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November 18, 2014 | Posted by: Gene & Joyce Daoust | Posted in: Recipes
Satisfying Crunchy Cravings

Food cravings tend to come in three "flavors" - sweet, salty and crunchy. Sweet cravings are easy to address by eating a Balance Bar or adding a small amount of a low-glycemic fruit to a meal or snack. 

More challenging to tame are the salty, crunchy cravings. Foods such as potato chips, corn chips, popcorn, crackers and pretzels are predominately high-carbohydrate foods. Many are highly processed, high-glycemic carbohydrates loaded with sodium and unhealthy fat.

Below are the approximate nutritional profiles for many popular crunchy snack foods:

                                                                                  Calories    Carbs    Protein    Fat

1 ounce serving of potato chips                            150             15              2          10

1 ounce serving of mixed vegetable chips         150             16              1           9

1 ounce serving of pretzel sticks                          110              23             2           0

1 ounce serving of white corn tortilla chips      150             20             1           8

1/4 cup un-popped popcorn                                   180              36            6         2.5

3 1/2 cups oil-popped popcorn                              150              19             3          11

2 whole grain brown rice cakes                             70              14             2           0

1 ounce roasted mixed nuts                                   180              6              6           17

If you choose to include crunchy snacks, do so in moderation. Limit the entire snack to approximately 200 calories or less and always include a quality protein to help maintain blood sugar levels already within a normal range. Through the years we have come up with a variety of delicious snacks with a nutritional profile close to the optimal 40-30-30 ratio (40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein, 30 percent dietary fat). Try these recipes the next time you’re looking for a snack to satisfy a crunchy craving.

Crunchy Snack Ideas

Corn Chips and Dip

1 ounce white or yellow corn chips (about 9 chips)

1/2 cup 2% Greek yogurt

2-3 teaspoons southwest taco seasoning

Directions:  Mix Greek yogurt with southwest taco seasoning.  Serve as a dip with chips.

Vegetables and Dip

1/2 sliced carrot

1/2 stalk of celery

1/2 red pepper slices

1/2 cup 2% Greek yogurt

2-3 teaspoons ranch dip seasoning

Directions:  Cut vegetables into strips.  Mix Greek yogurt with ranch dip seasoning.  Serve vegetables with dip.

Cheese and Pretzels

1 ounce low-fat string cheese

1/2 ounce thin pretzel sticks (about 15)

Directions:  Enjoy pretzel sticks with cheese.

Chips and Tuna

1 ounce potato chip or other vegetable chip (baked)

3 ounces of deli-style tuna salad

Directions:  Enjoy tuna salad as a dip or alongside chips.

Joyce Daoust is a Certified Nutritionist, Balance Bar® spokesperson and national best-selling co-author of THE FORMULA, A Personalized 40-30-30 Weight Loss Program

Tags: Diet, Nutritious Snack Ideas, 40-30-30 Snacks, Snacks, Nutritious Snack Alternatives.