What is a healthy snack?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 05, 2009 11:11 PM GMT
    Hello all,

    Okay I'm sorry if this is a stupid question but what is a healthy snack?

    I know that fruit and veggies are healthy but does that mean I can eat as many as I need to feel full or are these items portion controlled?

    What about things like power bars or cliff bars? I was looking at some of them and they seem to have a lot of calories and some have a lot of fat. Can I use these as a meal replacement or as a snack and what should I look for?

    What about lowfat yogurt or lowfat cottage cheese?

    When reading the packages on some items they only give you a very small portion. I know that portion control is one of my biggest issues so I need to get my portions under control. I don't want to go cold turkey and set myself up for failure so I want to do a gradual replacement of my unhealthy ways with healthier ones.

    I have read that I need to keep eating to lose the weight and for someone raised on meat and potatoes, fried foods and you have to clean your plate I'm okay with that. I just need to put less on my plate and make it a lot healthier.

    Any suggestions or tip and pointers would be greatly appreciated.


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 05, 2009 11:36 PM GMT
    I'll typically make myself a plate of a variety of items.

    I'll have carrots, celery, and some sort of salsa

    Fresh berries and yogurt

    I'll also drink a flavored tea which helps fill me fuller.

    Sometimes bread with some extra virgin olive oil with spices (garlic salt, garlic pepper, oregano) in it for dipping. All you really need is enough to coat the bottom of the bowl with...it's a good fat, but very calorie dense nonetheless.

    My experience has been clif bars are loaded with sugar, and since I have a bad sweet tooth it's very bad to eat things that are not naturally sweetened because I begin craving the artificial sugar.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 05, 2009 11:44 PM GMT
    A portion of baked beans. I read somewhere that not only this fills you up but for some reason it reduces weight.
    I have tried things like salads etc, but that had never worked for me. It creates an appetite which pushes me to raid the kitchen!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 06, 2009 1:43 AM GMT
    If it's got a low GI, low fat content, and reasonable protein content, you're just fine. I.e. don't be eating anything deep-fried or loaded with simple carbs.
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    Jan 06, 2009 2:23 AM GMT
    so no deep fried jelly beans. icon_confused.gif

  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Jan 06, 2009 2:23 AM GMT
    It depends what the point of your diet it. If you're just trying to eat healthier because you want to control your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, go nuts with the fruit and veggies. If you're also trying to lose weight, you need to pay attention to calories, and burn more in a day than you consume. At the end f the evening, if you've eaten more calories than you've burned, you'll store the extra. First it goes to glycogen, which is kind of the animal equivalent to starch and stored in your liver and muscles. After you've filled your glycogen stores, your body will turn the excess into fat, regardless of whether those extra calories came from fried chicken or from steamed spinach.

    In general, you're right, going cold turkey is difficult on diets. You're better off trying to consciously eat some things which are good for you (such as those whole fruits and veggies, low fat yogurt, and cottage cheese). Even within the fruit and veggies, some will be better for weight loss than others; the starchier, sweeter, or more oily it is, the more calories you're likely to get in a small amount of it. Also good to consider are things like part skim milk string cheeses, scrambled egg whites, healthy cereals (think high fiber, whole grain, low sugar).

    Also good to consider is that there are snack foods which are better for you than others. Air popped popcorn isn't too bad for you, as it's essentially just exploded corn. Just don't go crazy with the butter.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 06, 2009 2:27 AM GMT
    Don't get too dependent on bars. Read the ingredients on a Power Bar. It's all sugar. It's fine if you missed a meal and you need some fuel before a workout, but it's not a good idea as a daily snack. Protein bars are hit or miss. I got sick of eating them. Plus, some of them are loaded with inferior protein sources.

    Veggies are usually good since they have very little calories. Plus, the fiber helps you feel full. Fruits are ok too. But not too much, because it's all sugar.

    Hard boiled eggs are easy to prepare and easy to transport. It's a source of protein. And you can easily pop out the yolks if you're trying to watch your cholesterol.

    Another semi-decent snack is beef jerky. But look for the low salt variety.

    Meal replacement shakes are nice to have between meals. Just check the ingredients and make sure it's not loaded with empty calories. Also, most MRP's are sweetened with artificial sweeteners. So if you're sensitive to those things, then check the labels before buying.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 06, 2009 2:40 AM GMT
    I've always heard of a celery stick with a little bit of cream cheese or peanut butter smoothed into the groove is a good snack. icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 06, 2009 3:00 AM GMT
    Lostboy76 saidso no deep fried jelly beans. icon_confused.gif


    Damn... those are my favorite! 'specially coated in cheese breading. Mmmmm!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 06, 2009 3:11 AM GMT
    In general, low glycemic index carbs, that are not processed would be best. Raw fruits, and veggies.

    You want to, of course, combine that with quality low-fat protein, and quality mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats. Meat, fish, poultry. Nuts...fish oil, olive oil, grapeseed oil, mct oil.

    Contingent to your BMR, and activity level, your amounts of food will very.

    Most good bodybuilding boards will have a plethora of good articles about this.

    Bodybuilders are the experts of sports nutrition.

    You want to make sure you're getting enough calories. A 150kcal snack isn't enough for an active person. Better to have 6 meals at 600kcal, with a nice even metabolism and blood sugar.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Jan 06, 2009 9:23 AM GMT
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 06, 2009 5:06 PM GMT
    Hello everyone,

    Thanks for all the replies.)

    I am changing my diet to lose weight and to lower my blood pressure.

    My cholesterol has never been a problem as it is between 110-120 and even with all the bad food I eat that is where it stays. My doctor checks it every time he does blood work and that is where it has been for years.

    Just to give you all a little history on my weight gain:

    1986 - 6'3" tall 151 pounds 29 inch waist
    2007 - 6'4" tall 197 pounds 36 inch waist
    2009 - 6'4" tall 232 pounds 38 inch waist

    As you can see I have a growing problem and I really would like my waist to stop playing catch up with my age.)

    I will be starting to work out and am looking into a gym membership but I would like to be able to see the new muscles instead of having them buried under all these layers of fat.

    I am fine boned so I do not see myself ever getting really big but a nice slim build would be nice.)

    I am such a newbie with all this nutrition stuff and I have no idea what you all are talking about with the glucerin index, mono this and poly that so can someone point me to something that explains this stuff.


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    Jan 14, 2009 8:04 PM GMT
    MikemikeMike saidAlmonds

    I like to get some organic almonds and brown them up a bit in a pan to bring out the flavor. Tastes great but have to be careful in going overboard.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 14, 2009 8:08 PM GMT
    I agree with almonds - I eat them after workouts. I also like other snack foods like granola, apples, pineapple, berries, fruit of most any kind. This is not really a snack but don't overlook all the value in a simple sweet potato (or yam).
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 24, 2009 1:13 PM GMT
    Some healthy snacks I enjoy:

    3 Reduced Fat Friggio String Cheese, Apple
    Low Fat Cottage Cheese and Dannon Light and fit yogurt
    Cottage Cheese, Apple, Almonds

    Protein Dip: Blended Cottage Cheese, Fage Yogurt, Salsa, hot peppers
    I use veggies and whole grain pitas to dip in the concoction.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 24, 2009 1:18 PM GMT
    sounds so cliche but I love fat free vanilla yogurt with berries and some granola. I'm sure I sound like a tree hugging lesbian, but I love what I love!

    I am big fan of nuts too (NO JOKES!). Trail mix too!

  • underbearboy

    Posts: 74

    Apr 25, 2009 11:50 AM GMT
    Most of my between-meal snacking was seated on the couch watching DVD's, so I had find healthy alternatives to the bag of potato chips or or the 1/2 dozen Dunkin' Donuts.

    I generally will cook carrots (in advance) for 8-10 minuts till firm, chill and dip in non-salty seasonings... so I have something to keep my mouth occupied! LOL Sometimes I'll microwave a big bowl of spinach (something I like now, but HATED as a kid) with a little bit of low-calorie spread. If I'm still hungry (usually not!) then I have a bag of no-salt, no-butter popcorn as a treat. Alot of my snacking had less to do with being hungry, than with some psychological thing of just having the 'need' for munchies around me. I'm looking at getting an exercise bicycle and at least spending 1/2 my time in front of TV doing that.

    Except for fruits, I don't much care for anything raw and hard (well, other than sex, that is!)

    I've been dieting since 2/1/09... I've learned that I just can't have "UNHEALTHY" tempting things in the house, so I WILL eat the whole box/bag in 2 sittings. I have learned to check all labels... even of supposedly 'healthy' foods and snacks... definitely more time-consuming, but worth it for the losing weight routine.