When your stomach starts grumbling during a midmorning meeting or when you're stuck at your desk without a break in sight, what is the most satisfying and healthy snack to grab? To answer this question, I asked 10 nutritionists what their favorite go-to nosh is during a busy workday. Below, their responses.
Blueberries are high-fiber, low-calorie and hydrating
Peanut butter is very satiating, thanks to protein, fiber and healthy fat
"Almonds are my number one go-to snack when hunger hits between meals. In a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1.5 ounces of almonds (about 35 nuts) consumed as a snack daily for four weeks helped to suppress hunger between meals. How? Because the fiber, protein and healthy unsaturated fats in nuts all contribute to satiety, or that feeling of fullness. When I eat almonds, I don't experience the hungry horrors before sitting down to dinner, and I am more likely to eat a sensible amount and not go for seconds. It works for me!" -- Joan Salge Blake, author of "Nutrition & You" and clinical associate professor at Boston University
"I love a Greek yogurt parfait with granola and berries or whatever fruit I have around. It's high in protein, calcium, fiber and antioxidants. It also tastes great and is fun to eat. Combining a few different food groups for a snack helps me to feel full and have enough energy to get through my day." -- Wendy Sterling, co-author of the forthcoming "How to Nourish Your Child-Through an Eating Disorder" and "No Weigh!!! A-Teen's Guide to Body Image,-Food, and Emotional Wisdom"
A CAN OF TUNA WITH CRACKERS
"One of my favorite work snacks is a can of tuna in oil with about five to seven low-sodium crackers. It has the perfect blend of carbohydrates, protein and fat, which is satisfying and keeps my energy up for the rest of the work day. It also keeps me going when my mind and body start craving the goodies in the vending machine."--- Angel Planells, dietitian and national media spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics
BLUEBERRIES AND BABYBEL CHEESE
"My favorite work snack is blueberries and two mini Babybel cheeses (the light or mozzarella flavors). This easy snack is ideal for work! I wash a pint of blueberries at home and throw them in a Tupperware to prevent mushing on my commute. The blueberries are high-fiber and hydrating -- plus you get a lot of bang for your bite, as one cup has only 80 calories. The cheese adds tartness to the sweet of the berries as well as protein to control hunger until your next meal. Plus, the cheese is safe left out of the refrigerator for two hours, so it's easy to snack on right at your desk." -- Rachel Lustgarten, clinical dietitian at Weill Cornell Medicine
APPLE AND ROASTED CHICKPEAS OR FAVA BEANS
"I always recommend having a snack that provides a combination of macronutrients, specifically carbohydrates and protein or healthy fat. This combo is satiating and keeps blood sugar levels steady, which means I can keep on working for a few hours before I'm hungry again. Apples and roasted beans are especially good while I'm at work, because they're easy to pack and take on the go, they satisfy both sweet and salty cravings, and it's not as messy as some other snacks -- super important when I'm typing away at my computer!"--- Jessica Levinson, culinary nutritionist
MUG OF SOUP
"One of my favorite snacks is a mug of soup. I pretty much always have soup in my test kitchen fridge or freezer and find that it makes a filling, comforting and healthy snack. There is always some kind of vegetable in my soup and usually a protein like beans, lentils or chicken. Eaten in a mug-sized portion, it is just the right amount of wholesome food that provides a nice even release of energy to get me through until dinner." -- Ellie Krieger, cookbook author and host of Ellie's Real Good Food on public television
FULL-FAT PLAIN GREEK YOGURT WITH CHIA SEEDS AND CACAO POWDER
"I am a chocoholic and tend to get sugar cravings in the afternoon. This snack is a perfect combo of fat, protein and fiber to keep me feeling full for hours as well as giving me sustained energy for evening workouts. And the dark cocoa is enough of a chocolate taste to satisfy those cravings but not so sweet to trigger me to want more." -- Martha McKittrick, nutritionist and certified health coach
PEANUT BUTTER SPOONS OR DRY ROASTED CHICKPEAS
"I often keep a bag of the Good Bean dry-roasted chickpeas (sea salt flavor) and a jar of peanut butter in my desk drawer and alternate between two handfuls of the former or two spoonfuls of the latter. They're super fast, so I can grab a bite in between patients on a busy day, and they're super satiating, owing to the protein and fiber/healthy fat. They're also shelf-stable, so no need to worry about spoilage if they live in my desk drawer for a while." -- Tamara Duker Freuman, registered dietitian
VEGGIES WITH HUMMUS
"My favorite work snack is any colorful and fiber-rich veggie. Veggies not only help keep me full between meals, but snacking on them is also an easy way to help meet my daily vegetable goals. I opt for fresh-cut carrots, red bell peppers or, if I'm feeling a bit spicy, sliced radishes. If I'm looking for a more complete snack, I'll often pair my veggies with hummus, which is packed with plant-based protein and adds some additional fiber. It's hard to get bored of hummus, as there are endless flavors to make or buy!"--- Chris Vogliano, researcher and former teacher of food systems at the University of Washington
ITALIAN TARALLI CRACKERS AND STRING CHEESE
"When I am busy at work, I really like a snack that is easy to grab and even easier to eat. My go-to these days is one string cheese with four to five original flavor Italian taralli crackers. The protein from the cheese and the carbs from the crackers are the perfect combo to get me through the rest of my afternoon. The flavor (of the taralli crackers) is so good, I can enjoy them with nothing on them!" -- Keri Gans, nutritionist and author of "The Small Change Diet"