20 Yummy Nutritious Snacks Under 100 Calories
By Brianna Steinhilber | Everyday Health
1. Snack Smarter
When the afternoon slump hits, it can be tempting to reach for the candy jar or swing by the vending machine, but junk food’s quick sugar rush will disappear in minutes, leaving you groggier than ever. Instead, it’s time to feed your 3 p.m. munchies more wisely.
“Snacking is often mindless, autopilot eating,” warns Gregory L. Jantz, PhD, an eating disorder specialist in Edmonds, Washington. “Often, snacks aren’t eaten because you’re hungry, but because you are bored or are simply used to munching while you engage in certain activities.” A better way to snack, says Jantz, is to optimize the timing of healthy snacks between your meals. “Smaller meals and intentional small snacks help you regulate your blood sugar throughout the day, avoiding large ‘feast or famine’ swings,” he says.
These 20 options with fewer than 100 calories will help you do exactly that, guilt- and weight-gain free.
2. A Cup of Blueberries
Few snacking choices pack the antioxidant and nutrition punch of blueberries, and with only 83 calories per 1-cup serving, they are about as diet friendly as you can get. “Keep them a little frozen and you’ve got a crunchy, sweet treat,” says Jantz.
3. A Hard-Boiled Egg
Boil up a batch of eggs, put them in the fridge, and you’ve got an instant snack that packs 6 grams of protein into just 78 calories. Jantz recommends a high-protein snack such as eggs for a midmorning or afternoon nosh — the protein will keep you full and may help prevent overeating later.
RELATED ARTICLE: Workout Nutrition: What To Eat Before And After a Workout
4. An Orange
Sometimes, the simpler the snack, the better. Oranges, which have about 60 calories each, are one of the best fruits to snack on because they’re high in vitamins and fiber, and low in natural sugar. Plus, the fact that you have to take time to peel and section oranges will help you savor your snack slowly.
5. A Cup of Strawberries
With just 46 calories per 1-cup serving, you can enjoy 2 cups of strawberries and still have calories to spare. “They’re a great, juicy snack whenever in season,” Jantz says. “And frozen strawberries can be just as healthy the rest of the year.”
6. A Piece of String Cheese
One stick of part-skim string cheese has 80 calories and a whopping 8 grams of protein, plus a dose of calcium without the high saturated fat content of other cheese varieties. String cheese is a convenient, portable snack when you’re on the go, and it’s perfectly portion-controlled, taking the guesswork out of snack time!
7. 1/2 Cup of Oatmeal
When the afternoon slump rolls around, toss some oats into the microwave. A 1/2-cup serving of oatmeal cooked in water contains just 83 calories. Finish with a sprinkle of cinnamon, which helps keep blood-sugar levels stable. With a dose of fiber and protein, the warm snack is sure to satisfy and hold you over until dinnertime.
8. A Handful of Almonds
Nuts are chock-full of protein and healthy monounsaturated fats, making them a smart snack choice. Plus, a recent January 2015 study in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that consuming almonds in place of carbs (like bread or muffins) reduced cholesterol and belly fat, boosting heart health. So instead of reaching for that bag of pretzels for an energy boost, grab a small handful of almonds (10-15 nuts) to power you through the afternoon.
9. 1/4 Cup of Dried Cranberries
Dried fruit — with its high amounts of added sugar — can be a diet disaster. But if you keep your portion to a waistline-friendly quarter cup, this tangy treat can be a smart way to quiet a sweet tooth. A quarter cup of dried cranberries contains just 93 calories, and you can look for unsweetened varieties to keep sugar levels under control.
10. 8 Baby Carrots With 1 Tablespoon of Dip
Eight raw baby carrots have just 40 calories, leaving you room for a tablespoon of your favorite dip like hummus, tzatziki, or salsa. The crunchy texture can help battle chip cravings, while the dose of fiber satisfies hunger — plus the high levels of carotenoids and other forms of vitamin A in carrots can boost your eyesight.