By: Laura M. Howell
Eating Healthy snacks in the afternoon is no longer reserved only for toddlers and school age children. Eating healthy snacks in the afternoon is a key component to staying on track to reaching or maintaining your health and fitness goals. The problem is it's hard to come up with healthy snacks to eat in the afternoon. We've all been in this scenario... you're starving, lunch was at least two hours ago and dinner is a minimum of two hours away. You can’t not eat. You told yourself yesterday that goldfish crackers were not an option and that you were going to break up with the office vending machine. So, what are you supposed to eat? The woman next to you is eating a bag of carrots. Yum. Not. You read on the latest health blog that edamame is a great snack option. Yes, that's true but that would keep you full for maybe 10 minutes. Lets get real here, you want something that is healthy, easy to prepare and will actually fill you up for the next few hours. So, the question remains: "what is the best afternoon snack for a normal, healthy adult to eat? " I'm glad you asked. In the following paragraphs I will give you more information on what nutrients to looking for in an afternoon snack and at the end I will tell you my 10 favorite healthy snacks to eat in the afternoon.
What Nutrients to Look For in a Healthy Afternoon Snack
Coming up with healthy snacks to eat in the afternoon can be a challenge. Along with tasting good you also want to be eating something with the right macronutrients. Macronutrients are the the large classifications of food nutrients needed to survive. The three macronutrients are: protein, carbohydrates and fat.
- Protein. You want your afternoon snack to have a good punch of protein in it. Protein makes you feel satisfied and keeps you full longer. In addition, protein is muscles best friend. Muscles are made from protein and protein is the main nutrient in muscle recovery.
- Carbohydrates. Carbs are food for the brain. Carbohydrates are going to keep you from leaving your phone at work and remind you about your best friend's birthday. Plus, they pretty much make everything better.
- Fat. Similar to protein fat also has a satisfying element. Even a few grams of fat can make normally bland food taste better. If you have the choice between a fat-free or low-fat food always go for the low-fat option. Have you tried fat-free cottage cheese? Yuck, exactly.
Do you also love snacking before bed? Me too! Check out this article from the "Learning Center":
10 Healthy Snacks to Eat in the Afternoon
- Protein shake with fruit. A serving or scoop of quality low-sugar protein powder and 1-serving (or 1 cup) of fruit blended in or on the side.
- Protein bar. A bar with under 10 grams of sugar, at least 15 grams of protein and under 35 grams of carbohydrates.
- Low-fat cottage cheese and fruit/vegetables. 1-cup of low-fat cottage cheese served with 1-serving (or 1 cup) of fruit or raw vegetables.
- Greek yogurt and fruit. 1-cup of high-protein/low-sugar greek yogurt mixed with 1-serving (or 1 cup) of fruit.
- Boiled eggs and fruit/vegetable. 2 whole boiled eggs with 1-serving (or 1 cup) of fruit or raw vegetables.
- Light egg and english muffin sandwich. Low-fat english muffin with 2 whole eggs in between.
- Low-cat cheese sticks and whole-wheat crackers. 2 light cheese sticks with a serving of 100% whole wheat crackers on the side.
- Low-tat tuna and whole-wheat crackers. 1 can of tuna mixed with 1 tablespoon of low-fat mayo with a serving of 100% whole-wheat crackers on the side.
- Organic turkey slices and fruit/vegetables. 4 slices of lean organic turkey breast with 1-serving (or 1 cup) of fruit or raw vegetables on the side.
- Whole wheat bread and peanut butter. 1 slice of 100% whole-wheat bread with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter spread on top.
What's your go-to afternoon snack?