January 5, 2011

A Visual Guide to 15 Healthy Snacks

Most vending machines are stocked full of junk food. With a bit of planning it is possible to replace those snacks with foods that will nourish your body.

The challenge is to balance convenience with nutrition.

Here is a pictorial guide to a selection of healthy snacks - and remember - healthy eating is not just about the number of calories*.

Raw Almonds

Serving shown: 20 almonds
Calories: 139

Raw Mixed Nuts

Serving shown: 30g / ~1oz
Calories: 178

Dried Fruit

Serving shown: 40g / 1.4oz
Calories: 97

Note: Dried fruits are more calorie dense (per weight) than fresh fruit - and are easier to overeat.


Serving shown: 180g, 1 medium & 1 small.
Calories: 95

Note: Great packaging. Small portions. Seasonal


Serving shown: 185g / 6.5oz
Calories: 96


Serving shown: 1 medium banana - 118g
Calories: 105

Note: Nicely prepackaged.


Serving shown: 215g / 7.6oz
Calories: 148

Note: Seasonal


Serving shown: 85g / 3oz
Calories: 99

Note: Be wary of tuna in oil - many of the oils are vegetable oils (high in omega-6 rather than omega-3 EFA's).

Dried Peas

Serving shown: 25g / .9oz
Calories: 72

Note: Find in bulk bins - often with different seasonings.


Serving shown: 2 cups
Calories: 62 (air-popped)
Calories:110 (oil-popped)
No condiments added.
Note: Avoid pre-packaged popcorn (often contains trans fat).

Baby Carrots

Serving shown: 170g / 6oz
Calories: 60

Note: Convenient - can buy pre-washed and pre-bagged.

Celery & Hummus

Serving shown: 40g / 1.4oz hummus
Calories: 108

Note: Buy celery pre-cut and pre-washed. Goes well with many other dips.

Cherry Tomatoes

Serving shown: 150g / 1 Cup
Calories: 27

Note: Seasonal.

Whole-grain Crispbread with Cottage Cheese

Serving shown: 1 cracker + ~45g (1.5oz) cottage cheese (light)
Calories: 70

Note: Aim for crispbreads or crackers that are completely whole grain and have a minimal amount of oil.

Bean Salad

80g / 2.8oz
Calories: 90

Functional Fruit
All fruits are great - however many have a very short season (berries, peaches, nectarines) and others can be a bit too messy if you are at work (grapefruit, oranges, melon).

*It's Not Just About Calories
Some snacks may be low in calories, but lack in other essential nutrients. Some snacks do nothing to satisfy the appetite. What's the point in saving 20 calories just to be gnawingly hungry 15 minutes later? No vending machine will be safe from you...

Not Everyone Needs to Snack
For some people - three square meals works fine. For others, snacking is a way of life - and without a little pre-planning - most of those snacks will not be the best choices.

Snacking is a great way to maintain even energy levels and manage hunger and prevent bingeing.

Building Positive Habits
Snacking is habit forming. Switch out bad food choices for good ones - and before you know it - your 3 hourly pilgrimage to the vending machine will be a thing of the past.

NOTE: All items were carefully weighed and measured. Calorie amounts came from theUSDA nutrient database or from labels.

1 comment:

  1. Everyone knows that some foods are better snacking choices than others. What's not so easy in real life is putting all the stuff we know about healthy snacking into practice. In other words, it's tough to balance those "oops, I know I should only have a little bit of this but I just ate the whole bag" munchies with the healthy foods we know we should be eating.