Most of us can’t get through the day without having at least a couple of snacks along the way. Whether it’s to help you fuel up before a workout, offer an effective quick recovery after exercise, or just to even out your hunger so you’re not starving come lunch or dinner, these mini-meals are an essential part of any active woman’s diet. For best results, focus on those with key nutrients like protein and fiber, rather than high-sugar or processed treats. Try these smarter choices the next time you reach for a snack.
They’re portable, convenient, and perfect for busy women. They include a nice dose of muscle-building protein (6 grams per ounce); healthy fats (more than 12 grams per ounce, with about half of these monounsaturated fats); fiber (almost 3 grams per ounce); and a whole slew of other important nutrients (including vitamin B6, copper, manganese, and potassium). Bonus: It takes a little time to get to the nut with the in-shell version, so you’re less likely to mindlessly overeat.
Salmon and Tuna
Packed with protein and high in omega-3 fatty acids, both salmon and tuna are ideal choices for lunch or dinner. But they’re not always the most convenient options when you’re out and about. Try the ready-to-eat pouch or canned versions of these classic foods. Just open and you’re good to go.
Long considered the perfect snack food because of their high portability and variety of flavors, these bars need to have at least a combined 10 grams of protein and fiber to balance out your nutrition needs while filling you up. They should also have fewer than 250 calories, since they’re meant to be snacks, not meals. I also like a relatively short list of ingredients, featuring foods like nuts, seeds, and dried fruit.
This dairy classic is an amazing source of quality protein—up to 14 grams in a 4-ounce serving, with about 80 calories for the low-fat variety. Enjoy it plain or with fresh fruit, or for a surprising savory taste, top with fresh basil, tomatoes, and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Here’s a great snack—high in protein, rich in calcium, and an easy option when you’re on the run, especially in the packaged versions available in most dairy cases. Pair it with an apple or pear and you’ve got a perfect flavor combo that’s also nutritionally balanced.
With half the sugar and double the protein of “traditional” yogurts, Greek yogurt is the preferred choice for savvy snackers, packing in 12 to 16 grams of protein per serving.
BY CHRIS MOHR, PH.D., R.D.