Today I want to share with you all a little bit about SNACKING, especially for a cancer prevention lifestyle!
Why We Snack
Whether you need a little something to tie you over between meetings or you are fueling a workout, snacks can play an important role in our daily lives.
It can help curb hunger and allow us get in some food groups that we may have missed out on during mealtimes. Snacks can be especially helpful if you have a low appetite and can only eat small quantities of food at a time or your schedule forces you to push a meal back an hour or two.
Now I know it may be easy to meander over to the vending machine or reach for those old Valentine’s Day chocolates when the hunger cues start to strike. These foods (cookies, chips, mini cakes) tend to be pretty energy DENSE and nutrient POOR, meaning they provide more calories and less micronutrients. They are also easy and we may find ourselves reaching for them when we aren’t prepared and they are our only option. On occasion, these are totally fine (and delicious), but it may be a good idea to have a wider range of snack ideas and materials in your arsenal of a cancer prevention lifestyle!
When planning your snacks, I want you to try emphasizing foods that have fiber, protein, or micronutrients like vitamin C, magnesium, iron, and B vitamins (just to name a few). Diets high in fiber have been associated with a DECREASED risk of colon cancer, and protein may help to preserve lean body mass during treatment. Foods rich in nutrients play an important role in reducing cellular damage and helping your body function at its best! Choosing a snack that has a combination of food groups (vegetables, fruit, grains, protein, dairy, fats) will also also help you feel satisfied and keep blood sugar levels more stable throughout the day.
The snack you reach for is going to depend on several factors such as your preferences, finances, time constraints, and how hungry you are. Use this list I put together with over 50 snack ideas to spark your creativity and change up your snacking routine to incorporate more nutrient dense foods to satisfy your hunger, cravings, and to nourish your body.
Single Snack Ideas
- 1 small apple (2 1/2 inches in diameter)
- 1 small banana (6-7 inches long)
- 1 small peach (about 2-½ inches in diameter)
- ¾ cup of blueberries
- 1 cup of fresh cherries
- 1 cup of strawberries
- 1 cup of raspberries
- ½ cup of pomegranate seeds
- ½ cup of grapes
- ½ cup of cubed cantaloupe
- ½ cup of cubed honeydew
- ½ cup of sliced pineapple
- ½ cup of cubed watermelon
- 2 figs
- 2 plums (about 2 inches in diameter)
- 2 small kiwis (the skin has extra fiber!)
- 2 small clementines (cuties)
- 2 dates
- ¼ cup of peanuts
- ¼ cup of walnuts
- ¼ cup of almonds
- ¼ cup of shelled pistachios
- ¼ cup pecans
- ¼ cup hazelnuts
- 3 brazil nuts
- ¼ cup of pepitas
- ¼ cup of pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup of sunflower seeds
- ½ a cup of wasabi peas
- ½ cup of edamame, shelled
- 17 broad beans, roasted
- 3 cups of popcorn
- 10 peanut butter filled pretzels
- 15 pretzels
- 1 cup of Greek yogurt
- ½ cup of cottage cheese
- 1 piece of string cheese
- 1 boiled egg
- ½ cup of roasted chickpeas
- 1 oz. of dark chocolate (typically 3 small squares)
- Protein bar (shoot for 10-20 grams of protein depending on needs) and minimal added sugar (5% or less daily value).
- Fiber one bar
- 1 Larabar (made with dates, not very high in protein)
- ½ Hass avocado with salt and pepper
- 12 Carrot sticks
- 1 cup of broccoli florets
- 1 cup of cauliflower florets
- 1 bell pepper, sliced
- 1 cup of sweet peas
- 1 cup of snow peas
- 1 cup grape tomatoes
When you are feeling a little more hungry, combine some of the foods above for a balanced snack. You could do some vegetables with a bean dip or spread some peanut butter on a rice cake with fruit. Get creative with all the different combinations.
To make smart snacking easier, try some of the below tips:
- Include snacks in your grocery shopping list. Look for what’s on sale/seasonal to save money in the produce aisle.
- Cut up some veggies and/or fruit for snacking on throughout the week. Some lemon juice will help prevent browning for things like apples.
- Make single serving smoothie bags that have everything measured out except the liquid.
- Mix up your chia pudding the night before.
- Keep snack staples at home or the office.
Be creative to find what works best for you. Try out different flavor combinations and experiment with various snack recipes. Although I included portions for reference, you may need more/less depending on several factors. Use the portions as a guideline and consider what YOUR body needs in the moment when you are reaching for something to nibble.
Hey there! Let’s work on fitting cancer into your life – not the other way around! I personalize a lifestyle that not only works for you, but helps you to feel more like yourself right away. Click here to apply for 1:1 support through my VIP Cancer Nutrition Coaching Program and gain access to even MORE snack ideas and delicious recipes to satisfy your SWEET and SAVORY cravings! Can’t wait to see you there!
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This blog is not intended as medical nutrition therapy, medical advice, or diagnosis and should in no way replace consultation or recommendations from your medical professional.