 3 per (4 1/4 ounce) serving
  • Grapefruit, glycemic load of 3 per (4 1/4 ounce) serving
  • Kiwi fruit, glycemic load of 5 per (4 1/4 ounce) serving
  • Oranges, glycemic load of 5 per (4 1/4 ounce) serving
  • Peaches (fresh or canned in juice), glycemic load of 4 per (4 1/4 ounce) serving
  • Pears, glycemic load of 4 per (4 1/4 ounce) serving
  • Plums, glycemic load of 3 per (4 1/4 ounce) serving
  • Cantaloupe, glycemic load of 4 per (4 1/4 ounce) serving
  • Strawberries, glycemic load of 1 per (4 1/4 ounce) serving

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