Atkins Recommended Snack Foods

Atkins Recommended Snack Foods

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You can still snack healthily on the Atkins program.

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Too often, Americans choose unhealthy snacks that sabotage health and weight control. If you eat healthy snacks between meals, you're less likely to overeat at your main meals. On the Atkins diet -- a four-phase, restricted-carbohydrate plan -- the phase of the program you're on affects your snack options. You'll find your snack options initially limited, but you'll be able to add more variety to your snacking as you go.

Phase 1

Phase 1 is the strictest phase of the Atkins program. You are limited to 20 net carbs daily. "Net" refers to total carbohydrate count minus fiber. About 12 to 15 grams of your carbs on this phase need to come from vegetables, according to the program. Try snacking on deviled eggs made using low-fat mayonnaise or some broccoli florets dipped in low-fat ranch or low-fat blue cheese. Other snack ideas include 1 ounce of reduced-fat cheddar cubes with grilled asparagus spears or broiled portobello mushrooms with 1/2 cup of sliced avocado.

Phase 2 Snacks

In phase 2 of the Atkins diet, you add higher-carbohydrate foods back into your diet. This allows you to enjoy a broader range of snacks. The Atkins program recommends snack servings that provide 5 grams of net carbohydrates for this phase. Try 3/4 cup of 1 percent cottage cheese, for 4.7 net carbs, or about 12 macadamia nuts for 4 net carbs. You can also snack on low-carb fruit, such as 1/4 cup of fresh blueberries, which is about 5 carbs, or 1/4 cup of strawberries for 2.6 net carbohydrates.

Phase 3 Snacks

In phase 3, you're allotted 10 additional daily carbs each week, so you can now add starchy vegetables and more fruits. So this widens your snack choices even more. Try snacking on a 1/2 cup of yams, 1/2 cup of lentils with black beans or 1/3 cup of oatmeal. On this phase, you can enjoy higher-carbohydrate fruits. Try snacking on one small banana, 1/2 cup of red grapes or one-half of a whole grapefruit, or 1/2 cup of mango.

Phase 4 Snacks

Phase 4 is more of a lifestyle than an actual phase. It's about maintaining your weight loss by committing to a healthier lifestyle. Foods are no longer restricted, but you need to eat nutritious, lower-calorie foods to maintain your weight loss. Try a few cups of low-fat air-popped popcorn, a serving of fat-free chocolate or vanilla pudding or some reduced-fat yogurt topped with your favorite fresh fruit. Make a healthy smoothie, using fresh fruit, 1/2 cup of low-fat milk, 1 teaspoon of nutmeg, blending until smooth with three cubes of ice.