Obviously candy and cookies aren’t going to cut it, but what about the less obvious stuff, like yogurt or protein bars? We tapped two nutritionists—Melissa Buczek Kelly, MS, RD, CDN and Vanessa Rissetto, RD—for their take on what constitutes a healthy, sweet snack (because sometimes it’s hard to tell).
Both Kelly and Rissetto stress that choosing a sweet snack requires thinking about more than just the sugar content and calories. “If there is a label and I’m trying to choose between sweet snacks,” Kelly explains, “I look to see what the fiber, protein and added sugar content are. Snacks may have naturally occurring sugars as well as added sugars. Be mindful of the added sugars.”
Likewise, Risetto recommends making sure the snack includes fiber, protein and some fat to hold you over. “I’m also looking for no more than 200 calories and no more than 10 grams of sugar,” she says, which can help keep you focused if weight loss is your goal.
Beyond that, Kelly recommends practicing mindfulness. “I first ask myself, ‘what type of sweet am I craving or looking forward to?’ It’s best to listen to your body and have what you are in the mood for off the bat versus consuming things you aren’t as into. Being more mindful and intuitive with all your food choices, meals and snacks sets us up with a healthier relationship with food overall,” she says.