An ideal snack gives you protein or fiber -- or both -- to help you feel full, says Gillian Culbertson, RD, certified diabetes educator at the Cleveland Clinic.
It should give you plenty of energy without too many calories. Aim for between 100 and 150 calories for women, and about 200 calories for men, with 15 to 20 grams of protein.
“Refrain from snack foods that are rich in sugars and refined carbohydrates, because of how they can boost blood sugar,” says David Grotto, RD, author of The Best Things You Can Eat. In fact, it’s a good idea to stay away from any type of sugars.
There are lots of good options. Start with these smart snacks.
Good Snack 1: Bean dip with veggies
You can easily turn canned beans in a can (such as kidney beans, navy beans, and chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans), into an inexpensive, protein-packed snack.
“The combination of the fiber and protein in beans has been shown to help keep blood sugar under control,” Grotto says. “And beans are an integral part of the DASH diet, which is the most effective approach to stopping [high blood pressure].”
Make it: Put 1/4 cup of low-sodium beans and 2 ounces of low-sodium chicken broth into a food processor to create a healthy and satisfying bean dip, Grotto says. Enjoy with 1/2 cup of raw, crunchy vegetables, like celery, carrots, or red peppers.
Nutrition info: The amounts listed above make one serving, with about 85 calories, 0.2 grams fat, and 11 grams carbohydrates.