Carbohydrates have a very intimate attachment with many people.
Remembering the smell of pie cooking as a child, eating hot pizza after a long day of work, or sneaking a nice piece of chocolate in the bathroom as the kids scream at the door all help to release those feel-good hormones we crave in times of stress.
But there are ways to get a tasty snack in without derailing all the efforts you have made to be in a healthy place mentally and physically- and we are going to tell you the best ones!
Turning to the delicious, yet temporary, delights listed above are okay occasionally, but eating them habitually will do damage to your body and your waistline over time.
Carbs definitely get a bad rep in the health and fitness department, often becoming the nemesis of a weight loss diet.
However, carbohydrates, along with all other members of the food groups, are important to a balanced diet that you can maintain for more than a month or two.
Carbs are needed for cell function in all areas of your body, but too much of them can easily tip the scales to consuming more calories than you are burning- thus contributing to weight gain.
So, how low should a low-carb snack be? According to Amy Shapiro, RD, founder of Real Nutrition, “a snack might be considered low-carb if it contains under eight grams of carbs,” reports Women’s Health.
Although, what categorizes as low-carb depends specifically on the individual and their weight, dietary needs, and weight-loss goals, Valerie Goldberg, RD, warns Women’s Health.
To get you started on your healthy journey, we will show you four of the best low-carb snacks to replace the mid-morning cookie or chips on the way home from work.
Raspberries have a tart and slightly sweet flavor with a juicy texture that is both satisfying and delicious.
The high fiber content gives you a low net carb count (total carbohydrates minus fiber is how many carbs you will absorb in your body).
With only 7g of carbs and 4g of fiber a serving its about one of the only things you can eat an entire container of and not feel guilty.
2. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt has been a staple in many athletes and fitness minded individuals for some time, and for good reason.
It is high in protein and low in carbs, which means it will keep you feeling fuller longer without spiking your blood sugar.
Shapiro enjoys how it is so easily available too, saying:
“Best yet, these days you can find Greek yogurt at 7-11, Starbucks, or even in the airport”
With 8g of carbs and 5g of fiber you can grab this snack anywhere you are with a good conscious, even topping it with cinnamon for increased antioxidants or raspberries for extra vitamins.
When you think of cauliflower you may think more of the vegetable your mom made you eat as kid more than a snack you want to grab when you are in a rush.
But the versatile cruciferous vegetable with only 4g of carbs a serving has come a long way since then.
You can make breads, mock buffalo wings, and even a rice replacement using the little white trees.
To make an easy cauliflower pizza crust for a mouth-watering pizza with all the flavor and nearly none of the carbs, use Katie Lee’s recipe from the Food Network:
“In a bowl, combine the cauliflower with the mozzarella, Parmesan, oregano, salt, garlic powder and eggs. Transfer to the center of the baking sheet and spread into a circle, resembling a pizza crust. Bake for 20 minutes. Add desired toppings and bake an additional 10 minutes.”
4. Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are packed full of protein with 9g a serving and go with just about everything- sweet or savory.
Add the seeds with only 3g of carbs a serving to salads for a nice crunch or bring them on a hike to keep you fueled until your next meal over a campfire.
Also, pumpkin seeds are great for balancing hormones with their high levels of zinc, “which helps support progesterone production as you move towards the progesterone rise in the second phase of your cycle,” according to Nourished by Nutrition.
The second phase of your menstrual cycle begins when you ovulate and ends with the first day of your period.
Whichever of these snacks you make your go-to food to satisfy your cravings and your waistline, you are sure to feel better while staying steadfast on your fitness journey.
(h/t Mommy Underground)