Sunday, January 20, 2013

Keep hunger at bay: 105 low-cal easy snacks

For two reasons, I am never without food. The first is I have mild low blood sugar and when it drops I get really hungry, irritable and a little shaky. I have got to have something to eat every couple of hours.

And I don't want to be unprepared and end up buying a candy bar or chips. That's neither healthy nor economical!

The other things is, ever since my late 20s, when I found myself with 25 pounds to lose, I have been aware of what I eat and try to make sure the snacks I have are fairly healthy, low in calories and low in fat. I don't want to have those pounds to lose again as it is no fun at all.

So for all those 10+ years, I've been compiling a list of easy quick healthy low-cal snack foods, and I like to mix and match them to keep up variety. Here they are:

The proteins:

1) Cottage cheese. You can get these in little single serve containers.
2) Low-fat or light yogurt, could mix with a little raw oatmeal or Grapenuts cereal or fruit.
3) Small single serve cans of chicken breast.
4) Single serve pouches or cans of chunk light tuna in water.
5) Fat free refried beans. Great paired with pretzels or rice cakes.
6) Fat free sour cream. Add some spices, mix up and you have a great dip.
7) Fat free cream cheese. Mix in a little jam and you've got an awesome spread for dry toast or rice cake.
8) Imitation crab meat. These come in packs of 4, or larger packs you can separate. High protein, low cal.
9) Hard boiled egg. Easy quick filling protein.
10) Cheese sticks. Just perfect and they'll stay good all day in a bag.
11) Handful of nuts. Maybe 1/8 to 1/4 cup. These are higher in calories and fat, but give a protein boost and help you stay full longer.
12) Lean sliced lunch meat, laid out and rolled up with a slice of cheese.
13) Can of smoked oysters. I know most people aren't thrilled with these, but I love them!
14) Black bean burger. 
15) Slices of turkey bacon.
16) Morningstar or other veggie "sausage" patties or links.
17) 99 percent lean turkey burger.

The carbs and the crunch:

18) Pretzels, twists or sticks. You can eat quite a few for not many calories.
19) One or two regular ice cream cones. These are practically air but they have a very satisfying crunch.
20) Small bag of baked chips. I love them!
21) 5 saltine crackers. Just enough salt and crunch but not many calories.
22) Air popped popcorn with a little cooking spray and spices or Parmesan.
23) Small baked potato topped with salsa, melted mozzarella, spices, fat free salad dressing of any kind, fat free sour cream, butter spray, BBQ sauce, balsamic vinegar or soy sauce.
24) Small can of corn.
25) Small can of new potatoes.
26) Plain dry whole wheat toast with a little jam on it or butter spray.
27) One whole wheat waffle.
28) Popcorn cakes.
29) Rice cakes.
30) 90 calorie granola bar. I once read that this is really like eating a cookie, but hey, not many cookies are only 90 calories, so enjoy I say!
31) Half cup mini wheats.
32) Half cup Kix cereal (maybe some others like corn flakes too).

The sweet stuff:

33) Sugar free jello cups. These are something like 10 calories each. Not lots of health value but they can stave off that sugar craving we all know and hate, LOL.
34) Fat free and/or sugar free pudding. This does provide calcium, and again holds off the sugar crave.
35) Coolwhip Free. Very few calories or fat, but it can make a wonderful mousse paired with the FF/SF pudding and a treat out of the SF jello. Also good on caramel flavored rice cakes.
36) A single stick-shaped fudgsicle, either sugar free or regular.
37) A single stick-shaped Popsicle, either sugar free or regular.
38) A single cup of Italian ice.
39) 1 cup of 100 percent juice blended with a cup of berries for a kind of smoothie.
40) Few pieces of hard candy, sugar free or regular. 
41) A few twizzlers or other licorice.


42) 1 can of green beans.
43) Small cup of peas.
44) Cut up broccoli.
45) Cut up cauliflower.
46) Mushrooms.
47) A few black olives or green olives.
48) Radishes.
49) Water chesnuts.
50) Baby corn.
51) Pea pods or edamame.
52) Artichoke hearts.
53) Can of hearts of palm.
54) Cut up squash.
55) Cut up eggplant.
56) Cut up large tomatoes.
57) Grape or cherry tomatoes.
58) Cut up cucumber.
59) Pickled okra.
60) Pickles.
61) Can of beets.
62) Baby carrots, cut up long carrots, raw or steamed.
63) Celery.
64) Any color of bell pepper.
65) Brussel sprouts.
66) Can of spinach. 


67) Banana.
68) Orange or clementine.
69) Grapefruit.
70) Kiwi.
71) Watermelon.
72) Cantaloupe.
73) Pear.
74) Apple. I once read the way you can tell if you are really hungry or not is if you would eat an apple at that moment. There are times this has stopped me from eating.
75) Unsweetened applesauce.
76) Strawberries.
77) Blueberries.
78) Blackberries.
79) Raspberries.
80) Grapes.
81) Raisins, but not too many.
82) Dates, but not too many.
83) Dried cranberries, but not too many.
84) Chunks of pineapple.

Condiments and combinations:

85) Fat free ranch dressing. A great flavor addition to veggies, the turkey and cheese roll up, or the baked potato.
86) BBQ sauce, again a great topping. Too much has too many calories, but it can add a kick of flavor.
87) Salsa. Great on potatoes, with baked chips, very few calories and lots of flavor.
88) Fake "pizza." Get some large slices of zucchini or eggplant, or a rice cake, put a few slices of turkey pepperoni or turkey breast or some veggies. Top with cheese and melt and you have a nice healthy fake pizza.
89) Marinara sauce. Too much isn't good, but it another good dip.
90) A few items off a salad bar at a restaurant or grocery store. My latest thing is to go to Dillons and get just a few good veggies, some cottage cheese, nuts, garbanzos from the salad bar. Usually weighs in at a cost of $2 to $2.50. Awesome quick snack when I'm on the road.
91) Butter spray. Flavor with virtually no calories.
92) My favorite: hot sauce! Makes anything seem like more than it is, LOL.
93) 0-point Weight Watchers soup. This is basically whatever veggies you have cooked up in a stew with chicken broth. Could be as easy as a can of green beans, carrots and tomatoes cooked in broth. One cup has negligible calories.
94) A cup or two of plain chicken broth, but watch the sodium! 
95) Balsamic vinegar (or malt vinegar) with a dash of olive oil. These make any veggies taste great.
96) Mustard. Practically calorie-less and lots of taste!
97) Ketchup. Good on baked potato or the turkey or bean burgers above.
98) Fat free mayo. Also good on the burgers or to mix with the tuna or chicken for a quick salad with diced pickles.
99) Sugar free and/or fat free caramel or butterscotch topping. A nice little treat (just a Tbsp) on rice cakes or in yogurt or paired with Coolwhip Free on a cut up banana.
100) Parmesan cheese. Good for cooked veggies, popcorn, potatoes. Cooking spray or butter spray will help it stay put, and it adds a dash of calcium to boot.

* Last-minute additions so I won't have to change my numbers, LOL.

101) Peaches.
102) Plums.
103) Cherries.
104) Jerky.
105) Rice Krispie Treats. A small one on Weight Watchers was only 2 points out of a daily total of 23. Low-fat, not too bad for you and a nice sweet crunchy treat. 

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