The Pritikin Principle: 6 Great Snacks

The Pritikin Principle is an eating plan that focuses on healthy eating for life. The plan prescribes a low-fat, vegetable-rich–although not necessarily vegetarian–diet, along with whole grains and fruits. The Pritikin diet has helped thousands of people lose weight. Along with healthy eating and exercise, stress-management is part of the strategy as well. It is a whole-body, whole-mind concept to living well, and although people do lose weight using the Pritikin Principle, the idea is to get you thinking about how to eat right, get moving, and enjoy your life.

The basis of the Pritikin Principle is caloric content. Burning more calories than you take in is the bottom line for losing weight no matter which plan you follow. However, the Pritikin Principle focuses on something called “The Calorie Density Solution”, in other words, how many calories exist per pound in anything you eat. For example, a pound of corn contains 490 calories, whereas a pound of tortilla chips packs 2,450 calories.

The Pritikin Principle works by keeping the average caloric density of each meal below 400 calories per pound. Vegetables, in general, fall below 200 calories per pound and if combined with protein and a carbohydrate, it is possible to have a filling meal that feels like an indulgence and still lose weight.

The more calorie-dense a food is, the less you should eat; the less dense, the more you can eat. The thought behind snacking on the Pritikin Principle is that if you’re eating right, getting proper nutrients, and getting enough low calorie-dense foods, you probably won’t need to snack.

Just in case you would like to have a nibble anyway, here are 6 great snacks.

1.  Sweet potato fries

Check the frozen food section of your grocery store or a health food store for fries that are made of yams or sweet potatoes rather than white potatoes. Place on a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, sprinkle with a little garlic powder and black pepper and bake according to directions.

2. Afternoon oatmeal

It may sound strange to eat oatmeal at 2:00 p.m., but you’d eat an oatmeal cookie, right? Cook up a bowl of no-salt oatmeal, add a mashed banana, or a grated apple, or no-sugar-added applesauce. Top with cinnamon, or nutmeg, or sprinkle with a dash of vanilla extract. Add a little non-fat milk if you’d like.

3. Corn and salsa gazpacho snack

Microwave salt-free frozen corn according to package directions. Stir in fresh salsa. For added fiber and flavor, add a spoonful of low-sodium refried beans. Top with chopped red bell pepper.

4. Yogurt parfait

Layer a well-ripened banana with fresh strawberries and non-sweetened yogurt for a pretty and tasty dessert or snack.

5. Tickle your taste buds pita

Stuff a whole-wheat pita with whatever you’re craving. Use hummus, cucumbers, tomato slices and paper-thin red onion. Try non-fat cream cheese with drained and rinsed canned salmon, stuff in some spicy, peppery mustard greens and add a sprinkle of white balsamic vinegar. Or spread the pita with low-fat spreadable cheese and add lean deli turkey breast and a touch of wasabi.

6. Baked potato with chili

Pour your favorite vegetarian chili over a baked potato and enjoy!

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