Healthy Snacks to Get You Through the Day

April 5, 2019

Calories from protein affect your brain, your appetite control

center, so you are more satiated and satisfied.

Mark Hyman, M.D.

In today’s society, being on the go is in everyone’s daily routine. Whether it is flying out the door to get to work on time or running late to pick up the kids from school, we are frequently moving from one event to the next. This leaves little time to stop for a full, nutritious meal, meaning we easily turn to fast food. If we don’t have time for even fast food, we will turn to snacks. When we enter a convenience store, we are bombarded with options. It can get quite overwhelming, and this typically leads to us choosing the wrong item. These items include cakes, cookies, chips, processed bars, and candy. All of these foods are packed with sugar, additives, and preservatives that can wreak havoc on the insulin, blood sugar, gut microbiome, as well as energy levels.

Top 4 Sources of Healthy Snacks

There are many ways to make the right snack choice on the go; it just takes a little more effort. Here is a list of snacks to choose from for most on-the-go scenarios, as well as foods to stay away from.

Sources of Healthy Snacks to Satisfy the Munchies (Guilt-Free)

Here are the top 4 groups of healthy snacks to grab on the go: 

  • High Protein Snacks
  • Low Glycemic Carbohydrate Protein Snacks
  • Healthy Fat Snacks
  • Combination Snacks

High Protein Snacks

Protein helps us maintain metabolism and muscle mass throughout the day. Getting 15-30 grams of quality protein multiple times throughout the day is a great way to curb cravings, maintain energy, and maintain muscle.

A healthy snack of beef jerky on black stone board with peppercorns in background

  • Animal protein options:
    • Pre-sliced natural turkey, roast beef, and chicken (high in protein, no nitrates or nitrites)
    • Low sugar beef jerky
    • Tuna packets and salmon packets (wild-caught if possible)
    • Low sodium cheese sticks (if not lactose intolerant)
    • Hard-boiled egg 2 pack
    • Greek yogurt—No high fructose corn syrup
    • Whey protein shake – Cenegenics® offers whey protein sources from grass-fed, hormone-free dairy and is free of artificial colors, preservatives, and sweeteners

A healthy snack of seasoned hummus with oil in white bowl on white background

    • Vegetarian/vegan protein options:
      • Roasted chickpeas
      • 3 bean salad (pre-made with vinegar and olive oil)
      • Hummus (with vegetables)
      • Vegan protein shake – Cenegenics® Pea & Rice Protein is a great option, additional suggestions can easily be made upon request

Low Glycemic Carbohydrates Protein Snacks

Carbohydrates provide necessary, long-term energy to perform our most basic and most difficult daily life functions. Incorporating whole food carbohydrates throughout the day is a great way to minimize energy crashes.

Healthy snack of fruits and vegetables in a basket in garden, all examples of whole food carbohydrates

  • Sources include:
    • Whole fruit: Apples, peaches, berries, pears, oranges (fruits with skin that have a higher fiber content)
    • Fibrous vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery (great with hummus)
    • Roasted chickpeas

Healthy Fat Snack Choices

Healthy fats are necessary to maintain cell health, immune function, temperature regulation, and satiety. Adding healthy fats to snacks can make snacking easy and healthy.

Always check serving size. Fats have the highest caloric content per gram, so be aware of what a serving is

Guacamole in a bowl surrounded by avocados, a healthy fat snack choice

  • Sources include:
    • Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, pistachios
    • Guacamole
    • Nut butters (natural nut butter, no sugar or syrups added)
    • Dark chocolate (serving size!)

Combination Snacks

  • When possible, combine your macronutrients when snacking
  • Some examples include:
    • 3 ounces natural turkey, 1 apple, 15 almonds
    • Carrot sticks with 3 Tbsp. hummus
    • Vegan protein shake with 1 Tbsp. natural peanut butter blended in
    • Turkey rollup
      • 2 slices turkey, 1 slice avocado, spinach, and some mustard
    • Tuna salad made with guacamole
    • 2 hard-boiled eggs and an orange
  • GET CREATIVE: Keep combining foods from each category to keep it interesting!

Foods to Avoid for Weight Loss & Optimal Health

Top 4 Foods to Avoid For Weight Loss

These are groups that you should skip while shopping or looking for healthy snacks: 

  • “Low Fat Options”
  • Foods with Any Kind of Syrup
  • Processed Junk Foods
  • Sugary Beverages

When searching for snacks, there are some things you should avoid at all times:

Chocolate, chips, candy, cookies, and junk food in bowls on solid background are all foods to avoid for weight loss

  • These include:
    • ​​​​​​​”Low-fat options”
      • ​​​​​​​These foods, typically found in crackers, bars, and other high carb products, are very high in sugar, which has replaced the fat
    • Foods with any kind of syrup
      • ​​​​​​​If you see the word syrup on the nutrition label, PUT IT BACK!
      • These syrups are usually not natural and can spike insulin aggressively
    • Processed junk foods
      • ​​​​​​​Almost, if not all cakes, cookies, chips, cereal and cereal bars, candy, and pastries are processed and blood sugar bombs
    • Sugary beverages
      • Soda, juices, sports drinks, creamer based coffee drinks, and slushies are all massively high in sugar

People Also Asked

1. What is the best snack for weight loss?

There are many options that can be included, but I suggest a combination with protein, high fiber, and phytonutrients as the best option for weight loss. The protein can yield a small thermogenic effect, while also supplying amino acids to skeletal muscle tissue. The protein and fiber will also help you feel fuller longer – likely satisfying you until your next meal. Lastly, phytonutrients provide your body with antioxidants, vitamins, & minerals.

Examples could be Greek yogurt with berries and flaxseed meal, Cenegenics whey protein shake with a handful of baby carrots/an orange, a pouch of tuna or chicken breast on tomato slices, or wrapped in greens. Anything with that structure should offer a lot of benefits.

2. What are healthy snacks to buy?

Portable protein sources (Cenegenics Whey, single serving, unflavored Greek yogurt cups, nitrate-free jerky), mixed nuts (roasted/raw, salted/unsalted would be based on preference and hydration status, single-serving packs may be good for individuals with portion control issues), portable vegetable options, fruit that can stay at room temperature, avocado, etc. Selected options would vary based on in-office/at-home with refrigeration/no refrigeration, in the car, etc.

3. What are 5 healthy snacks?

High-quality protein powder, oranges, apples, avocados, mixed nuts – based on ease of use and no need for refrigeration.

Healthy Snacking – In Conclusion

Nutrition is often described as the most difficult part of weight management. As discussed in our Healthy Meal Prepping Ideas blog, often failing to prepare is preparing you to fail. Don’t go to the grocery store without a list and fall prey to the trap of convenience in the form of processed foods. Although they may look enticing, most of these foods are high in sugar, have very little nutritional value, and can lead to weight gain and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Whole foods (fruits & vegetables), animal and vegetarian/vegan protein, and combination snacks are often the most efficient for curbing the appetite, maintaining energy, and helping to sustain a regular metabolic rate.

Your Cenegenics® physician and clinical teamwork to provide custom-tailored nutritional plans. They help make adjustments based on your lifestyle demands and they help you to effectively utilize your time. If you’re interested in learning more about optimizing your nutrition & overall wellness, contact us below for your free consultation.

Next Steps to Optimizing Your Nutrition & Overall Wellness

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Key Resources

This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources:

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine V1 for nutrition, mastering healthy aging, exercise and hormone replacement therapy

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise, and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine V2 for nutrition, mastering healthy aging, exercise and hormone replacement therapy

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise, and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

Textbook Authors:

Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Educational Foundation.


Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

Additional Resources

Healthy Meal Prepping Ideas

Learn About Vitamin K – Including Foods High in Vitamin K

Are You Experiencing Low Vitamin D?

What are the Best Sources of Micronutrients for Weight Loss & Optimal Health?

The Role of Vitamins and Minerals as Micronutrients

Understanding Your Diet: What are Micronutrients?

Psychology of Weight Loss: How to Lose Weight & Make Your Results Last

Achieving Healthy Weight Loss: The Problem with Fad Diets

What is Cenegenics?

Recognizing Your Risk Factors of Type 2 Diabetes

Understanding Type 2 Diabetes

Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGEs) and Food Preparation Tips for Reducing Inflammation in Your Diet

Low Energy: How the Cenegenics Program Boosts Energy & Combats Fatigue

What Are Processed Foods & Why Are They Dangerous?

How Cenegenics Programs Differ from a Typical Weight Loss Program

Building a Nutritional Plan: Food for Weight Loss

How to Exercise for Weight Loss

Why Am I Gaining Weight: Psychology of Weight Loss

Contributor: Joshua D’Alessandro - MS, CSCS, CISSN Health Coach at Cenegenics New York City

My name is Joshua D'Alessandro and I am an Exercise and Nutrition Counselor for Cenegenics in NY. My passion for fitness began at a very young age and has manifested into a career filled with possibilities. The countries largest epidemic, and quite possibly the root cause of most issues, is diminishing health. In my career, I hope to do everything and anything I can to improve the well being and lives of the people around me!

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