This is great, right?! However, it’s important to note that not all carbs are created equal.
Before you find yourself ordering a large tub of buttered popcorn at the movie theater or a large order of greasy fries from the closest drive thru, there are a couple of things you need to know:
Eat The Right Amount Of Carbs To Curb Cravings
It’s important to select snacks with just the right amount of carbs (ideally between 25 and 30 grams), low protein (less than 4 grams) and low fat (less than 3 grams) in order for this miracle reaction to take place in the brain for you to get the benefits of serotonin without packing on the pounds.
Timing Is Everything When Controlling Appetite With Serotonin
Timing is everything. Wait until at least 2-3 hours after eating protein before eating your carb snack. If you consume carbs by themselves, insulin will enable the amino acid tryptophan to cross the blood-brain barrier so it can be converted into serotonin. However, if you consume protein at the same time as the carbs, other amino acids in the protein will interfere with this process and serotonin will not be made. Protein, therefore, is best consumed when your body typically doesn’t need a boost in brain serotonin, such as at breakfast and lunchtime.
To save you the trouble of spending excessive amounts of your valuable time dissecting the nutritional content of snacks in your grocery store’s snack aisle, we’ve created a list. BONUS: Now through November 30th, Amazon is offering savings of up to 15% across the entire Pantry store.
Here Are Our Top 10 Serotonin Power Diet-Friendly Snacks:
1. Thomas’ English muffin
130 calories, 25 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fat, 4 grams of protein
Add a dash of jelly to a toasted english muffin and you’ll take the edge off your mood and satisfy your appetite.
2. Clif Kid Organic Z Bars – Chocolate Brownie
130 calories, 25 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fat, 2 grams of protein
You definitely don’t have to be a kid to enjoy these delicious low-calorie snack bars.
3. Barbara’s Puffin’s Peanut Butter Cereal (one cup)
160 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 31 grams of carbs, 4 grams of protein
Cereal is not just a fun breakfast food; it’s a perfect morning or afternoon snack.
Many varieties work well with the Serotonin Power Diet, but this is one of our favorites when we are craving something nutty.
4.Quaker Instant Oatmeal Cinnamon & Spice (one packet)
160 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 32 grams of carbs, 4 grams of protein
In the cooler months, oatmeal is not only a very satisfying snack, but it will warm you up and keep you full until the next meal.
5. Nature’s Bakery Oatmeal Crumble Bars (one bar)
140 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 27 grams of carbs, 2 grams of protein
We love Nature’s Bakery bars and were thrilled to discover that these oatmeal crumble treats work well for a Serotonin Power Diet snack. Store these in your purse, your desk drawer, or your car’s glove compartment for a healthy and satisfying snack.
6. Snyder’s of Hanover Pretzel Sticks (35 sticks)
25 grams of carbs, 110 calories, 0 grams of fat, 3 grams of protein
For crunch lovers, we highly recommend Snyder’s pretzels. They are low in fat, low in protein and high in carbs. You can also enjoy 35 of them. Enough said.
7. Crunchy Rollers Organic Crunchy Rice Rollers (3 rollers)
150 calories, 33 grams of carbs, 0 grams of fat, 1 gram of protein
Satisfies your need for a good “crunch” and your sweet tooth at the same time.
8. Fat Free Fig Newmans Cookies (3)
150 calories, 2.25 grams of fat, 36 grams of carbs, 3 grams of protein
A classic choice to stay satisfied between meals, these fruity cookies are sweet, filling and comforting. Now you know why your mom wanted this to be your favorite cookie!
9. Vitatops – Deep Chocolate Muffin Tops (1 top)
100 calories, 2 grams of fat, 27 grams of carbs, 3 grams of protein
Hello chocolate. Goodbye cravings!
10. Sweet potato (1 cup) steamed
114 calories, 27 grams of carbs, 0 grams of fat, 2 grams of protein
If you are a major vegetable lover, we have a great option for you! Pop it in the microwave or steam it if you can – and enjoy. Warning: you may not want to eat your next meal on time but it’s important that you do!
Remember, too much protein or too much fat combined with these carb snacks will make them lose their efficacy in curbing your appetite and boosting your mood. Protein is an important nutrient and contains important amino acids including tryptophan. But tryptophan on it’s own will not automatically be converted to serotonin in your brain unless carbs are consumed since it’s a process mediated by insulin.
Consuming too much fat with the carbs will slow down the process due to the work the body needs to do to absorb the fat, and fat can leave you feeling more sluggish than calmed. So, stick to the recommended quantities and give yourself a good 30-minutes to feel the effects. If you are tempted to reach for another snack, take a walk, drink a glass of water or do something that relaxes you.
What are you favorite Serotonin Power Diet-friendly snacks?