Perhaps the biggest struggle for those who are trying to lose or manage their weight is to avoid snacking in-between meals.
Going for high-calorie treats (such as cookies and chips) multiple times a day will add excess energy to your diet that may cause you to pack on the pounds over time. However, if you chose healthy snacks instead, you may actually lose or maintain your weight.
A 2007 study published in Physiology & Behavior points out that breakfast and a mid-morning snack can help improve the ability of children to concentrate at school. In fact, the adverse effect of a small breakfast can be reversed by eating a mid-morning snack.
You may consider eating a low-calorie, high-energy mid-morning and afternoon snack at the same time each day, even when you don’t really feel you need a snack. This way, you will not feel too hungry at meal times. Thus, you will be able to control your intake and portion size.
There are a number of healthy snacks that are less than 100 calories for you to choose from. These nutritious foods won’t expand your waistline by adding extra fat and sugar to your diet.
Healthy and Tasty Snacks That Help You Maintain Your Weight
Here are 10 snacks under 100 calories to satisfy your cravings.
1. Eat Air-Popped Popcorn
Perhaps the best place to enjoy popcorn is a movie theatre. However, you may consider indulging in a bowl full of this tasty snack anytime you feel hungry and want something that is filling but not loaded with too many calories.
To enjoy popcorns as a healthy snack, always opt for air-popped popcorn instead of the commercially available buttered version.
One cup of plain, air-popped popcorn contains approximately 30 calories. Being a good source of fiber and free from excess fats and other additives, air-popped popcorn is a great option for those trying to lose some extra pounds.
Air-popped popcorn also contains a small amount of vitamin and minerals, including magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, iron, and copper. This healthy snack can help you lose or maintain your weight, regulate digestion, and lower cholesterol.
2. Prefer Baked Kale Chips
Consider replacing oil-fried potato chips with nutritious kale chips if you are looking for a healthier snack option.
One cup of baked kale chips contains just 50 calories, and a number of people believe that they taste better than potato chips.
Plus, they have no cholesterol or sugar and are very low in sodium. Kale is rich in vitamin K, A, C, and B6 as well as fiber, manganese, copper, calcium, and potassium.
Fiber-rich kale helps in lowering cholesterol and managing diabetes. It is good for your brain, immune system, and bone health and also provides anticancer benefits.
Moreover, unlike its counterpart spinach, kale is a low-oxalate vegetable, which means that the calcium it contains can be absorbed by the digestive system in a much better way.
It is easy to prepare baked kale chips at home. Simply toss chopped kale in some olive oil and bake the pieces in the oven until they are crispy.
3. Try Celery Stalk with Hummus
One large celery stalk contains just 10 calories and is naturally low in carbohydrates, fat, and cholesterol. Celery is rich in fiber and hummus contains protein, and together they make a satisfying snack.
You can eat three or four celery stalks with some homemade hummus and gain less than 100 calories. However, it is recommended to limit your hummus intake to just 1 to 2 tablespoons as it is high in calories (1 tablespoon contains about 25 calories).
As celery mostly comprises water (95 percent), it also helps in keeping the body hydrated. This, in turn, aids in weight loss and keeps your skin and hair healthy.
Plus, celery contains other important nutrients including vitamin A, C, and K and some B vitamins as well as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, and potassium.
It also helps improve digestion, lower high blood pressure, reduce bad cholesterol, and improve vision.
When consumed in moderation, hummus is also good for your health and keeps you feeling fuller for longer as it is rich in protein and fiber.
4. Have Baby Carrots with Dip
Raw baby carrots make a wonderful low-calorie snack. These carrots often taste sweeter and juicier than full-size carrots.
A large baby carrot has just calories, whereas a medium-sized one contains only 4 calories. This means you can eat around 10 baby carrots in a day without worrying about putting on extra weight.
If you want to add some more taste to this crunchy snack, you may dip the baby carrots in your favorite hummus or salsa.
Other than being low in calories, baby carrots are high in nutrients, such as vitamin A, B6, and C as well as fiber, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.
They can help keep your eyes healthy, prevent upper respiratory infections, aid in digestion, boost immunity, lower cholesterol level, and reduce diabetes risk and may protect against certain types of cancer.
5. Serve Yourself With Olives
You might be familiar with the numerous health benefits of olive oil. But did you know that you can enjoy olives as a low-calorie snack between meals?
Twenty olives roughly equal just 68 calories and can surely satisfy a salty craving.
Olives are a good source of monounsaturated fats and contain important nutrients, including copper, iron, fiber, and vitamin E.
Owing to their high nutritional value, olives can be of great help for people suffering from issues such as arthritis, osteoporosis, constipation, inflammation, and asthma.
They also improve metabolic risk factors and may help reduce the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, protect against cancer, and even delay the effects of aging.
6. Consider Low-Fat Greek Yogurt Topped with Berries
Low-fat Greek yogurt is one of the best healthy foods that you can have daily. One container (170 grams) of non-fat Greek yogurt contains 100 calories.
You may consume 1 cup of plain yogurt or ½ cup of yogurt topped with strawberries, blackberries, or blueberries along with a little honey or maple syrup.
This protein-packed snack is full of good bacteria that promotes digestion by adjusting the natural balance of gut bacteria. Furthermore, it is a rich source of calcium and also contains other nutrients, such as B vitamins, folic acid, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc.
Regular intake of Greek yogurt boosts immunity, aids in weight loss, prevents high blood pressure, lowers bad cholesterol, reduces the risk of osteoporosis, supports oral health, and is good for your skin.
7. An Apple a Day
An apple is a low-calorie food that you can eat in-between meals. You may carry this hassle-free snack with you to work or when you’re going out.
One apple roughly contains 70 to 80 calories. You can eat a whole apple, raw or baked. If you want to make it tastier, simply sprinkle some cinnamon powder on it.
Rich in soluble fiber, mostly pectin, an apple a day can help lower your cholesterol level. This fruit also contains other vital nutrients, such as B complex vitamins, vitamin C, phytonutrients, iron, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. Plus, it will satisfy your craving for sweets without significantly raising your blood sugar levels.
Eating an apple daily is good for your health. It can help manage diabetes, aid in weight loss, strengthen your bones strong, and brighten your teeth.
8. Consume Soaked or Dry-Roasted Almonds
Almonds are another food you can include in your diet if you are trying to lose or manage your weight.
Just 12 to 14 almonds, soaked or dry roasted, make a healthy and tasty snack with only about 90 to 100 calories. They are a rich source of protein and fiber, two nutrients that will satisfy your hunger and help you feel full until your next meal.
According to a 2014 study published in the European Journal of Nutrition, a mid-morning snack consisting of almonds creates satiety resulting in appropriate modification of subsequent food intake in healthy women.
They also contain biotin, healthy fats, vitamin E and B2, manganese, copper, phosphorus, and magnesium.
Eating almonds can make your heart healthy, improve your brain power, prevent constipation, strengthen your bones, and promote healthy skin. However, to reap the benefits of almonds, make sure to chew them thoroughly before swallowing.
9. Cottage Cheese with a Slice of Water-Rich Fruit
Cottage cheese is a protein powerhouse, which is digested slowly and keeps you feeling full for longer. Enjoy 4 ounces of nonfat, plain cottage cheese for just 82 calories.
You may even have about ½ cup of cottage cheese with a small wedge of any water-based fruit, such as a cantaloupe or cucumber. Fruits with high water content will help keep your body hydrated without adding a lot of calories to your snack.
Along with protein, cottage cheese contains calcium, vitamin A, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and zinc.
A 2005 study states that young children who consume more dairy products such as milk and cottage cheese are more energetic. Hence, you must consider adding cottage cheese to your child’s diet if you are worried that he or she is lethargic.
Metabolic syndrome refers to a cluster of conditions including high blood sugar levels. It is a major concern for those who suffer from diabetes. According to a British study, consuming dairy products such as cottage cheese can be effective in decreasing the chances of metabolic syndrome in men who have diabetes and in those who do not suffer from this disease.
10. Add Boiled Edamame to Your Diet
Edamame (young soybeans) are among the most nutritious snacks you can find. Half a cup of boiled edamame makes a healthy snack with only approximately 95 calories.
It can be easily prepared at home. Alternatively, you may buy ready-to-eat edamame if you want a quick snack on the go.
It is an excellent source of protein and fiber to help keep you feeling full. Other nutrients present in edamame are iron, folate, and calcium as well as vitamin A, B12, and K and trace amounts of vitamin C. In addition, it is naturally gluten-free.
This healthy snack can help lower your low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad” cholesterol) level and reduce your risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
- Benton, D, and M Jarvis. “The Role of Breakfast and a Mid-Morning Snack on the Ability of Children to Concentrate at School.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17078979. Published 28 February 2007.
- Nguyen, Von, et al. “Popcorn Is More Satiating than Potato Chips in Normal -Weight Adults.” The Journal of Nutrition, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3502142/. Published September 2012.
- “Popcorn: The Snack With Even Higher Antioxidants Levels Than Fruits and Vegetables.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120325173008.htm. Published 25 March 2012.
- Heaney, and Weaver. “Calcium Absorption from Kale.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Oxford University Press, academic.oup.com/ajcn/article-abstract/51/4/656/4695196. Published 1 April 1990.
- Kooti, Wesam, and Nahid Daraei. “A Review of the Antioxidant Activity of Celery ( Apium Graveolens L).” Researchgate, researchgate.net/publication/318430337. Published July 2017.
- Li, M Y, et al. “Advances in the Research of Celery, an Important Apiaceae Vegetable Crop.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28423952. Published March 2018.
- Lee, Hye-Jin, et al. “The Effect of Carrot Juice, β-Carotene Supplementation on Lymphocyte DNA Damage, Erythrocyte Antioxidant Enzymes and Plasma Lipid Profiles in Korean Smoker.” Nutrition Research and Practice, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3259297/. Published December 2011.
- Age-Related, G r. “A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Clinical Trial of High-Dose Supplementation with Vitamins C and E, Beta Carotene, and Zinc for Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Vision Loss: AREDS Report No. 8.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11594942. Published October 2001.
- Qian, F, et al. “Metabolic Effects of Monounsaturated Fatty Acid-Enriched Diets Compared With Carbohydrate or Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid-Enriched Diets in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27457635. Published August 2016.
- Schwingshackl, Lukas, and Georg Hoffmann. “Monounsaturated Fatty Acids, Olive Oil and Health Status: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Cohort Studies.” BioMed Central, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4198773/. Published October 2014.
- Zemel, M B, et al. “Dairy Augmentation of Total and Central Fat Loss in Obese Subjects.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15672113. Published April 2005.
- Douglas, Steve M., et al. “Low, Moderate, or High Protein Yogurt Snacks on Appetite Control and Subsequent Eating in Healthy Women.” NeuroImage, Academic Press, sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195666312003832?via=ihub. Published 25 September 2012.
- Hyson, Dianne A. “A Comprehensive Review of Apples and Apple Components and Apple Components and Their Relationship to Human Health1,2.” Advances in Nutrition, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3183591/. Published September 2011.
- Boyer, Jeanelle, and Rui Hai Lui. “Apple Phytochemicals and Their Health Benefits.” BioMed Central, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC442131/. Published May 2014.
- Hull, and Wickham. “Nutrition Research, Leatherhead Food Research, Randalls Road, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT22 7RY, UK, [email protected]” Addiction & Health, Stat Pearls Publishing, europepmc.org/abstract/MED/25182142. Published September 2014.
- Berryman, Claire E., et al. “Effects of Daily Almond Consumption on Cardiometabolic Risk and Abdominal Adiposity in Healthy Adults With Elevated LDL‐Cholesterol: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” Journal of Americal Heart Association, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4330049/. Published January 2015.
- Ahmad, Z. “The Uses and Properties of Almond Oil.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20129403. Published February 2010.
- Pesta, Dominik H, and Varman T. Samuel. “A High-Protein Diet for Reducing Body Fat: Mechanisms and Possible Caveats.”BioMed Central, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4258944/. Published November 2014.
- Berkey, Catherine S. “Milk, Dairy Fat, Dietary Calcium, and Weight Gain.” JAMA, American Medical Association jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/486041. Published 1 June 2005.
- Elwood, Peter C, et al. “Milk and Dairy Consumption, Diabetes and the Metabolic Syndrome: the Caerphilly Prospective Study.” Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, BMJ Publishing Group Ltd jech.bmj.com/content/61/8/695.short. Published 1 August 2007.
- Rizzo, Gianluca, and Luciana Baroni. “Soy, Soy Foods and Their Role in Vegetarian Diets.” MDPI, Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, mdpi.com/2072-6643/10/1/43. Published 5 January 2018.
- Barrett, Julia R. “The Science of Soy: What Do We Really Know?” Environmental Health Perspectives, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1480510/. Published June 2006.