(NewsUSA) - America is a nation of snackers. From kids to parents to college students, people are often on the go, dashing from one location to the next, and our food has to keep up.
The thing about snacks, however, is that they tend to be more convenient than nutritious. Regardless of the season, you need to find snacks that actually do your body some good.
Registered dietitian and contributor to Fitness magazine, Dawn Jackson Blatner, offers five slimdown snacks to get you and your family through the summer.
Tuna. Tuna is a lean protein and an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Protein aids in filling you up so you feel more satisfied. Preliminary research suggests that omega-3s may decrease the amount of fat your body stores and helps reduce the risk of high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease.
Try single-serve StarKist tuna pouches with whole-grain crackers, carrots, cucumbers or red bell pepper slices. At 110 calories or less per pouch,* they are a delicious and easy snack.
Watermelon. The "slimming secret" of watermelon is its exceptionally high water content. "Watermelon is 92 percent water," says Blatner. "Research shows that foods with high water content may help you naturally eat hundreds less calories per meal."
Jicama. "This root vegetable is an excellent source of fiber with six grams per cup," Blatner explains. Fiber helps snackers fill up quickly, which is critical when trying to stick to a diet.
Slice jicama into sticks, and add a sprinkle of chili powder and lime juice for a summer snack that contains only 50 calories per cup.
Iced ginger tea. A study from Columbia University showed that drinking a ginger beverage with a meal may help you feel more satisfied afterward and give you more appetite control later in the day. According to Blatner, "It's one of my favorite refreshing and slimming summer drinks!"
Yogurt. Yogurt contains a ton of calcium. When you increase the calcium content in your cells, your body is stimulating to burn more fat. Avid yogurt eaters have been proven to have less belly fat than non-yogurt eaters.
Blatner suggests using unsweetened 2 percent yogurt to create parfaits with fresh fruit and a drizzle of honey. You can also mix yogurt, fruit and honey in a blender. Freeze the puree to create refreshing summer popsicles.
Visit www.StarKist.com or check out StarKist on Facebook for more healthy eating tips.
* Most StarKist varieties are lighter in calories, except for the products that are packed in oil.