Happy National Potato Chip Day now try these nutritious snack alternatives

Potato chips may be America’s favorite snack.

What’s not to love? Thin slices of potato deep fried until crispy crunchy and topped with salt. They go with almost everything or are delicious when eaten all by themselves.

The biggest problem with potato chips for many people is eating them in a satisfying and controlled manner. Eating them straight from the bag doesn’t help. A serving of potato chips is only around 150 calories. A serving, however, is an ounce or roughly 13 chips. Yeah, sticking to a serving is a learned skill for us potato chip lovers.

One strategy for eating chips is to eat them when you’ve already had enough to eat. Getting too hungry when you’re trying to manage your weight is a big mistake. Your power comes from staying satisfied.

Sometimes you are overcome with a need for a snack because you are too hungry to wait until your next meal to eat. That isn’t a good time to reach into the bag of potato chips. Try these alternative snacking choices to keep your calories under control while boosting the overall nutritional quality of your diet.

 

When you get surprised by a snack attack here are some lower calorie, nutrient packed options to enjoy without going off track.

Olives

I’m not talking about those bland, mushy black olives that come in a can. I’m talking about the flavor-packed, salty/savory Kalamata olives. Their strong flavor satisfies and they offer a lot of valuable nutrients for the calories. To increase flavor and satisfaction and even more nutritional benefits, toss them with an ounce of feta cheese.

Hummus with vegetables

Vegetables are a good snack but if you find them lacking a certain zing, try them dipped in hummus. Hummus adds flavor, texture and interest to raw vegetables without the calories of a mayonnaise or sour creamed based dip. Another benefit of eating hummus is the protein and satisfaction that you get with the beans.

If you don’t make your own hummus beware of the commercially prepared hummus. Read the nutrition facts label. Some have a lot more calories and saturated fat than you would think.

A hot drink

If it’s hedonic hunger you’re feeling, you don’t really have a physical need for food. If it hasn’t been very long since the last time you ate, you might not want to spend calories on a snack. Coffee or tea may satisfy for 0 or few calories (depending on what you add to it.

Fruit

If it’s something sweet you want, fruit fills the bill. When it comes to buying fruit, don’t economize. Buy the freshest, ripest, most fragrant fruit you can buy. It costs more, but you get your money’s worth. On the other hand if you spend less on unripe fruit you may end up throwing it away because it rots without ever getting ripe or the texture is unappealing.

The health benefits of fruit are well known. Different fruits offer a variety of vitamins and antioxidants to your diet. To make fruit more of a treat make a colorful fruit salad and drop a dollop on vanilla Greek Yogurt on top.

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is a great choice when you’re looking for something smooth, thick, and creamy. It has more protein and health benefits than plain yogurt. Read the nutrition facts label. Choose a brand with less added sugar. To sweeten it up a bit add some sweet, ripe berries.

Banana Ice Cream

Banana ice cream isn’t ice cream at all, but if it’s a cold, creamy, sweet treat you’re in the mood for, it’s just as satisfying. Banana ice cream is a homemade frozen confection that’s super simple to make and it won’t make your belly fat.

Blend some ripe bananas in a blender. Put the blended bananas in the freezer for at least an hour. Scoop some out and enjoy. To make it extra special try drizzling a little chocolate sauce on top and sprinkle with a few chopped nuts.

If it’s potato chips you want, have some potato chips.

If after reading all of these alternative snack ideas you still want potato chips, you should eat potato chips. Buy your favorite brand in a single serving bag and enjoy each salty, crispy, potatoey chip. Eat them slowly, chew them thoroughly and enjoy them fully until they’re gone.

Happy National Potato Chip Day

Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.