What you choose to snack on between meals can be the difference between a healthy and unhealthy lifestyle, according to a recent study from the USDA. The researchers found that your daily snacking habits "are adding too many calories or too few nutrients to our diets," according to Health. Fortunately, some intentional snacking can boost your metabolism and help your body operate at maximum efficiency, as pointed out by Susan Bowerman, a registered dietitian and assistant director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition. She recommends snacking on foods around 200 calories with 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber in order to help you stay energized and lose weight. Here are the top three fat-burning snacks that fit this nutritional profile, according to Bowerman:
A Cottage Cheese–Filled Avocado
Coming out to 200 calories, 9 grams of protein, and 7 grams of fiber, a pitted avocado filled with cream cheese is a creamy, rich take on the foolproof fruit-and-dairy combo. Bowerman recommends using 1% cottage cheese to keep the fat content low.
An Apple and Skim Milk
"Almost any fruit is going to make a great snack, but you usually want to pair it with a bit of protein to make it more satisfying," Bowerman told Health. "Unlike carbohydrates, which get used up relatively quickly, protein will help sustain your energy and hunger levels for a couple of hours." With roughly 200 calories, 10 grams of protein, and five grams of fiber, a large apple paired with a glass of skim milk fits the bill.
Canned Tuna on Whole Wheat Crackers
A Kardashian favorite, a can of water-based tuna paired with a crisp whole wheat cracker is a great midafternoon snack for the office. A hearty source of protein and omega-3s, this 200-calorie snack is packed with 3 grams of fiber and a whopping 20 grams of protein.
Head over to Health for the full list of nutritious snacks, and share your favorite power snacks in the comments below!