Feature Archive

Feed Your Head: Cravings Quenchers

Fruit smoothies, nachos, frozen yogurt, and other snacks make great healthy -- and tasty -- treats.

By Jeanie Lerche Davis
WebMD Feature

Reviewed By Charlotte Grayson

Junk food has given snacking a bad name.

"Snacking in itself isn't a bad thing," says Elaine Magee, PhD, RD, author of numerous nutrition books, including Someone's in the Kitchen With Mommy and The Good News Eating Plan for Type II Diabetes.

Magee firmly believes in eating several small meals during the day -- "and that includes quality, healthy snacks," she tells WebMD.

Her philosophy: Eat when you're hungry, stop when you're comfortable. "There's a difference between stuffed and comfortable," she says. "If you truly follow that concept, you should be hungry every two or three hours."

Here's Magee's list of favorite healthy snacks -- plus the "bad guys" -- taken from another of her books, Fight Fat and Win: Light Meals and Snacks:

Popcorn. The fat in those microwave brands is the only negative here. Look for the healthier versions -- 98% fat-free. If you opt for plain popcorn, it's OK to drizzle a little margarine (one with no trans-fats) or butter. "It's better than full-fat brands, where you can't control the fat they add," says Magee.

Fruit and fruit smoothies. "Awesome, awesome healthy snack choice," she says. "For a complete, sustainable snack, make a fruit smoothie -- the dairy will sustain you."