Be Innovative with Treats.. But Be Prepared!
We are creatures of habit.. and habits are an underlying cause of our food cravings. If you break your cravings down into tasty categories, such as sweet, salty, crunchy or comfort food, you can keep sensible yet satisfying solutions on hand.
When you're craving crunchy, try dipping baby carrots into hummus. Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A and beta carotene, while hummus adds protein. You can find pre-packaged baby carrots at the store and there are many varieties of hummus available. You can also satisfy your need for crunch by slicing jicama root (which are high in nutrients) and use salsa for your dip; or sprinkle jicama slices with chili powder and salt for true "South of the Border" snack.
Feel like you need a warm treat.. maybe a comfort food? Then microwave a baked potato for an easy snack that's loaded with vitamin C, and not with calories. To control your consumption and caloric intake, use half of a medium-sized baking potato which has about 80 calories. Do not peel and eat the skin, which is packed with nutrients. You can be creative with seasonings or spread a tablespoon of salsa on top to spice up your snack. Either will add flavor without significantly boosting the calorie count.
Grapes and watermelon cubes are loaded with water and the water content helps to keep your body hydrated. These sweet treats create both a sense of fullness and satisfaction. Grapes are a terrific source of vitamin K and manganese, plus they contain some fiber to boot. Watermelon has zero fat and no cholesterol; and each slice contains potassium, vitamins A, B6 and C as well as a powerful antioxidant (lycopene). Both are great fresh food snacks that can be eaten right out of the refrigerator.
Craving something salty? Don't let the high fat content in pistachios worry you as most of the fat is unsaturated (good) fat. Plus, the nuts are rich in protein, fiber, and contain several important nutrients. To control consumption, portion out snack servings ahead of time instead of eating pistachios directly from the container. If you need to manage your consumption of sodium, simply eat them raw or dry roasted without salt.
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