We all love our snacks. They not only hold us over until our next big meal, but they also satisfy our need for crispy, crunchy, sweet and savory treats.
Too much snacking on the wrong foods, however, can lead to health problems. So Eat This, Not That asked some nutritionists what they munch on every day.
Sarah Schlichter, MPH, RD, a registered dietitian and owner of Bucket List Tummy, prefers granola, “because it’s crunchy and satisfying, filing and offers a balanced mix of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and fiber,” she told Eat This, Not That. “I love adding it to my oatmeal or yogurt for some crunch, or even eating a handful with a spoonful of peanut butter.”
Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, co-author of “The Menopause Diet Plan,” prefers a snack that helps her bones, heart and brain. “Every day I have plain Greek yogurt and frozen cherries (I microwave them for about 30 seconds first). The cherries are so naturally sweet that I don’t have to add any sugar to the yogurt. Nutrition-wise, this snack helps me to include a serving of fruit and dairy”
Rice cakes have a bad reputation for not having a lot of flavor. But Kacie Barnes, MCN, RDN, creator of Mama Knows Nutrition, knows how to jazz them up with both flavor and nutrition. “My go-to snack is a brown rice cake topped with mashed avocado and flaky sea salt. … The fat from the avocado is so satisfying that it completely tides me over until dinner. I love the crunch of the rice cake, and I choose brown rice cakes for the fiber.”
Tejal Pathak, MS, RD, CDCES, registered dietitian and owner of TejRD, prefers baby cucumbers because they’re easy to carry around and need no refrigeration. “With 95% water it is great for hydration, it is also low glycemic food, provides cardiovascular benefits and can aid with regular bowel movement.”
When Theresa Gentile, MS, RDN, CDN, a Brooklyn-based registered dietitian, has the munchies, she turns to a treat we likely all have in our pantries: peanut butter. “I snack on peanut butter every day. … Sometimes I’ll put it on a rice cake, or in a smoothie, or sometimes I eat it alongside an apple.”
Just remember that snacking isn’t bad for you, but what you snack on can be. Instead of sweets or fried treats, pick foods with protein, healthy fat and/or fiber to get you through the day.