May 10, 2014

Snacks for the 24 Day Challenge

Many of my friends are doing a 24 day challenge and each of them have different goals.  For those of you looking for to eat healthier I would like to share some healthy snack ideas.  For those of you trying to lose weight I would like to share the lower calorie snack ideas as healthy food is not always low calorie.  So I will show some low cal vs higher cal options.

Number of Calories Per Cup in each of these High Calorie items

Avocado - 234 calories

Edamame -189 calories

Hummus - 409 calories  This  is made from chick peas, which is a healthy bean, and beans typically contain more calories and carbohydrates which is why something so small could be so loaded with calories.

Nuts, seeds and all dried fruit are much better options than potato chips, cookies, doughnuts, etc. but it is important to pay attention to the serving size because they are high in calories and can allow a person to over consume their daily value.  I have already included the nutritious info on these things in another blog that I linked here and in the first statement.

Canned fruit comes loaded with sugars and syrups which totally defeat the purpose.  It makes it taste extra fabulous but at the cost of increased calories, sugar and carbs.   Remember, we need carbohydrates to fuel our body and brain.  People should not avoid carbs, just be aware not to over consume.

Coconut - 283 calories   HOLY CRAP!!

Mango -99 calories.  I list these under the high calorie side because they have 23 grams of sugar and while there is fiber it is only 2.6 grams of fiber which is not enough to justify that much sugar while trying to lose weight.  Try eating these in moderation while losing weight.

Banana -200.  Most of us do not measure out 1 cup of banana and what we usually do is just buy small, medium or large bananas.  To put this into perspective, a large banana is 180 calories.  If you stick to the small ones you will be at 120 calories.  Another point is they are also high in sugars so try eating these in moderation during weight loss as well.

All Oils - Olive, coconut, vegetable, etc.  I threw this in here because it is important to be aware of how much we use while cooking.  I know we are not drinking it for snacks but most of us do not measure while cooking.  I use a spray bottle which  helps reduce the amount that comes out plus there are no chemicals from coming in a can.

Peanut Butter - A serving of peanut butter is 2 TBSP and packs a whopping 180 calories, which you have probably seen on the labels.  Combine this with an apple or celery for a great, satisfying snack.  The problem with this is most people do not use 2 TBSP of PB.  It is usually much more than that but as long as you are measuring 2 TBSP and being aware of the rest of your daily intake, then you should be OK.

Low Cal Veggie Options per Cup

Cucumber- 16 cal and a great idea for cucumber is to use it, instead of chips, to dip salsa

Zucchini -19 cal.  Zucchini is fabulous sauteed, on sandwiches, with eggs and used as a boat.  I will have to dig out some of my zucchini boat recipes which tops the zucchini with turkey burger and sauce.... soooo good!

Bell Peppers red -46 calories and green contains 30 cal per cup.  Orange has 35 cal and yellow contains 40 calories.  Not bad, right?

Tomato -32

Broccoli - 31

Cauliflower - 27   - cauliflower can be used to replace mashed potatoes by steaming, seasoning and mashing

Kale -33 calories.  I don't know about you but I will not be munching on a cup of kale as a snack but I do like kale chips.  The oil adds to this a bit but as long as you are using the spray bottle to keep servings down, it should be ok.  Remember 1 TBSP of oil is 120-160 calories.

Carrots -45

Green Beans - 31 - This is something great to keep on hand in the event time is short for meal prep.  Just whip out a can, add a little seasoning and voila!

Asparagus -28 calories - this is one of my personal favs because there are so many ways to season it and make it taste different.  Each way is always so delish!

Low Cal Fruit Per Cup

Apple -small-medium - 80 cal

Watermelon- 45 calories per cup, cantaloupe -53 calories per cup and honeydew -61 calories per cup and are all fruits that contain a high amount of water.  We already know we need water and I am not suggesting this be your source of water but I am saying that it will help you feel more full while you are eating it.  Besides, they also contain generous amounts of fiber - which we definitely need for regularity and did you know it helps reduce LDL, known as "bad" cholesterol?  It also helps slow the absorption of sugar which is good for regulation of blood sugar.  Sometimes people are concerned that these fruits are higher in sugar but, again, they are loaded with fiber which helps counteract that.

Strawberries -75
Blueberries - 85
Grapes - 60
Pears -90
Oranges - 45 calories for a small one

Other Low Cal Options

Low-fat cottage cheese 100 calories AND high in protein so you will help retain muscle.  Why is this important?  Lean muscle burns more fat at a resting, imagine what it does when it motion!

Low fat Greek Yogurt - 140 calories and EVEN higher in protein.  This is one of my personal favs because it works so well with feeding the muscle.  Again, great for building and maintaining lean muscle.  PS, flavors increase the caloric content and it may take a little getting used to the tart, bold flavor of this type of yogurt.  But that is why we tend to choose other options and those are the choices that do not benefit us.

Hard broiled eggs- 70 calories

Sweet Potatoes 114 cal- While these are not typical snacks for most people, I have used these for snacks to get in a good carb and these are commonly used by fitness pros during their snack time as well.

Making good choices can be difficult and I only scraped the surface because there are a million and one other choices but I hope this helps.  Please ask questions or leave comments below.

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  1. Thanks for sharing this great info. I could see how some of the foods you have listed could give off mixed signals on whether or not they are healthy. I love avacados as a snack, but I don't need all of those calories. I know peanut butter can have a lot of calories too. What do you think about cashew, almond or natural peanut butter?

    1. Great question. I thinkt he same thing of all other nut butters as they are good for you and are nutritious but can pack in calories. It is important to be aware of serving sizes to avoid over consumption.

  2. Very nicely presented and good info as well.

  3. Thanks for the informative post. I'm trying to lose a bit of weight right now, so this is a great reference point. Luckily for me, I actually tend to prefer lower calorie fruit and veg, so I'm not dealing with too much of a struggle when it comes to things like that.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Kerry. Weight loss can be tricky and I hope that your journey is successful. It sounds like you are already on your way since you prefer the lower cal versions anyway :)

  4. Replies
    1. I LOVE hummus and when I eat it, it is more like the main course rather than a snack. LOL

  5. Love all of the great info in this post! I wish I wasn't so allergic to avocados! Kale and spinach salads with some pomegranate vin. dressing is SO good. :)

    1. I have been CRAZY with the kale lately! I put it everywhere I possibly can! Pomegranate vin. dressing sounds amazing, I'll have to try.