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Smart Snacks

Martha Stewart Living, September 2005

Did You Know?

Eating nourishing snacks such as fruits and vegetables can keep you from overindulging at mealtimes— and so reduce your overall calorie intake.

The healthiest foods, and how to prepare and enjoy them.

If your mother used to sit you down after school with a plate of cookies, you might be in the habit, even as an adult, of reaching for sugary or high-calorie snacks to quiet a rumbling stomach. But no matter how old you are, packaged sweets and prefab treats don’t belong between meals.

Pick healthful nibbles, instead, and you’ll replenish nutrients and restore energy. “If you eat junky snacks, they taste good, but they don’t take the edge off your hunger,” says Samantha Heller, a senior clinical nutritionist at New York University Medical Center.

A mix of carbohydrates, protein, and fat, on the other hand, will give a sense of satiety. Snacks should be low in fat and limited to a few hundred calories. “And portions should be snack-size, not meal-size,” Heller says.

Follow these links to find simple and filling snacks that are sure to please, whether you crave something salty or sweet, crunchy or chewy. They include slimmed-down popcorn, horseradish-spiked vegetable juice, and tangy citrus-fruit salad. There are even date-coconut bars, perfect, as it happens, for an after-work snack.

   Chili-Lime Popcorn

   Jicama-Citrus Salad

   Vegetable Juice

   Coconut-Date Bars

   Blue Cheese With Crudites