Easy Low-Carb Snack Ideas
Grapes and Grahams
Want a crunchy, sweet treat that's quick and easy to whip together? Spread 1 tablespoon light cream cheese on 2 graham cracker squares and top with 1/4 cup halved grapes.
Fruit and Nut Yogurt
Need a snack that will help you go the extra mile? Sprinkle 1 tablespoon dried cranberries and 1 tablespoon toasted slivered almonds atop a 6-ounce carton of plain fat-free Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt has more protein than its regular counterpart to keep you satisfied longer, and the sweet cranberries will balance the tangy zip of the yogurt.
Cereal Nut Mix
Get a good dose of fiber by mixing 1/2 cup unsweetened miniature shredded wheat cereal, 1 tablespoon dried cranberries, and 1 tablespoon roasted pistachio nuts. By using unsalted nuts, you'll keep the sodium to a record low of 2 milligrams.
Pear and Cheese
Pears and cheese go together like peanut butter and jelly. So next time you need a hearty snack, choose a small pear and a light cheese stick. The cheese will help you meet your calcium goal by providing 16 percent of your daily needs, and the pear provides 4 grams of fiber, getting you that much closer to the recommended 25-35 grams a day.
Tuna Salad Crisps
Tuna salad doesn't have to be reserved for lunch. Combine 2 ounces of drained water-packed light tuna with 1 teaspoon light mayonnaise and 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard, and spoon the mixture atop 2 rye crisps for a satisfying snack packed with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Avocado-Tomato Open-Face Sandwich
Mash 1/4 of a peeled avocado and stir in a dash of garlic salt. Spread onto a slice of toasted whole grain bread and top with a couple of tomato slices for a snack that is packed with flavor and fiber. Even with the generous amount of avocado, this snack contains only 150 calories.
Bananas About Chocolate
For a treat that's both decadent and healthy, slice half a banana and dip it in 1/2 ounce melted dark chocolate. Studies suggest that components in dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure.
Guacamole and Veggies
For a crunchy, south-of-the-border snack, dip 1/2 of a red sweet pepper, sliced, and 1/2 cup carrot sticks in 1/4 cup purchased guacamole. You'll cover your daily needs for vitamin A with the carrots, plus you'll more than meet your daily vitamin C needs thanks to the sweet pepper strips.
For a super quick snack anyone will love, toast half of a round whole grain sandwich thin and top with a couple tomato slices, one sliced fresh mushroom, and a couple tablespoons of shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese. Pop it under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes for a warm, melty treat. The best part -- it's only 100 calories.
Ham and Pineapple
For a low-fat snack that's sure to please, cut 1 ounce of thinly sliced deli ham into long strips and fold the slices accordion style. Skewer the folded ham slices with chunks of pineapple. Stick to 3/4 cup pineapple, and look for lower-sodium ham.
Chips and Dip
Craving something crunchy? Go for the classic combination of chips and salsa. Choose 1/4 cup of your favorite salsa, whether it's mild, medium, or hot, and 3/4 ounce baked tortilla chips.
Yogurt and Fruit Parfait
For a fun, flavorful way to get 25 percent of your daily calcium needs, whip up a quick fruit and yogurt parfait. Layer a 6-ounce carton of fat-free lemon-flavor yogurt with 1/3 cup fresh raspberries and 3 tablespoons puffed wheat, kamut, or millet cereal. Be sure to choose yogurt that is sweetened with an artificial sweetener.
Cucumber-Topped Rye Crisps
Rye crisps make an all-star snack because they are fat-free, low in sodium, and oh, so crunchy. Jazz them up by spreading 2 rye crisps with 2 tablespoons light onion-flavor cream cheese and topping with 1/4 cup sliced cucumber.
Strawberries and Fruit Dip
Strawberries pick up the slack to provide vitamin C in the summer when oranges are out of season. For a creamy dip to serve with a cup of fresh strawberries -- which will provide 150 percent of your daily vitamin C needs -- stir together 1 tablespoon light cream cheese and 1 tablespoon low-sugar orange marmalade.
Add some veggies to your diet with these simple, flavorful roll-ups. Spread 2 tablespoons purchased hummus on an 8-inch low-carb tortilla. Top with 1/4 of a red sweet pepper, sliced, and four quartered cherry tomatoes. Roll up the tortilla and cut into 1-inch slices for bite-size treats.
Dried apricot halves are a humble little snack, but eight of them will satisfy your sweet tooth and provide 20 percent of your daily vitamin A needs.
Choose 6 ounces of light yogurt for a carb-friendly snack. Not only is creamy yogurt cool and sweet, it's a great source of calcium, too.
If you're hungry for a snack, grab one small orange and get a juicy dose of vitamin C as well as fiber, which helps keep blood glucose under control.
Frozen Fruit Bar
Next time those hunger pangs hit, pick a frozen sugar-free fruit bar--it will treat your sweet tooth and might also have extra vitamin C.
They're not just for kids! Graham crackers are convenient, portable, and offer that oh-so appealing crunch. Grab three graham cracker squares to get 15-20 g of carbs.
For a boost of calcium and a dash of creamy goodness, down a 10-ounce glass of skim or 1 percent milk. Opting for low-fat milk is good for your heart, too, because whole milk has five times more saturated fat.
Bread with Peanut Butter
When you need a more filling snack, spread one slice of whole wheat bread with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter. It's a hearty treat that's packed with protein and has heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.
If you have a hankering for a crunchy snack, skip the chips and grab 3 cups of light popcorn (no salt, no butter). Plus, popcorn is easy to grab on the go and full of fiber.
Apples come in so many varieties, it's easy to find the perfect flavor. Choose one small apple at snack time for a serving of fruit that's also a good source of soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps prevent cholesterol buildup.
English Muffin with Cheese and Apple Slices
Want a snack with ooey-gooey melted cheese? You're in the right place with this combo snack that includes half of a whole wheat English muffin, 1 ounce low-fat cheese, and a couple of apple slices (about 1/4 of a small apple). Set it in a toaster oven or under the broiler for a few seconds for a chewy snack that hits the spot.
Strawberries and Cottage Cheese
For a snack that mixes a serving of dairy with a serving of fresh fruit, combine 1 cup of strawberries and 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese. The combo provides a boost of vitamin C and calcium to your day.
Grape fans unite! Whether you love green, red, or Concord, pick 1 cup of your favorite grapes and munch away for a carb-friendly snack that's full of vitamin C.
Crackers with Peanut Butter
A little bit salty and a little bit sweet, a little bit crunchy and a little bit creamy, this snack combines the best of all worlds. Put together four of your own peanut butter cracker sandwiches or buy a 4-pack from the vending machine. Just make sure to use only 2 teaspoons of peanut butter total to keep it carb-friendly and opt for low-sodium crackers to keep sodium at bay.
Pudding with Banana Slices
Yes, you can have pudding! Just grab 1/2 cup of your favorite sugar-free pudding flavor, top with a few slices of banana, and you're good to go. Look for versions of pudding with calcium for an extra health boost. Plus, convenient snack packs make it even easier to take this treat with you.
It works for toddlers and for grown-ups! Tote 3/4 cup of Cheerios for a crunchy, fiber-filled treat.
Carrots with Ranch Dressing
For a boost of beta carotene, fiber, and vitamin A, you can't do much better than snacking on 15 baby carrots with 2 tablespoons light ranch dressing. Many supermarkets sell individual snack packs of carrots, too.
Pita Bread Pocket with Hummus
Hummus isn't just a fun party dip, it's a great everyday snack option, too. Made from ground garbanzo beans (chick peas), hummus is a flavorful way to get your fiber. Spread 1 tablespoon of hummus on half of a pita bread pocket (1 ounce) for a delicious low-fat snack.