As a registered dietitian, people ask me what I eat every day. I know how closely related what I eat is to my health, and I am able to feel great due to the food and lifestyle choices that I consciously make every single day. Here are some common foods that are mainstays in my diet and many other dietitians too. Try them out and you’re one step closer to eating like the professionals.
Crackers are great for busy on-the-go eaters and they can go a long way in keeping you feeling satisfied. The key ingredient in the crackers is the fiber, specifically bran. Bran is made up of mainly insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stool, promoting regularity and helping with weight management. Just be sure to drink enough water with your fiber cracker, about 8 to 12 cups per day. When shopping for crackers, look for ones with at least 5 grams of fiber per serving, and top them with lean proteins to improve the taste and make for a complete meal or snack.
Powdered peanut butter
An alternative to regular peanut butter, powdered peanut butter is much lower in fat and calories yet has all the flavor. This all-natural dehydrated powder calls for some water to achieve a peanut butter consistency. Two tablespoons of powdered peanut butter contains just 45 calories and 1.5 grams of fat compared to regular peanut butter which contains 188 calories and 15 grams of fat for the two tablespoons. You can smear this spread on whole grain bread, high fiber crackers, apples and even bananas. Also, You can mix some powdered peanut butter in your smoothie or yogurt. Powdered peanut butter is superior to low-fat peanut butter, which substitutes added sugars for the healthier fats that were removed.
Tea in general is great for the cold months, which are approaching. In addition to warming you up, it should be consumed at the first sign of hunger. Since hunger and thirst have similar signs, drinking green tea can help you eat less throughout the day. If you are still hungry following the tea, make yourself a sensible snack or meal. Green tea also has great health benefits. It specifically contains a phytonutrient known as epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG for short. This phytonutrient can inhibit tumor growth, improve cognitive function, protect heart health, and promote weight loss by activating thermogenesis, which leads to increased energy expenditure by the body.
Popcorn is a dietitian’s favorite snack because it is high in fiber and delivers a large serving for a small amount of calories. Three cups of popped popcorn (air popped without butter of course) is about 90 calories and 3.5 grams of fiber; as far as snacks go, this is a good one, because it requires time to crunch through three cups of popcorn. Just 8-9 chips contain that amount of calories and less than 1 gram of fiber. Avoid movie theater popcorn because that has extra butter and calories in addition to being high in salt. Instead make it air-pooped at home or buy the brands without added oils.
Turkey jerky is a great snack because it provides you with the protein you need to maintain your lean body mass while keeping you satiated and requiring no refrigeration. Turkey is superior to beef jerky because it contains less fat and calories. Most jerkies contain added sugars, which can shoot the carbohydrate content up, so make sure to choose a brand with no added sugar. To be sure, look at the ingredient list (avoid ingredients like cane sugar and honey) and also the nutrition label and the carbohydrate content, which should be fewer than 3 grams per ounce.
Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian in New York City and the author of two bestselling diet books: The F-Factor Diet and The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber.