Americans love to snack. Nearly 94 percent of us snack daily, according to a 2015 survey, conducted by Mintel. Half of adults snack two to three times per day, and they most often snack to satisfy a craving. Seventy percent agree that anything can be considered a snack—and they’re not wrong. In fact, snacking is a key component in weight loss on the South Beach Diet.
Snacking doesn’t have to stop on the South Beach Diet. We know that you’re used to snacking, so we made snacks part of our plan. You’ll eat six times a day, not three—which means you’ll be enjoying a low-carb snack a few times a day. Evidence, published in a July 2015 Harvard Health, article says that eating more than three times a day keeps metabolism going, energy flowing and prevents hunger from creeping in and influencing poor food choices.
We also agree that “anything” can be considered a snack—as long as you’re eating foods listed on the Grocery Guide. On our low-carb meal plan, a snack can consist of either 1 Protein or 1 Healthy Fat.
If you want to power up with some protein, feel free to enjoy some turkey from the deli. Have two to three slices (which equal one (3-ounce) serving) or a handful (3-ounces) of peel-and-eat shrimp. If you want to indulge in some Healthy Fat, you can eat a ½ cup of olives, a string cheese or ¼ cup of almonds. It doesn’t matter if you’re eating “breakfast,” “lunch” or “dinner” foods as long as they’re on your grocery list and you’re watching the serving sizes.
Stock Up on Snacks
If this isn’t the first article you’ve read here on The Palm, you’re familiar with our stance on eating a variety of foods. (For those of you unfamiliar, here’s the 411: Harvard Health suggests you must eat a “rainbow” of foods—especially vegetables—to ensure you’re getting sufficient fiber and micronutrients including selenium, magnesium, phosphorous and Vitamins B and C.) So, how do you make the most of your healthy food purchases to build the perfect low-carb snack?
- Seeds and nuts are Healthy Fats and you should absolutely buy them in bulk at the grocery store to save money. Don’t store seeds or nuts in the pantry: Unsaturated “good” fats are sensitive to light exposure, oxygen, heat and humidity that often builds up in your pantry, according to Cooking Light. To prevent the unsaturated fats inside nuts and seeds from turning rancid, store these snacks in the refrigerator (where they’ll last for at least six months) or in the freezer (where they’ll last for a year or more).
- Some produce should be refrigerated, some not. Some require moist conditions, others dry. Pay attention to the where and how produce is displayed at your local supermarket and try to duplicate the experience at home. For example, fresh vegetables like asparagus, broccoli and cauliflower last longer in cold, moist conditions (think about the misters that turn on and off in the produce section.) Home refrigerators are generally cold and dry. According to University of Minnesota Extension, to keep these veggies fresher longer, store them in perforated plastic bags.
- If you have a basement that’s cool and dry, it’s a great place for onions, garlic and eggplant. Root cellars are the best places for veggies like cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes because they provide cool (or cold), moist conditions.
- Meat drawers in the fridge are perfect for raw meat, poultry and cold cuts. If the temperature on the drawer is adjustable, choose the coldest setting and your Proteins will last longer. If you don’t have a designated drawer, put meats on the bottom shelf. Milk, yogurt, sour cream and cottage cheese should also be stored on the bottom shelf where it’s very cold.