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Diabetes Forecast

The Healthy Living Magazine

Sizing Up Snacks

Learn how to pack the right portions

By Tracey Neithercott ,

Eating more could help your health. Sounds impossible, but research shows that eating frequent but small meals could help you lower your cholesterol. And according to experts, it can also help you lose weight and better manage your diabetes. The idea behind eating more often is eating less per meal. Start by trimming your serving sizes (cut your usual breakfast, lunch, and dinner in half), then add healthy snacks every three hours. (See the October issue of Diabetes Forecast for more on snacking.)

Even though the idea of grazing sounds simple, picking the right snacks can be complicated. It's easy to estimate incorrectly, setting yourself up for too many calories per day. To help you visualize portion sizes, we've come up with four snacks that are all 200 calories. You may be surprised how satisfying 200 calories can be.

1. Cheese and crackers.

Cheese is notoriously high in fat, especially the heart-clogging saturated kind. Stick to small portions of cheese and add some whole grain crackers. For 200 calories you can have 15 Kashi TLC original seven-grain crackers with an ounce of Cabot 50 percent reduced fat sharp cheddar.

Crackers

Serving Size: 15 crackers
Calories: 130
Calories From Fat: 30
Total Fat: 3 grams
Saturated Fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Sodium: 160 milligrams
Total Carbohydrate: 22 grams
Dietary Fiber: 2 grams
Sugars: 3 grams
Protein: 3 grams

Cheese

Serving Size: 1 ounce (a 1-inch cube)
Calories: 70
Calories From Fat: 40
Total Fat: 4.5 grams
Saturated Fat: 3 grams
Cholesterol: 15 milligrams
Sodium: 170 milligrams
Total Carbohydrate: less than 1 gram
Dietary Fiber: 0 grams
Sugars: 0 grams
Protein: 8 grams

2. Grapes and yogurt dip.

Cure a craving for sweets by dipping 1 cup of grapes into a yogurt-and-whipped-cream mixture. Stir 2 tablespoons of Sugar Free Cool Whip into a 5.3-ounce container of Oikos Blueberry yogurt. The full snack is 200 calories.

Grapes

Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories: 60
Calories From Fat: 5
Total Fat: 0.5 grams
Saturated Fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Sodium: 0 milligrams
Total Carbohydrate: 16 grams
Dietary Fiber: less than 1 gram
Sugars: 15 grams
Protein: less than 1 gram

Yogurt

Serving Size: 5.3 ounces (1 container)
Calories: 120
Calories From Fat: 0
Total Fat: 0 grams
Saturated Fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Sodium: 70 milligrams
Total Carbohydrate: 16 grams
Dietary Fiber: 0 grams
Sugars: 15 grams
Protein: 13 grams

Whipped Cream

Serving Size: 2 Tbsp.
Calories: 20
Calories From Fat: 10
Total Fat: 1 gram
Saturated Fat: 1 gram
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Sodium: 0 milligrams
Total Carbohydrate: 3 grams
Dietary Fiber: 0 grams
Sugars: 0 grams
Protein: 0 grams

3. Popcorn.

Since it's high in fiber, popcorn will really fill you up. Plus, the low calorie and fat content means you can eat more popcorn for the same amount of calories than other snack foods. Stick with the low-fat version since flavors (like movie theater butter or caramel) lower the health value. For 200 calories, you can eat almost a full bag of Pop Secret's 94 Percent Fat Free Butter variety.

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving
Serving Size: 6 cups or 1/2 bag (30 grams)
Calories: 110
Calories From Fat: 15
Total Fat: 2 grams
Saturated Fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Sodium: 380 milligrams
Total Carbohydrate: 26 grams
Dietary Fiber: 4 grams
Protein: 4 grams

4. Vegetables and hummus.

The great thing about veggies is that they're so low in calories and fat you can practically eat without worry. For a 200-calorie snack, cut up a medium stalk of broccoli and two celery stalks then dip into 4 tablespoons of Sabra Roasted Red Pepper Hummus.

Broccoli

Amount Per Serving
Serving Size: 1 medium stalk
Calories: 45
Calories From Fat: 0
Total Fat: 0.5 grams
Saturated Fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Sodium: 80 milligrams
Total Carbohydrate: 8 grams
Dietary Fiber: 3 grams
Sugars: 2 grams
Protein: 4 grams

Celery

Amount Per Serving
Serving Size: 2 stalks
Calories: 15
Calories From Fat: 0
Total Fat: 0 grams
Saturated Fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Sodium: 115 milligrams
Total Carbohydrate: 4 grams
Dietary Fiber: 2 grams
Sugars: 2 grams
Protein: 0 grams

Hummus

Amount Per Serving
Serving Size: 2 Tbsp.
Calories: 70
Calories From Fat: 50
Total Fat: 6 grams
Saturated Fat: 1 gram
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Sodium: 120 milligrams
Total Carbohydrate: 3 grams
Dietary Fiber: 1 gram
Sugars: 0 grams
Protein: 1 gram

 
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