When you hit that mid-afternoon slump, you’ll eat pretty much anything to boost your energy. But if you reach for snacks from the office vending machine, you’re likely to end up feeling just as sluggish an hour later. Plan ahead and have one of these 12 healthy snacks on hand — they’re healthy, simple to prepare and all 150 calories or less.
You wouldn’t know it by looking at the calorie count for those huge bags of movie theatre popcorn, but air-popped popcorn is actually a tasty, low-calorie snack. It’s a whole grain, after all! Four cups of air-popped popcorn with a sprinkle of sea salt on top has just 130 calories.
If you’re craving the salty flavour of potato chips, kale chips can be a satisfying substitute. They have very few calories if you don’t use too much oil, which means you can also enjoy them with your favourite dip.
Veggies and Ranch Dressing
If you love salads with ranch dressing, you can enjoy that tasty flavour as a snack with a handful of low-cal veggies, like chopped cauliflower and celery.
Hard Boiled Eggs
Eggs don’t deserve their bad reputation—after all, one large hard-boiled egg provides filling fat and protein, along with essential vitamins and minerals, for just 80 calories. Enjoy one with a small piece of fresh fruit for a low-cal snack.
Try this recipe for Soft Hard-Boiled Eggs
This protein-rich snack is lower in calories than you might expect — five ounces of low-fat Greek yogurt has just 105 calories. Mix in some fresh berries or chopped fruit like pineapple to add flavour and fibre for just a few extra calories.
Yes, it’s a diet cliche, but cottage cheese packs in filling protein for minimum calories — just 100 calories for a half cup of 2-percent cottage cheese. Mix in your favourite fruit to add flavour and extra vitamin’s to go with the cheese’s calcium.
Avocados have long been avoided by the calorie conscious because of their high fat content, but the health value of those fats makes them worth having, in moderation. Try an ounce of avocado (45 calories) spread on a piece of whole-grain toast (100 calories). Add some fruit and yogurt on the side and you’ve got a satisfying breakfast.
Craving something sweet? Fresh pineapple — or pineapple canned in water instead of syrup — can curb your cravings without a ton of calories or added sugar. A cup and a half of chopped pineapple has just 125 calories, along with 3.5 grams of fibre and lots of essential vitamins and minerals.
Terri Coles is a freelance writer living in St. John’s, NL. She writes regularly about food, health, nutrition, and travel.