At work, it’s important to have snacks on hand to keep your blood sugar levels stable and your attention focused on your work. But it’s easy to slip into bad habits with unhealthy snacks which spike your blood sugar and ultimately leave you feeling drained.
Experts agree that we should aim to eat three healthy meals a day, punctuated by mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks of no more than 200 calories each. The ideal snack contains enough fiber and protein to keep you satisfied until mealtime. Read on for healthy snacks you can keep at your desk.
Nuts and seeds
Raw nuts and seeds are packed with goodness. They’re full of protein, healthy fats and fiber, and a small portion can keep you going until your next full meal. They’re also easy to stash in your desk drawer. We like pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds and cashews, but choose your own combination.
Dried fruit is great for satisfying your sweet cravings. It’s full of fiber, and if you combine a few pieces with raw nuts, you’ll also get a good dose of healthy fats. The trick is moderation, as dried fruit is quite high in sugar. Also, make sure the ones you choose don’t contain added sugar.
Only the air-popped variety qualifies for this list. It’s a cinch to make if your office has a microwave. Place ¼ cup of popcorn kernels in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with a plate. Microwave for about two minutes and 45 seconds. Add seasonings that you keep in your desk drawer, such as turmeric, cinnamon or red pepper flakes. You could even bring popcorn from home if there’s no microwave.
Another sweet treat that’s great in moderation is high-quality dark chocolate. Cacao provides magnesium, which can combat stress. If you pair it with peanut butter, nuts or Greek yogurt, you’ll have a protein-rich snack that’ll also satisfy your sweet tooth. The chocolate should be at least 70 percent cocoa.
These are delicious, savory delights that take just minutes to make the night before. Drain a can of chickpeas and toss with olive oil and salt. Sprinkle onto a baking sheet and bake at 425°F (220°C), stirring occasionally until crisp (approx. 30 minutes). Add red pepper flakes or Spanish smoked paprika for a delicious, quick, protein-packed snack that’s full of fiber.
A great alternative to unhealthy crackers or chips, roasted seaweed is full of vitamins A, B, C, E and K as well as several minerals. It’s low in calories, high in fiber and nutrient-rich, so it’s a great snack food. It’s also absolutely delicious! Find dried seaweed at health food stores.
Nut butters like almond and peanut butter are delicious snacks to have at your desk. It’s a good idea to combine nut butter with a banana or sliced apple for extra nutrition, but stick to a maximum of one tablespoon because it’s high in calories. Also, read the ingredients and stay clear of added sugars and salt.