Every year, our nutritionists at MediPlan Diet Services answer hundreds of questions from students, employees, and parents about what healthy grab-and-go snacks they can eat to fuel themselves through gaming tournaments, cram sessions, and long trips.
Ready-made and pre-packaged snacks are famous for having high sodium and sugar content, not to mention the extensive list of preservatives and artificial colors manufacturers pack into them. Finding healthy ones on convenience store displays and grocery shelves can be challenging, but our dieticians and weight loss experts are here to tell you which ones to pick.
We will start with the grab-and-go snack all exercise buffs love.
Protein Shakes and Bars
Protein shakes are the king of grab-and-go snacks for people trying to gain muscle while juggling long commutes, taking kids to school, and studying for an upcoming presentation. They are a breakfast staple for many fitness fanatics who love doing strength-building workouts after waking up.
Some people think protein shakes are a fad, but we think their popularity is somewhat scientific.
High-protein foods like eggs, wheat toast, and protein shakes do not give you the same sugar spike as refined and simple carbohydrates, like the ones found on breakfast cereals and fruit juices. Athletes eat protein bars when they feel snacky because it gives them a more sustained release of energy. According to the International Journal of Obesity, protein foods yield better appetite control for adolescents who like skipping breakfast.
You will not find many healthy grab-and-go snacks that can top the nutrient profile and energy boost that dried fruit can offer, but they also have a few unique downsides.
Removing the moisture from fruit does not affect its mineral, vitamin, and fiber content, save for vitamin C. However, manufacturers love loading dried fruits with sugars and artificial colors to make them more palatable to the public, so you have to watch out.
According to the National Institutes of Health, dried fruit snacks contain more than three times the fiber and vitamins of fresh fruits. A single serving can fill your recommended daily intake of minerals like folate and antioxidants like polyphenols. Dried fruit snacks also contain numerous plant compounds and may reduce the risk of blood pressure spikes, high blood sugar, and cholesterol accumulation.
According to former President James Garfield, “Man can not live by bread alone. He must have peanut butter.”
Peanut butter has around 150 to 210 calories per tablespoon, but it is still one of the most popular diet foods in the United States. It has a healthy serving of protein, about seven grams per tablespoon, and fiber, around 2.6 grams.
Peanut butter also features p-coumaric acid, which repairs cells that sustain damage from traumatic cardiovascular events. At MediPlan Diet Services, we recommend adding unsalted homemade peanut butter to your list of healthy grab-and-go snacks.
Contact MediPlan Diet Services for More Snack Advice
If you want professional opinions from licensed dieticians about other healthy grab-and-go snacks, such as jerky, trail mix, and Greek yogurt, contact MediPlan Diet Services. Call us today at 901-362-7546 for a free consultation.