10 Real Food Snacks

By Cynthia Brace

Having healthy real food snacks, instead of turning to junk food, is an important part of having energy throughout the day, weight loss, concentration and well, just being healthier.

Eating food with nutrients your body needs is also important for kicking those out of control cravings for sugar, salt and high-calorie carbs like bread, donuts or french fries.

So what do you eat come snack time?

Well if you’ve already skipped a meal (or two) your body is going to demand food that is high-fat, high -sugar give me energy NOW food (or really non-food) like cookies, french fries, chips or candies.

The problem with skipping meals and quick-fix, non-nutrient snacks is that it throws your hormones out of balance.

The hormone Leptin controls how full we feel and once we’re full it triggers the brain to start metabolizing (breaking down your food).  When a lot of poor quality (high calorie, low nutrition) “food-like” products are eaten you may have a tendency to overindulge because the food-like product tricks your brain into thinking it needs more.  This makes it difficult for your hormone leptin to do its job of turning off your appetite.  The result, eating more and weight gain.

When you skip meals altogether the hormone Insulin is affected.  When you constantly skip meals your body goes into starvation mode and your brain is tricked into thinking that it should hold onto fat until the “famine” is over.   The best way to keep your hormones and brain happy is to feed them nutrient-dense food, including snacks if you have them.  This will keep your blood sugar and insulin levels steady.

MY RECOMMENDATION FOR YOU |  5 Ways to Quiet Your Food Cravings

So should you eat come snack time?

Ideally, a snack will have fresh fruit and/or veggies with a bit of healthy fat or protein.  Be sure to plan ahead of time and have your snack ready to go so you’re not looking for that bag of cookies.

10 Real Food Snacks You Can Easily Incorporate Into Your Day

1 Apple & Almond Butter

One of the easiest ways to balance blood sugar is to have a snack that combines fibre and fat with carbohydrates. Apples have pectin, a type of fibre that promotes weight loss by making you feel fuller faster. The natural sugars in apples are balanced by the fat in the almond butter. Just be sure to get an almond butter that has no added sugar.

Half an apple with a tablespoon of almond butter is all you need.

2 Smoothies or Shakes

Shakes combine the whole fruit, fibre and all, with other nutrient-dense food like nuts, veggies and coconut oil. This more complete spectrum will help you feel full longer and can satisfy a sweet craving.

Although healthy smoothies are great there are some common mistakes that can leave you feeling like you ate a chocolate bar for breakfast instead of healthy yumminess.

Check out my article here on 6 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Making Healthy Smoothies

3 Granola, Plain Yogurt & Raspberries

An easy snack to put together.  Make the granola in bulk and store it for the week.

Serving size: 1 cup of yogurt, 1 tablespoon of granola, 1/2 cup raspberries.

Easy Sugar-Free Granola

1 cup oats

2 tsp bran (for added fibre)

2 eggs

Slivered nuts and seeds to taste. You can use almonds, pecans and pumpkin

1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Place a thin layer of the granola on a baking sheet and bake until it’s dry.  15-20 minutes depending on your oven.  Allow to cool and place granola in a sealed container.

4 Ants on a log

Celery with peanut butter and raisins.

Celery is very low in calories and is full of water and fibre to leave your stomach feeling full.

5 Kale Chips

Kale is a powerhouse of nutrients including Vitamin A, C and K.  It is important to check the label on the kale chips, as they are not all created equal. You want as few ingredients as possible and no added sugar.

Or make them yourself.  Chop some kale and toss with a small amount of cold-pressed olive oil and bake in the oven until crisp.

6 Rice Crackers & Avocado

Avocados are a healthy fat plus they have anti-inflammatory properties and help our digestive tract transport fat molecules, yes that’s a good thing.

7 Gluten-Free Crackers & Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut might not seem like a snack food to you –yet! It is a natural pro and prebiotic, is high in vitamin C and has a great zingy flavour.

8 Hummus & Carrot Sticks

The crunchiness of the vegetables means that you’ve got to chew more. Not only does this make you feel fuller, it gets the digestive juices flowing and sets you up for optimal energy use. By combining them with hummus, the natural sweetness of the carrot is balanced by the fats from tahini and olive oil.

Quinoa Pudding. Quinoa is gluten free, high fiber and a complete protein.  Add a little fruit and you have a nutritious and delicious snack.

Granola Bars. Granola bars fall into a category that is part convenience food and part nutrient dense food. But, not all granola bars are created equal! A lot of the bars lining the grocery store shelves are actually crammed with sugar, fat and strange additives – putting them on the no snack list. But for the sake of a quick fix once in a while here are two of the better brands:
Kind: Almond Cashew with Flax and Omega 3. This bar has about 9 ingredients that are all natural. It does include some sugar but it is non-GMO. Each bars has 190 calories and 11 g of fat. The Omega 3 is derived from the flaxseeds.   Larabar: Their Cashew bar has only two ingredients, cashews and dates. It is a very nice way to get something a little sweet with the balance of protein and fat. It has 230 calories per bar and 13 g of fat.

9 Quinoa Pudding

Quinoa is gluten free, high fiber and a complete protein.  Add a little fruit and you have a nutritious and delicious snack.

Granola Bars. Granola bars fall into a category that is part convenience food and part nutrient dense food. But, not all granola bars are created equal! A lot of the bars lining the grocery store shelves are actually crammed with sugar, fat and strange additives – putting them on the no snack list. But for the sake of a quick fix once in a while here are two of the better brands:
Kind: Almond Cashew with Flax and Omega 3. This bar has about 9 ingredients that are all natural. It does include some sugar but it is non-GMO. Each bars has 190 calories and 11 g of fat. The Omega 3 is derived from the flaxseeds.   Larabar: Their Cashew bar has only two ingredients, cashews and dates. It is a very nice way to get something a little sweet with the balance of protein and fat. It has 230 calories per bar and 13 g of fat.

10 Granola Bars

Granola bars fall into a category that is part convenience food and part nutrient dense food.

But, not all granola bars are created equal!

A lot of the bars lining the grocery store shelves are actually crammed with sugar, fat and strange additives putting them on the no snack list.

But for the sake of a quick fix once in a while here are two of the better brands:

Kind: Almond Cashew with Flax and Omega 3. This bar has about 9 ingredients that are all natural. It does include some sugar but it is non-GMO. Each bars has 190 calories and 11 g of fat. The Omega 3 is derived from the flaxseeds.

Larabar: Their Cashew bar has only two ingredients, cashews and dates. It is a very nice way to get something a little sweet with the balance of protein and fat. It has 230 calories per bar and 13 g of fat.

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