By Erika McKay, General Counsel, Alabama Department of Commerce
For many of us, the transition from working from home to returning to the office required a shift in eating habits. The ease of access to our personal pantry was relegated to – at worst – a small drawer in our desk, or – at best – a community fridge shared among a dozen or so coworkers.
The importance of healthy office snacks has only been amplified after the dreaded “quaranfifteen.” But there are a few simple steps that you can take to improve the quality of your diet and help you get back on track to a healthier lifestyle. One of the easiest steps is simply planning ahead and bringing healthy snacks from home. Below is a quick reference guide to help you avoid the vending machine and satisfy any craving, whether it be crunchy, creamy, sweet, or savory/sweet.
Nuts are a non-perishable snack that can provide a great balance of healthy fats, protein and fibers that will keep you full between meals.
Red peppers are rich in several vitamins, minerals and antioxidant compounds. Interesting fact: a half cup of raw red pepper provides 47% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin A and 159% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C.
Whole-grain crackers are a great source of complex carbohydrates which help you feel full and satisfied longer. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that at least half of all the grains you eat are whole grains. Try swapping potato chips for whole-grain crackers.
Smoothies offer a great on-the-go option that can serve as a snack or meal replacement. You can personalize your smoothie with spinach, frozen fruit, nut butter, and yogurt or milk.
Yogurt is a nutrient-packed snack that provides calcium, protein, vitamins and minerals. As an added nutritional bonus, yogurt supports digestion and may boost the immune system.
Avocados are high in healthy fats and help to reduce inflammation, lower bad cholesterol, increase good cholesterol and reduce risks of chronic health issues.
Berries are claimed to be one of the healthiest foods you can eat and pack numerous health benefits including potentially helping fight inflammation and lowering cholesterol levels.
Nut butter and banana
Nut butter is high in healthy fat and protein to keep you fuller longer. Pair unsweetened nut butter with a banana for added potassium.
Jerky is a high-protein snack that can help maintain energy levels to power you through a mid-afternoon slump. Try to find jerky with no artificial ingredients and low in sodium.
Saving the best for last- chocolate! Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, especially dark chocolate with at least 60% total cocoa content. One study showed that eating dark chocolate for five days improved blood flow to the brain.
It is important to remember that portion size plays a big role in overall nutrition. A snack should be enough to satisfy but should not add enough calories to replace a meal. Generally, a snack should range anywhere from 150-250 calories.
Replacing high-sugar snacks with healthy snacks—like the ones mentioned above—is a great way to maintain energy levels throughout the day. If you’re looking for even more snacking ideas, click on any of the links below.
- 16 Healthy Snacks to Keep in Your Office Desk Drawer (msn.com)
- 33 Simple and Healthy Snacks for Work (healthline.com)
- 30 Healthy, 100-Calorie Snacks To Keep You Going | Eat This, Not That!