This article is based on information from the Center for Disease Control.

Most of us like to snack.  Most of us also don't think to much about our snack; we just try to keep them small so we don't ruin our dinners or gain too much weight.

What the Research Says

Research has a lot to say about snacking: the benefits, the consequences, and especially what snacks are the best.  Below are some highlights from what the research says about snacking:

  • Snacking can help control a person's appetite by preventing overeating at meals.  Across the board, snacking is connected with lower obesity rates, whether or not the snacker skipped meals.
  • Snacking can be a great way to lose weight.  Individuals looking to lose weight can feel fuller on fewer calories by including snacks in their daily meal plans.
  • Snacking can help fuel your body and prepare for or recover from physical activity.
  • Snacking can also introduce more good-for-you nutrients and vitamins throughout your day.  This is especially true when you eat fruits or cut up vegetables for your snack.
  • For older Americans, snacking can help them maintain their micronutrient consumption.  As older adults experience decreased appetite, snacking can be a way to continue to get the nutrients they need to stay healthy.

Of course, how true these points are for you depends on what you eat as your snack.  here are some super snacks that are healthy and under 100 calories.

Edamame

Eating a 1/3 of cup of young soybeans (edamame) is one of the healthiest snacks you can find.  it has more than 8 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber.  It also has nearly 10% of your recommended daily allowance of iron.  Total: 92 calories

Baby Carrots with Hummus

Crunch on this!  Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A and beta carotene.  Hummus ads protein. It's convenient and delicious. Total: 90 calories

Baked Apple

Put a twist on the ol' standby snack.  Add some cinnamon without adding calories and get the same great vitamins and minerals you would from eating a fresh apple.  Total: 95 calories

Almonds

Eating nuts is great, but eating too many nuts won't help you.  You can eat 14 almonds without hitting the 100-calorie mark.  You'll get lots of fiber and protein while you're at it.  Total: 98 calories

Pistachios

Similar to almonds, get your protein, fiber, and several key vitamins and minerals by eating 20 pistachios.  Try eating them raw or unsalted so you don't add in an unhealthy dose of sodium.  Total: 80 calories

Grapes

Low on vitamin K or manganese?  Eat a cup of grapes.  Since grapes are full of water, a cup of grapes only contains 62 calories.  Feel full and hydrated without filling your gut.  Total: 62 calories

See all 25 super snacks by visiting the CDC website.

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