Healthy Snacks for Every Craving Type
Even if you’ve followed a strict fitness and diet regimen for weeks, everyone gets hit with sudden food cravings. Whether you’re a victim of late-night salt urges or post-workout sugar pangs, you don’t have to destroy your progress by giving in. We offer you healthier alternatives to some of your favorite guilty snacks. Remember, moderation is key, but when you need to satisfy your hunger, don’t start shoveling your face with potato chips and cake—try one of these instead.
YOU WANT POTATO CHIPS: Just 1 oz. of kettle cooked potato chips (approximately 15 chips) have 150 calories and 9 grams of fat. A standard bag of chips is 8 oz., so it’s easy to let a chip binge get out of control. TRY INSTEAD:
- Baked potato chips are, in moderation, a decent alternative to fried or kettle-cooked chips. With 120 calories per ounce, the calorie content is comparable, but they only have 4.5 grams of fat.
- 1 oz. of air-popped popcorn kernels, which pops up to over 3 cups, has just 110 calories, 1.3 grams of fat and has 4 grams of fiber.
- While nuts and seeds (almonds, peanuts, soy, sunflower seeds, cashews) are calorie-dense—they contain between 120 and 190 calories per ounce—they’re high in fiber and good fats, and will also make you feel fuller, longer than starchy chips.
- Another way to satisfy a salt craving is with briny foods like olives, low-sodium dill pickles, sauerkraut and kimchi, a Korean spicy pickled cabbage dish. Six olives have just 20 calories and 1.5 grams of fat, pickles have zero calories, while sauerkrat and kimchi have under 15 calories per 2-oz. serving.
- Seaweed snacks are a good alternative to chips if you want a crunch without any guilt. A 6-oz. package has just 30 calories.
- Rice snacks have just 38 calories and 1.5 grams of fat per serving.
- Pita chips, while also comparable in calories (110 per ounce), have just 3.5 grams of fat.
YOU WANT FRENCH FRIES or ONION RINGS: One small order of McDonald’s french fries (2.5 oz.) has 230 calories and a whopping 11 grams of fat. A small order of Burger King onion rings (approximately 2 oz.) has 180 calories and 9 grams of fat. TRY INSTEAD:
- One cup of edamame (boil shelled or unshelled for 3–5 mins and sprinkle with sea salt) has 189 calories and 8 grams of fat, but it’s packed with 8 grams of fiber and 17 grams of protein.
- Opting for a traditional baked potato (or microwaved: slit potato lengthwise three times and cook on high for 10–15, depending on size) instead of fried, will give you 161 calories, less than a gram of fat and 4 grams of fiber.
- Another option is to snack on multigrain flatbread or pita bread with your choice of hummus or Greek yogurt spread. Both have approximately 25 calories per tablespoon.
To find other alternatives to unhealthy snacks, visit mensfitness.com