In college, there is sometimes no way to avoid staying up late, and as the clock creeps to a later and later hour, we all see ourselves reaching for a salty bag of chips, or a creamy pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. But there are tons of healthier snacks out there that are (almost) equally delicious. So collegiettes, drop the junk food and pick up a treat that will not only fill you up, but will also keep you energized into the late hours of the night. We’ve broken it down for you with 10 healthy study snacks that will keep you energized and ready to rock any problem set!
1. Mixed Nuts
Since we’re not looking to climb a mountain, but rather ace a take-home test, toss the calorie-heavy trail mix aside, and grab some simple almonds, walnuts, and cashews instead. Loaded with salted nuts, sugary dried fruit, and chocolate chips, trail mix can have at minimum almost 700 calories in a typical serving. That’s roughly 40 percent of your day’s total calories! But there are other, healthier, nutty snacks that will satisfy your cravings.
Most markets carry 100-calorie packs of almonds, portioned so that you don’t overeat, but you’ll still find yourself full by the end of the bag. As a more economical option, portion out your own mixture of almonds, walnuts, and pecans and bring them around campus with you. The nutritional value differs depending on the nut (you get 25 whole pistachios for 100 calories, but you can only munch on 14 almonds for the same calorie count), but 15-20 nuts is typically a healthy portion size.
“[Eating nuts] means you’ll eat less and won’t raid your refrigerator in a half hour looking for something else, to eat,” said Melanie Jatsek, a registered dietitian and author of Healthy U: A quick reference guide to eating healthy on campus and beating the Freshmen 15.
According to Jatsek, those who include nuts in their diet have an easier time managing their weight because they feel satisfied longer.
Looking for something with more of a kick? Try sprinkling some garlic powder, cinnamon, or pepper for an added flavor, but no added calories.
2. Apple and Peanut Butter
Apples on their own are great for you, but add in the protein that peanut butter brings to the equation and this snack cannot be beat.
“Peanut butter is mostly fat…true! But that doesn’t make it fattening (unless you’re downing the entire jar!),” Jatsek said.
A spoonful of reduced fat peanut butter paired with a sliced up apple, not only makes for a great combination, but will also keep you awake and alert throughout the night. Because as the saying goes, “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away.”
3. Whole-Wheat Pretzels
Whole-wheat pretzels are significantly better for you than chips, but offer the same salty flavor that you’re craving. In about 22 pretzels, there are roughly 110 calories, as compared to 160 calories in just 12 potato chips. But sometimes pretzels can be a little bland. That’s why I suggest dipping them in mustard. Not only are there minimal calories in mustard (3 calories for every tablespoon), but it also gives the snack an added kick. Keep it to classic mustard, though. Honey mustard can get pretty caloric! If you’re not a fan of mustard, try pairing the pretzels with some Greek yogurt. According to Jatsek, it’s the perfect combination of sweet and salty.
“[Pretzels] need some protein with it otherwise you could probably polish off the whole bag without thinking twice!” Jatsek said. So don’t forget to portion control collegiettes!
4. Triscuits and Light Laughing Cow Cheese
Triscuits are an excellent source of fiber, with about 12 percent of your recommended daily value. According to Jatsek, Triscuits are a heartier cracker that will keep your stomach satisfied longer. Paired with a 35-calorie wedge of Light Laughing Cow cheese, you’ll feel full and ready to work.
“Add some tomato slices to the cracker for a little more flavor and nutrients,” said Jackie Keller, a nutrition expert, licensed and certified wellness coach, and founding director of NutriFit, Los Angeles’s premier gourmet home meal delivery service.
With six different flavors of Laughing Cow cheese to choose from, you’ll be able to find the taste that you’re craving. Laughing Cow cheese comes in creamy swiss, garlic and herb, French onion, blue cheese, mozzarella sun-dried tomato and basil, and queso fresco and chipotle. Just be careful not to over-indulge; limit yourself to 10 crackers to guarantee you won’t be too full to continue working.