4 ways to have your snack and eat it too

I can’t remember the last time I had a snack. When I tell people this, I usually get a dumbfounded stare in response. We’ve become so used to snacking in this country that people simply can’t believe I can make it through the day without a snack and not be starving.

But if you’re eating meals filled with nutritious foods, you don’t get hungry nearly as often. And that’s why it’s my firm belief that most people do not need to snack at all.

That said, it’s something many of my patients enjoy and just don’t want to give up. The good news is, you don’t have to–as long as you’re choosing the right snacks.

Here are a few of the ones I recommend:

  • Nuts. You can roast your own and season them with all sorts of spices to keep things interesting. There are also many ready-made varieties available. Just be sure there is nothing in them but the nuts themselves, oil, and spices.
  • Salmon jerky. Beef jerky will do in a pinch, but this one is better since it’s ripe with omega-3 fatty acids, and doesn’t contain nitrites or artificial additives and preservatives.
  • Chocolate. Yes, I said it! No snack discussion would be complete without mentioning chocolate. Cocoa beans and the powder made from them are some of the best antioxidants known to man. But before you run out and buy a Hershey bar, keep in mind that adding sugar to cocoa basically negates all of these benefits. I recommend raw, organic cocoa nibs. They’re unroasted and unsweetened–and delicious. Plus, they pack more antioxidants than blueberries, green tea, or red wine.
  • Kale chips. Before you say “blech,” do yourself a favor and TRY THEM! You’ll never crave another potato chip again–they’re that good. Plus, kale is full of antioxidants, vitamin C, beta carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids. Not to mention the fact that it’s also rich in flavonoids like quercetin, kaempferol, and glucosinolates, which are currently being studied for their ability to fight cancer. Just make sure they’re baked and don’t have any added sugar.