Snacking can hold you over in between meals, and it's an important part of a balanced diet, according to the National Library of Medicine. A few bites here and there can boost your energy levels and help you power through a workout.
But if you follow a strict meal plan, such as the candida diet, finding good snacks can be challenging.
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The candida diet eliminates both sugar and yeast to theoretically help curb candida overgrowth, which can make certain gastrointestinal issues worse, according to the Mayo Clinic. Followers of the diet often also eliminate gluten and dairy, with the thinking that doing so can reduce candida in the body.
While there are many proposed benefits of the candida diet, the claims are largely unproven. More research needs to be conducted to confidently recommend the diet plan.
If you still want to try the candida diet, here are some sugar- and yeast-free snacks to nosh on.
1. Sugar-Free Beef Jerky
You don't have to worry about yeast in beef jerky, but it's a surprising source of sugar. Most brands of beef jerky have added sugars, so you'll have to check ingredients lists very carefully.
Beef jerky is high in protein, low in fat and free of carbohydrates. It's a great snack to enjoy while hitting the trails or after strength training.
Beef Jerky to Buy
2. Yeast-Free Crackers
Yeast-free crackers are a snacking staple on the candida diet or any meal plan that reduces or eliminates yeast. They can be hard to find, though: Look for yeast-free crackers made with almond flour or gluten-free flour alternatives.
Crackers to Buy
3. Rice Cakes
Rice cakes are a lightweight but filling snack suitable for most diets. They're usually made with simple ingredients like brown rice and salt, though salt-free varieties are also available. Some of the fun flavors like apple cinnamon and caramel may have added sugar so be sure to check the label carefully.
Rice Cakes to Buy
4. Mixed Nuts or Nut and Seed Bars
A handful of nuts, sugar-free trail mix or nut and seed bar with minimal ingredients is always a nutritious choice. Nuts are a great source of healthy fats and protein, making them a balanced snack when paired with a source of carbs like a rice cake or crackers.
"The granola bar section can be pretty overwhelming, especially for someone following the candida diet," says Mackenzie Burgess, RDN. "Nut and seed bars are a no-sugar option filled with nourishing ingredients like pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and almonds. Plus, they have fiber and protein to help you feel fuller longer."
Nuts on a strict candida diet may not be allowed, but some allow almonds.
Nuts and Bars to Buy
5. Tuna Salad
"A simple tuna salad is a quick and easy snack — no need to make it complicated," says Brittany Poulson, RDN, CDCES. "You'll get a healthy dose of protein and good-for-you fats to help fuel your day and satisfy your hunger mid-morning or afternoon."
Poulson recommends mixing tuna with plain Greek yogurt, fresh lemon juice and black pepper. Wrap the mixture in lettuce and you have a simple, gluten-free tuna salad wrap.
Canned Tuna to Buy
6. Bean Dips and Hummus
Hummus, a Mediterranean diet staple, is the perfect blend of carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats. It's naturally gluten-free, and it's vegan- and vegetarian-friendly. You can make your own or purchase store-bought varieties that are free of sugar.
While hummus is traditionally made with chickpeas, similar bean dips can be made with a variety of beans.
Bean Dips to Buy
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