If you love a sweet snack such as yogurt, granola bar, or a muffin, but find that snack just makes you crave more sugary snacks, you’re not alone. Eating lots of simple carbohydrates — without the backup of proteins or fiber — can quickly satisfy cravings and give your body a short-term energy boost, but they almost as quickly leave you famished again and craving more.
Instead, choose a healthy, whole food snack that is free of added sugar. These types of snacks can be more affordable, more satisfying, and just as convenient as packaged, processed snacks that often contain added sugar, even when they are marketed as “healthy.”
Some of us don’t snack at all, while some of us do. Snacking can be beneficial if you are truly hungry between meals, and if you make a healthy choice. Snacking because of stress, boredom, anger, loneliness, or out of habit may be better addressed with a healthy alternative such as going for a walk, talking to a friend, or trying meditation.
The UC Berkeley Wellness Letter’s How to Buy a Healthy Snack recommends buying or making snacks that include some protein and fiber, and are free of added sugar. Spark People gives 11 simple, savory snack ideas and here are a few to get you started:
- Raw veggies with dip, such as hummus or guacamole
- Fresh fruit with a handful of almonds, or other unsweetened nuts or seeds
- Plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit
- Whole grain crackers with a little bit of cheese or nut butter
- Air-popped popcorn and a hard-boiled egg
See Health*Matters Resources to learn more about sugar in the food and beverages you consume.