fruit1Who says a snack has to be a food with empty calories or a nightmare combination of fat, salt, and sugar? The American Heart Association No-Fad Diet, 2nd Edition: A Personal Plan for Healthy Weight Loss, which, with 200 low-calorie recipes, all about a sensible and sustainable lifestyle approach to lasting weight management. It demonstrates that dieting doesn’t have to mean deprivation and snacking can be healthier and more sophisticated than grab-and-go munchies. Try these recipes for fruit- and veggieloaded snacks that satisfy without compromising your weight-loss plan and at the same time offer fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients.

Lemon-Ginger Trail Mixlemon-ginger1

Serves 4; 1⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons per serving .

This trail mix is crunchy, fruity, and nutty, with just a hint of ginger. Store individual servings in resealable snack-size plastic bags so you’ll always have a ready-to-go snack to take to work or run errands.

3⁄4 cup high-fiber cereal squares
1⁄4 cup slivered almonds
1⁄4 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds
1⁄4 cup dried apple slices, chopped
2 tablespoons sweetened dried cranberries
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1⁄2 teaspoon grated peeled gingerroot

In a large nonstick skillet, stir together the ingredients. Cook over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until beginning to lightly brown, separating the bits of lemon zest and gingerroot and stirring frequently. Spread in a single layer over a large plate to cool quickly. Store the cooled mixture in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Per serving: Calories: 122; Total Fat: 4.5 g (Saturated Fat: 0.5 g; Trans Fat: 0.0 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.5 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2.5 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 56 mg; Carbohydrates: 19 g (Fiber: 2 g; Sugars: 8 g); Protein: 3 g; Dietary Exchanges: 1 starch, 1⁄2 fruit, 1 fat

Cucumber and Avocado Dipcucumber-dip1

Serves 6; 1⁄4 cup per serving

So cool and creamy, this jade-green dip is the perfect accompaniment for a platter of raw or grilled vegetables.

1 medium cucumber, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, seeded, and cut crosswise into 1-inch slices
1 small avocado, diced
1⁄4 cup fat-free sour cream
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons snipped fresh dillweed
or 1⁄2 teaspoon dried, crumbled
1⁄4 teaspoon salt

In a food processor or blender, process the ingredients until smooth. Serve or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to two days.

Cook’s Tip: For an interesting side dish, try using this dip on baked potatoes instead of topping them with the more traditional, much-higher-calorie butter and full-fat sour cream and cheese.

Per serving: Calories 55; Total Fat: 3.5 g (Saturated Fat: 0.5 g; Trans Fat: 0.0 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2.5 g); Cholesterol: 2 mg; Sodium: 108 mg; Carbohydrates: 5 g (Fiber: 2 g; Sugars: 1 g); Protein 1 g; Dietary Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1 fat