Saturday, March 14, 2015

High-protein snacks

So many of the "protein bars" are full of ingredients you can't pronounce or ingredients that have been so processed, they become a glamorous candy bar. Best to stick to foods that you could possibly make at home with an ingredient list you *do* understand and can pronounce!

When I say we want high-protein snacks, what I mean is a flat-belly friendly "low-glycemic" snack -- instead of a granola bar or rice cakes (diet food!) that are "low-fat" but high in simple carbs = simple sugars (not good for your managing your blood sugar or belly inches). The less sugar you eat, the less you crave it. The more you choose high-protein and low-glycemic snacks, the easier it is to feel full and be satisfied -- no more munchies!

Here are some ideas for healthy eating on-the-go.

Make your own trail mix: Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are not as popular as nuts and cost less than my favorite almonds. I take an empty jar and mix up my own trail mix, so that I can stretch my almonds and pistachios and get in the hard-to-grab healthy seeds. When you buy pre-made trail mix, it's pumped full of dried fruit that has extra sugar. If you choose to buy pre-made trail mix, add your own seeds and nuts to decrease the sugar and dried fruit ratio. For example, if you get the individual size mix at Trader Joe's, pair it up with an individual size packet of almonds.

Jerky: You might remember jerky as too dry or too chewy, but there are lots of new foodie flavors and you can even find a vegan jerky. The taste-testers at Women's Health magazine have a list of tasty jerky for you. My favorite so far is KRAVE. Always read the label of any processed food for how many grams of sugar per serving size, so 1) you can monitor your serving size and 2) you can stay under the recommended *maximum* sugar calories per day. For me it's easier to read grams on the label instead of calories and it translates to this guideline from World Health Organization of 6 tsp of sugar = 25g

Protein Bars: Health Warrior Chia Bars have a good amount of natural protein and fiber from the chia seeds. One little Coconut flavor Chia Bar is 110 calories, with 4g of sugar, 3g of Protein and 4g of Fiber.  Keen-wah bars are also tasty, but a lot of chocolate if you're not in the mood for too sweet. If you want a traditional "granola bar" taste, Cascadian Farms offers a pea-protein based granola bar that isn't too sweet.

Protein and Fiber helps you feel full and getting enough fiber helps you detox and maintain a flat belly from inside out.  Most of us are good at getting more protein, and we need a little help on getting more fiber (check out my flat belly post for help). One of my weight loss students ended up getting her veggies (and thus her fiber) by using a dehydrator to make veggie chips. However, you don't need a new gadget to get veggie chips -- simply bake them in your oven or toaster oven (recipes here).

No comments: