When your work schedule is packed and there’s no time to take a proper lunch, it can be all too easy to succumb to the easy convenience of the nearest vending machine. But salty and sugary snacks are far from satisfying, and the long term health effects of eating a steady diet of what can generously be called ‘convenience’ food is frightening.
Instead, you should arm yourself in advance with a few healthy snack staples. Have a few of these on hand and you’ll ward off those vicious cravings while under the pump.
Popcorn’s great because it appeals to all of the senses. There’s the cheerful popping of the kernels in the microwave, the wonderful smell of popcorn, and the satisfying crunch it makes in your mouth. As long as it isn’t loaded down with lots of fatty butter and salt, popcorn is probably one of the lowest calorie options that you’ll come across. A big, satisfying bowl of the stuff will only set you back a mere 160 calories. Not bad at all!
Greek yogurt is a fantastic way to satisfy your craving for something sweet. It’s high in calcium as well as packed with protein, so it will likely keep you satisfied for longer. An individual serving will give you roughly 100 calories and 17 grams of protein.
Prepared the night before, hard-boiled eggs will give you a ready source of protein that will see you through your afternoon slump. Seasoned with a dash of salt and pepper and sliced on crackers, you’ll feel like you’ve had a full meal for only 78 calories.
Apples are sweet and juicy and give you a satisfying crunch, and when paired with the creaminess of peanut butter, the combination gives you a nutritionally complete snack. Just try to get your hands on the good quality peanut butter that has minimal preservatives to minimise your salt intake!
Opt for the low sodium beef jerky and you’ll be in good shape. This is another snack that is fun to eat that is packed with protein. It’s a particularly good choice for those on low carb diets.
These soybean wonder snacks are highly nutritious and convenient! You can bring frozen edamame in and steam it in the microwave or choose one of the roasted brands. Add a sprinkling of salt for flavor and you’re set! Edamame is low in calories and high in fiber and protein, so you won’t be filled with regret even if you indulge.
Hummus is super flavorful and contains lots of vitamins and healthy fats that your body needs. Use it as a dip with fresh veggies like carrot sticks and celery. By the time you eat 100 calories worth, you’ll be completely stuffed and ready to power through the rest of your day.
Granola bars are the highest calorie offerings on this list at generally more than 200 calories per bar. But you can keep a handful in a desk drawer and they will quietly sit there until you need an emergency fix. Just remember that they do tend to be packed with hidden sugars, so keep it to no more than one a day.
Almonds are calorie dense, but the fats they contain are healthy and only a handful will help keep you going until your next meal.
Having a healthy selection of snacks on hand will help keep you from caving in to those cravings for the high fat, high sugar and salt options that are waiting for you in the vending machine down the hall. And there’s definitely no need for you to feel like you have to deprive yourself if you want to eat healthy. With the snacks on this list, you can indulge without the guilt.
Zoe writes for StudySelect, Australia’s leading education online resource. She’s keen on learning about new self-improvement ideas and startup industry news.
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