When it comes to snacking, size matters. Serving size, that is.
More often than not, lots of folks assume that a healthy snack is always good for you. However, when we eat too much of that healthy snack, we end up consuming extra calories and eating more than we may need. This is why serving sizes matter -- even though they're sometimes hard to follow.
To help get you started, we put together a short guide of some delicious healthy snacks and their serving sizes.
A typical serving of almonds is 1/4 of a cup and 162 calories. This comes out to around 23 nuts, or a handful of nuts. A 1/4 of a cup is roughly the size of a golf ball. While this snack can give you a boost of energy, protein, and fiber, it is high in fat, so sticking to a correct serving size is a good idea.
2. Carrots & Hummus
One serving of baby carrots is about 1 cup, or 10-12 carrots, and come out to around 50 calories. A typical serving of hummus is 2 to 4 tablespoons, which is 50 to 100 calories, respectively. Because it's such a small serving size, it's easy to eat a larger amount of hummus. If you're eyeballing measurements, 1 cup is roughly equal to the size of your fist.
One serving of Medjool dates is about 1/2 cup, and about 414 calories. Dates are high in fiber, copper, potassium, vitamin B-6 and pantothenic acid. However, they contain a large amount of sugar, so it's best to stick to the correct serving size. If you're eyeballing it, 1/2 cup is roughly the size of half a baseball.
4. Dried Edamame Beans
Dry-roasted edamame beans are high in protein and fiber. A typical healthy serving is between 1/4 of a cup and 1/3 of a cup, and has about 130 calories. If you don't have a measurement cup, 1/4 comes out to around the size of a golf ball.
5. Dried Mango
Generally speaking, folks should consume around 1 cup of fruit a day. However, dried mango is more concentrated in sugar than fresh mango, and has more calories. A good serving size for dried mango is 1/3 of a cup, which equals around 160 calories. Dried mango is a good source of Vitamin A. Avoid consuming dried mango that has added sugar, since this snack is already high in sugar.
An average serving of popcorn is 2 to 4 cups popped, and has about 30 calories per cup. It is whole-grain, low in calories, and a source of fiber. If you're eyeballing it, one cup equals around the size of your fist.
7. Apple Slices & Peanut Butter
A good serving size rule-of-thumb for apple slices and peanut butter is one small apple and two tablespoons of peanut butter. If you're eyeballing it, one tablespoon roughly equals the size of your thumb. This snack offers a good balance of protein and fiber. Two tablespoons of peanut butter is about 188 calories, and since sizes of apples vary, a small to medium apple contain around 70 to 95 calories.
How Apicha CHC can help you
For Apicha CHC’s primary care clinic patients, we provide individualized nutrition plans for people living with HIV, diabetes, pre-diabetes, hyperlipedemia, sports nutrition, dietary supplement evaluation, weight management, and people in the process of cross-gender hormone therapy.
It may be in your best interest to consult with a registered dietician that is culturally sensitive to your needs, and can help you with customized recommendations based on an assessment of your nutritional goals and needs.
Alan Lee is available and you can ask your Apicha primary care provider to schedule a one-on-one individual nutrition counseling to discuss your goals and customize a plan for you. For more information, click here.