That dreaded mid-afternoon slump is here, bearing hunger pangs with it. You don’t want to leave your table, but you need some healthy fuel to keep your focus. Quit digging in your coworker’s candy bowl and keep few healthy snacks for work on hand instead. Those shelf-stable alternatives will satisfy your hunger without guilt.
No time for breakfast during your rush in the morning? No problem. Tuck a pack of instant oatmeal packs in your desk drawer so later at any time you can add hot water and use it. Oatmeal is loaded with soluble fiber, which boosts heart health and needs a long time to digest, so you won’t need to eat again before lunch.
Keep yourself away from flavored varieties, which are filled with added sugar and salt, and alternatively, flavor a packet of plain oats with just a bit of honey or maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon.
Dried fruit gets a bad reputation for being high in sugar, but it’s easy to discover unsweetened brands that only have sugar from the fruit itself. Also, keep in mind that fruit shrinks as it’s dehydrated, so a serving is way smaller than the fresh and natural products would be—for instance, a single serving is just a little box of raisins, versus an entire cup of grapes.
Such small portions make it easy to go overboard if you don’t portion out a serving before digging in. However, that also indicates that you can finish filling up on the satisfying fiber faster. Stick to a quarter-cup portion, roughly the size of a golf ball, and look for preservative-free varieties.
The fat content of nuts might give them look like they’d increase your waistline, but research in The Journal of Nutrition discovered that when overweight and obese dieters ate almonds, they lost more abdominal fat and overall body fat than dieters who didn’t consume nuts.
The combination of protein, fiber, and heart-friendly fats in nuts will keep you filled with just a small amount. Whether you’re a supporter of almonds, pistachios, or peanuts, salted and unsalted are both pretty low on sodium, simply just stay away from coated nuts.
Even if you’re not a supporter of eating them whole, you can still receive the health benefits of nuts by keeping peanut butter as an option. Use nut butter to beef up a snack of fresh apples or celery for a portion of healthy fat plus bonus plant protein that will keep you a fuller longer time, or just enjoy it with a spoon.
Limit your portion to a two-tablespoon serving, or make portion control simple with individual packets or snack cups. Peanut butter also matches well with other healthy snacks for work, too.
Jerky is not just for camping and road trips. During your afternoon routine, it packs in a bountiful boost of protein that fills you up fast, implying you likely won’t overeat. Various brands load up on salt to preserve the meat fresh; a 1-ounce serving could carry a quarter of your daily-recommended amount of sodium intake—so look the shelf for a low-sodium variant. Grass-fed and organic jerky has the largest quality and nutritional value.
Healthy snacks for work actually can double as emergency lunch choices. Get your tuna salad fix without leaving your work by pulling out a single-serving pouch, which doesn’t require draining. Not only does your ideal serving pack in about a third of your daily protein requirements, but tuna is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can cut your risk of heart disease and slow down age-related mental decline. Find a version that’s packed in water, preferably of oil, to cut the calories down. If tuna isn’t your favorite option, you could also opt for packets of salmon.
As an after-lunch dessert that will satisfy your sweet shortages without damaging your diet, stash squares of dark chocolate in your table drawer. Dark chocolate satisfies hunger more than milk or white chocolate, curbing foolish office munching, according to a small study.
Granola bars are excellent grab-and-go healthy snacks for work—but they’re not all produced equal. Instead of automatically selecting a low-calorie choice, discover a brand that provides a proper amount of protein or fiber (or both!), so your snack bar will truly fill you up instead of just giving you a brief sugar rush. Fig bars could also be an ideal work snack option.
- Mayo Clinic Proceedings: “A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials and Prospective Cohort Studies of Eicosapentaenoic and Docosahexaenoic Long-chain Omega-3 Fatty Acids.”
- Nutricion Hospitalaria: “Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Cognitive Decline: A Systematic Review.”
- Appetite: “Consumption of Dark Chocolate Attenuates Subsequent Food Intake Compared With Milk and White Chocolate in Postmenopausal Women.”