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6 Low-Calorie Snacks That Are Surprisingly Filling
Feb 20, 2024 | 4 min
6 Low-Calorie Snacks That Are Surprisingly Filling

Snacking can often be seen as a pitfall in the quest for a healthier lifestyle, especially when trying to manage weight or improve nutrition. However, the truth is that snacking doesn't have to be your diet's downfall; it can be a powerful tool for sustaining energy, boosting metabolism, and keeping hunger pangs at bay. 

Enter the world of "low-calorie snacks," where taste and nutrition coexist harmoniously without adding unnecessary calories to your daily intake. Low-calorie snacks can be your best ally, whether you're in the middle of a busy workday, looking for a post-workout refreshment, or simply craving something to tide you over until your next meal.

In this blog, we'll uncover 6 top picks for low-calorie snacks that defy expectations with their satiating properties. 

6 Best Low-Calorie Snacks to Keep You Satisfied 

From protein-packed powerhouses to fiber-rich feasts, the right snacks can help you stay on track with your health and fitness goals while satisfying your appetite. Perfect for anyone looking to maintain a balanced diet without sacrificing flavor or fulfillment, these snack options are not just good for you—they're also delicious and incredibly satisfying. 

1. Avocado and Turkey Roll-Ups

Avocado is a fantastic source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, fiber, and potassium, making it an excellent choice for a filling snack. Paired with lean protein from the turkey, this snack can help keep you satisfied and energized.

Using whole-grain wraps adds a boost of fiber, or choosing lettuce leaves keeps the snack low in carbohydrates and gluten-free, depending on your dietary needs. This an easy, low-calorie snack that packs a nutritious punch without compromising on taste. 

Ingredients: 

  • Thinly sliced turkey breast (look for low-sodium options)
  • Ripe avocado
  • Whole-grain tortilla wraps or lettuce leaves (for a gluten-free option)
  • Optional additions: sliced tomatoes, cucumber, spinach, or a sprinkle of your favorite cheese

Instructions: 

  • Prepare the Avocado: Mash the avocado in a bowl until it's creamy but still has some texture. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste, and if you like, a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice to add a zesty flavor and prevent browning.
  • Assemble the Roll-Ups: Lay out your tortilla wrap or lettuce leaf on a flat surface. Spread a generous layer of the mashed avocado over the base. Place slices of turkey breast on top of the avocado. If using, add your additional veggies or cheese.
  • Roll It Up: Carefully roll the tortilla or lettuce leaf, ensuring the contents are snugly enveloped. 
  • Enjoy: Serve immediately, or wrap in cling film and refrigerate for a convenient snack on the go.

2. Greek Yogurt with Berries and Nuts 

Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein, which is essential for muscle repair and growth and for keeping hunger at bay. Berries add sweetness, flavor, fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, supporting overall health and digestion.

Nuts, meanwhile, contribute healthy unsaturated fats, which are beneficial for heart health, alongside additional protein and fiber. This combination serves as one of the best low-calorie snacks and impresses with its high protein content and ease of preparation. 

Ingredients:

  • Greek yogurt (opt for plain, non-fat, or low-fat to keep calories in check)
  • Fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or a mix)
  • A handful of nuts (almonds, walnuts, or pecans for crunch and healthy fats)
  • Optional: A drizzle of honey or a sprinkle of chia seeds for extra fiber and sweetness

Instructions:

  • Layer Your Snack: Start with a Greek yogurt base in a bowl or glass. If you're watching your sugar intake, stick to plain Greek yogurt to minimize added sugars.
  • Add the Berries: Wash your selection of berries and add them to the yogurt. 
  • Sprinkle the Nuts: Chop a handful of your favorite nuts and sprinkle them over the berries.
  • Garnish as Desired: Drizzle a small amount of honey over the top for a touch of sweetness. If you're looking to boost the fiber content, a sprinkle of chia seeds can do the trick without adding too many calories.

3.Chickpea Salad Sandwich

Chickpeas are a fantastic source of plant-based protein and fiber, making them ideal for promoting heart health and digestive well-being. Including fresh vegetables adds flavor and texture and contributes essential nutrients and fiber, supporting overall health.

Opting for whole-grain bread or a low-cholesterol wrap enhances the sandwich's fiber content, aiding in cholesterol management and satiety. 

The Chickpea Salad Sandwich offers a delightful twist on traditional sandwich fillings, serving as a heart-healthy, high-protein, low-calorie snack that's both satisfying and easy to prepare. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • Fresh vegetables (diced celery, bell peppers, and red onions)
  • A handful of leafy greens (spinach, arugula, or lettuce)
  • Whole-grain bread or a low-cholesterol wrap
  • For the dressing: Lemon juice, olive oil, and your choice of herbs (dill, parsley, or cilantro)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Prepare the Chickpea Salad: Mash the chickpeas with a fork or potato masher until they're broken down but still chunky. 
  • Mix in the Veggies: Add the diced celery, bell peppers, and red onions to the mashed chickpeas.
  • Dress It Up: Combine lemon juice, olive oil, and herbs in a small bowl. Drizzle this mixture over the chickpea and veggie blend, then stir to coat evenly. Season with salt and pepper according to your taste preferences.
  • Assemble the Sandwich: Spoon a generous amount of the chickpea salad onto a slice of whole-grain bread. Add a layer of leafy greens for an extra nutritional punch. Top with another slice of bread or fold into a wrap. 

4. Hummus and Vegetable Sticks

Hummus, made from chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic, is packed with plant-based protein, healthy fats, and fiber. These nutrients are essential for maintaining energy levels, supporting heart health, and promoting digestive well-being.

Pairing hummus with a range of vegetables increases your intake of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber, contributing to a balanced diet and helping you feel full and satisfied longer. This low-calorie snack is a perfect example of a snack that is both simple to prepare and versatile enough to suit any taste preference. 

Ingredients:

  • Your choice of hummus (classic, roasted red pepper, or garlic)
  • A variety of fresh vegetables (carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and broccoli florets)

Instructions:

  • Select Your Hummus: Choose your favorite type of hummus. For the healthiest option, look for or make hummus with minimal added oils and preservatives.
  • Prepare Your Vegetables: Wash and cut your selected vegetables into sticks or bite-sized pieces. 
  • Arrange and Serve: Place your hummus in a central bowl surrounded by various vegetable sticks. This makes for a visually appealing snack and invites you to enjoy a variety of flavors and textures.

5. Cottage Cheese and Fruit Parfait

Cottage cheese is a standout ingredient for anyone looking to increase their protein intake without adding a lot of calories. It's also a good source of calcium, which is important for bone health. Fresh fruits provide essential vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber, contributing to overall health and aiding in digestion.

By choosing low-fat cottage cheese and focusing on fresh, whole fruits, this parfait remains a low-calorie snack that's both filling and nutrient-dense.

Ingredients:

  • Low-fat cottage cheese
  • A selection of fresh fruits (berries, peaches, or pineapple work well)
  • Optional: A sprinkle of nuts or seeds (like almonds, chia seeds, or flaxseeds) for added texture and nutrients
  • Optional: A drizzle of honey or maple syrup for added sweetness

Instructions:

  • Layer the Parfait: Start with a layer of low-fat cottage cheese at the bottom of a glass or bowl. 
  • Add Fresh Fruits: Add a layer of your chosen fresh fruits to the cottage cheese. Peaches or pineapple can offer a sweet, juicy contrast.
  • Enhance with Toppings: For a crunch and a nutritional boost, sprinkle a layer of nuts or seeds over the fruits. 
  • Sweeten If Desired: If you prefer your parfait a bit sweeter, a drizzle of honey or maple syrup over the top can enhance the natural flavors of the fruit and cottage cheese.
  • Repeat Layers: Depending on the size of your glass or bowl, you can repeat the layers until full. Finish with a layer of fruits or a sprinkle of your chosen toppings for an eye-catching presentation.

6. Air-Popped Popcorn with Nutritional Yeast 

Nutritional yeast is a complete protein, offering all nine essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. It's also rich in vitamins, including B vitamins, which are important for energy metabolism.

Popcorn, when air-popped and consumed without added fats, is a whole-grain snack that's low in calories but high in dietary fiber, making it filling and beneficial for digestive health.

This high-protein, low-calorie snack is easy to prepare and incredibly satisfying, making it a perfect choice for those seeking a healthy alternative to traditional snack foods. 

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels (for air-popping)
  • 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast (adjust to taste)
  • Optional: A light spray of olive oil or a mist of water (to help the nutritional yeast stick)
  • Salt to taste

Instructions:

  • Pop the Corn: Use an air popper to pop the popcorn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Season with Nutritional Yeast: Transfer the popped popcorn to a large bowl. If using, lightly spray the popcorn with olive oil or mist with water. This step is optional but helps the nutritional yeast adhere to the popcorn. Sprinkle the nutritional yeast over the popcorn, tossing well to ensure even coverage. Season with salt to taste.
  • Serve and Enjoy: Once the popcorn is evenly coated with nutritional yeast, it’s ready to be enjoyed. Serve it immediately for the best texture and flavor.

Conclusion 

In conclusion, these six low-calorie snacks offer a delightful combination of flavor, nutrition, and satiety, proving that healthy eating can be both satisfying and enjoyable. By incorporating these snacks into your daily routine, you can curb cravings, maintain energy levels, and support your overall health and wellness goals without sacrificing taste or satisfaction. 

FAQs 

1. How do low-calorie snacks contribute to weight management?

Low-calorie snacks play a crucial role in weight management by helping to control overall calorie intake. By opting for snacks that are low in calories but high in nutrients and fiber, individuals can satisfy hunger cravings without consuming excessive calories, which can contribute to weight loss or weight maintenance.

2. Are these snacks suitable for specific dietary preferences, such as vegan or gluten-free?

Yes, many of these low-calorie snacks are suitable for various dietary preferences, including vegan, gluten-free, and others. Options like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds are naturally free from animal products and gluten, making them versatile choices for individuals with specific dietary needs or preferences. 

3. What are some examples of low-calorie snacks?

Some examples of low-calorie snacks include fresh fruits like apples or berries, raw vegetables with hummus or guacamole, air-popped popcorn, Greek yogurt with berries, rice cakes with almond butter, and sliced cucumbers with cottage cheese.

4. How can I make sure low-calorie snacks are still satisfying?

To ensure that low-calorie snacks are satisfying, it's essential to focus on options that provide a combination of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. These nutrients contribute to feelings of fullness and satisfaction, preventing overeating and helping individuals stay on track with their health goals.

5. What makes these particular low-calorie snacks filling?

The filling qualities of low-calorie snacks often stem from their high fiber content, which helps to slow digestion and promote satiety. Additionally, snacks that contain protein and healthy fats contribute to feelings of fullness and satisfaction, making them more filling despite their lower calorie content.

Read More:

The Benefits of Including Superfoods in Your Diet 

Healthy Food Swaps: Small Changes for Big Health Benefits

Exploring Plant-Based Protein Foods for a Healthier Diet 

The Power of Mindful Eating: How to Develop a Healthy Relationship with Food

The Link Between Diet and Mental Health: Foods for a Happy Mind

About The Author

Maurice Maffeo
Culinary Director, Delicut

Chef Maurice Maffeo has over 30 years of experience in the culinary world. He has been executive chef to top names in the middle east like Carlucios and Cafe Bateel and Strada Group of Restaurants in the UK.

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