PCOS friendly snack of the Week
Happy Thursday Y’All! Today I wanted to share with you my favorite PCOS friendly snack of the week.
So I have been thinking lately — and one of the questions I often get from women who have PCOS is, “What can I snack on?” I thought it would be helpful to provide you with a PCOS friendly snack that checks all the boxes. These might be snacks that I am already recommending – or they might be new finds (you know I heart grocery stores!) I want to introduce to the PCOS community. So onward to the method to my madness!
If you have already worked with me you know that I look at all foods in context of the allowable carbohydrates for the whole day. What that means is – everything works around your daily carbohydrate budget.
So if you have a carbohydrate budget of 120 grams per day (think about it like I am giving you $120 to spend on carbs!) – and you spend 30 grams on each breakfast, lunch and dinner you have used 90 grams of your allowable carbohydrates. This leaves you with 30 grams of carbohydrates to spend on snacks! Yay – hooray! So what count as a PCOS friendly snack? I thought you would never ask!
What is a PCOS Friendly Snack?
Typically I like to see 2-3 snacks per day for women with PCOS. These snacks can range anywhere from 0 – 20 grams of carbohydrates and from 50 – 150 calories. I set the upper limit at around 20 grams of carbohydrates as I want to minimize any excessive spikes in insulin.
So now that you the know the “why” now let me tell you the PCOS friendly snack I am enjoying this week.
Just like everyone I get bored with snacks. So this week when I was in Traders I on the hunt for something different. The Trader Joes Unsalted Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels caught my eye for numerous reasons and of course ended up in my cart! But you may be asking ….
What Makes Trader Joes Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels a PCOS friendly snack ?
First check out the serving size! You get 11 pretzels for 140 calories. That’s not too shabby. Calorie wise this fits my criteria of being > 150 calories. Score!
Baby got fat! And that is a GOOD Thing!
Next – I love the fact that this snack has a decent amount of fat – 8 grams to be exact. I like snacks that have fat (and protein, too!) in them as I find they provide a certain level of fullness many women with PCOS need. When people eat foods that are low in fats – they tend to not be very filling. What this means is that in no time – their stomachs are growling and they are prowling for the next snack. Remember – the goal of snacking is to stabilize blood sugar and help curve hunger. The 8 grams of fat in these little nuggets should definitely help with that!
Low in Carbohydrates
Carbohydrate- wise these pretzels are a score – they only have 14 grams of carbs per 11 pretzels. They also have 2 grams of fiber in them as they are made from wheat flour. This should add to the fat content and contribute to your feeling of fullness when you eat this little suckers.
Push the Protein
While they are not what I would consider a high protein snack (I consider foods with > 8 grams of protein per serving a higher protein snack) – they do have 5 grams of protein. It is no surprise that high-protein snacks, as well as balanced meals, have been linked to increased satiety.
In fact, several studies have suggested that protein-containing snacking have the potential to boost satiety and facilitate weight loss. In a longitudinal study, researchers gave 17 men and women with type 2 diabetes moderately high-protein morning and afternoon snacks (5 g to 12 g of protein) for four weeks, and compared the results with their normal eating habits for four weeks. The subjects who ate the two high-protein snacks lost a modest but significant amount of weight (1 kg) during the four-week period. Researchers noted that the subjects’ weight reduction occurred without making any changes in total energy intake (1).
Therefore, not only are these pretzels delicious – they can help promote weight loss. Did someone say winner-winner chicken dinner!?!
Low in Sodium
Sodium wise – they this PCOS friendly snack is a home run. They only have 80 mg of sodium per serving. I like to keep snacks < 300 mg of sodium whenever possible. We know that many women who have PCOS are pre-disposed to heart disease and hypertension. So in light of that information there is no need to “sodium bomb” anyone! Of note – Trader Joe’s does sell a salted version of these pretzels – but they have about 200 mg more of salt per serving.
Magic in your Mouth
It goes without saying that these pretzels taste amazing. They have just the right amount of peanut butter – not too much and definitely not too little. I have tried both the salted and the non-salted version and I actually prefer this version to the former. Most pretzels all you taste is the salt – not these guys. All you taste is the crunchy goodness – and for only 14 grams of carbs these are a true winner in the PCOS snack bag. They are just SO good!
So I would love to know what YOU are snacking on. Have you tried Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter filled pretzels? If SO what ya’ think? Love or hate? What’s in your snack cabinet? Let us know in the comments below. As you know we can never have too many awesome snacks that are PCOS friendly!
Need other suggestions for PCOS friendly snacks? Check out one of my other blog posts that sure to delight your sweet tooth!
1. Navas-Carretero S, Abete I, Zulet MA, Martinez JA. Chronologically scheduled snacking with high-protein products within the habitual diet in type-2 diabetes patients leads to a fat mass loss: a longitudinal study. Nutr J. 2011;10:74.
Hi Everyone –
This will likely be one of my longest posts – but I think one of the most resourceful blogs! One of the questions I get asked a lot is, “How do you determine how many carbohydrates are in specific foods?” We can always read the label. But what happens if our food (or beverage) doesn’t have a label? Like champagne! Champagne does not have a label right? [Side note – if you want to be in the know on the carbohydrate content of all alcohol click HERE to get the 411. I wrote a killer blog on this very topic!] Well, that is why exactly I created this fancy guide to counting carbs for women with PCOS.
The ultimate guide to counting carbs for women with PCOS
If you have ever been in a PCOS nutrition session with me, you know I’m like a carbohydrate calculator. Throw any food my way and I can tell you how many grams of carbohydrates are in that particular food. But no worries if you’re not a freak show like me 🙂 That is a-okay!
I’ve created what I consider to be a comprehensive guide to counting carbs for women.with PCOS. This list should be awesome for any woman who has PCOS and is counting their carbs (Hint: if you have PCOS you should always being counting your carbs!)
This list is by no means all-inclusive – but I think I cover the majority carbohydrate containing foods most people eat. If a food is not listed — a great resource which I use all the time is www.calorieking.com . This website is awesome! You can download the app and have the carb count of all foods at the tap of a button! And extra bonus – it is FREE!
You have probably heard me reference that I often recommend a total intake of carbohydrate for most women with PCOS to be between 90 – 140 grams per day. You can use this list below to see how close you are coming within those targets. To be fair – I never count the carbohydrates that are in non-starchy vegetables. The only ones I do count are the starchy vegetables, peas, corn, potatoes and the winter squashes. All other vegetables have about 5 grams of carbs in each 1/2 cup.
Here you go! Enjoy The PCOS Dietitian’s guide to counting carbs for women with PCOS
The BEST guide to counting carbs for women with PCOS
Carbohydrate Content of Foods
BREADS / CRACKERS / GRAINS/ STARCHY VEGETABLES
* carbohydrate content may vary from brand to brand, always read the food label if there is one!
Starches Amount Carb grams
Bread, white or wheat 1 slice (1 oz) 15 g
Light bread 1 slice (1 oz) 7-8 g
Low Carb bread 1 slice (1 oz) 9 g
Challah 1 oz 15 g
Lavash, plain 2 oz 30 g
Pita bread, all types 2 oz 30 g
Mini/Pocket 1 oz 15g
Turkish/Middle Eastern 1 oz 15 g
Hamburger or Hot dog bun 1 bun 20 g
Dinner rolls 1 small 15 g
Sandwich roll 1 medium (2 oz) 30 g
Bagel 1 (Deli style) 60-70g
Mini bagel 1 (1 oz) 15 g
Croissant, plain 1 mini (1 oz) 15 g
1 medium (1 ½ oz) 20 g
1 large (2 ½ oz) 35 g
Danish, fruit 1 regular 30 g
Doughnut 1 medium 25 g
Pancake or waffle, frozen 1 small 15 g
English muffin, plain 1 30 g
Muffin, blueberry 1 small (2 oz) 30 g
Dunkin Donuts 1 regular 75 g
Tortilla, corn, 6” 1.2 oz, each 10 g
Soft Taco 1 15 g
Flour Tortilla 1 (1.7 oz) 30 g
Burritos Tortilla 1 30 g
Regular size 1 75 g
Large size 1 120 g
Saltine 1 cracker 2 g
Cheese 1 crackers 2 g
Graham 1 cracker 5 g
Wheat Thins 1 cracker 1 g
Soda 1 cracker 10 g
Peanut Butter 1 cracker 4 g
Oatmeal 1 cup (cooked) 30 g
Farina 1 cup (cooked) 25 g
Dry Cereal 1 cup 22 – 45 grams
Rice, white or brown 1 cup (cooked) 45 g
Spaghetti 1 cup (cooked) 40 g
Elbows/spirals 1 cup (cooked) 40 g
Small Shells 1 cup (cooked) 30 g
Mac & Cheese 1 cup (cooked) 30 g
Grits 1 cup (cooked) 30 g
Corn ½ cup 15 g
Corn on the cob 1 medium 20 g
Popcorn 3 cups 15 g
Plain, baked small (3 oz) 15g
Wendy’s, baked large 60-70g
Mashed ½ cup 15g
Plantain 1 medium 30 g
Yam ½ cup (mashed) 15 g
Yucca ½ cup (mashed) 15 g
Hash brows ½ cup (mashed) 10 g
McDonald’s small 25 g
medium 60 g
large 70 g
Restaurant style 15 fries 25 g
Black-eyed peas 1 cup (cooked) 30 g
Lentils or peas 1 cup (cooked) 40 g
Navy beans 1 cup (cooked) 45 g
Pinto or Black beans 1 cup (cooked) 45 g
Backed in sweet sauce 1 cup 50 g
Black or Kidney beans 1 cup 40 g
Chili with beans 1 cup 30 g
Garbanzo beans 1 cup 50 g
Lima beans 1 cup 30 g
Refried beans 1 cup 40 g
FRUIT/ FRUIT JUICES
* Use a Food Scale to measure carbohydrate content of fruit per amount (oz.)
Food Amount Carb grams
Small 4 oz * 15 g
Medium 6 oz 25 g
Large 8 oz 35 g
Apricots 1 medium (2oz) 6 g
Applesauce ½ cup unsweetened 15g
1 medium 5 oz 20 g
1 large 7 oz 25 g
Berries 1 cup 20 g
Cantaloupe/Honeydew 1 oz 2 g
1 cup (cubes) 15 g
Cherries 10 pieces 10 g
Clementine 1 medium (3 oz) 15 g
Grapefruit ½ fruit 15 g
Grapes 15 pieces 15 g
Kiwifruit 1 medium (3 oz) 10 g
Mandarin 1 small (3 oz) 6 g
Small 1 (5 oz with skin) 12 g
Medium 1 (7 oz) 18 g
Papaya ½ cup (cubed) 8 g
Medium 1 (with skin) 30 g
Peaches 1 medium (4 oz) 8 g
Plum 1 small (2 oz) 6 g
Pear 1 medium (6 oz) 22 g
Pineapple 1 thick slice (3 oz) 10 g
Strawberries 1 cup (sliced) 10g
3 large (2 oz) 3 g
Watermelon 1 cup cubes 12 g
(check the label!)
Apricots 8 halves (1 oz) 15 g
Prunes 3 medium 15 g
Raisins 2 Tbsp. 15 g
Apple juice 4 oz (1/2 cup) 15 g
Grape juice 4 oz (1/2 cup) 20 g
Orange juice 4 oz (1/2 cup) 12 g
Vegetable juice 4 oz (1/2 cup) 6 g
MILK / YOGURT
Food Amount Carb grams
Whole, low-fat or skim 8 oz (1 cup) 12 g
Chocolate milk 8 oz 26 g
Soymilk (plain) 8 oz 8-10 g
Plain yogurt 8 oz (1 cup) 12-14 g
Light yogurt 8 oz 16-20 g
Fruited yogurt 8 oz 32-40 g
Greek yogurt (plain/non-fat) 6 oz. 7-10 g
Greek yogurt (plain/ 2%) 6 oz 7-10 g
Greek yogurt (flavored/non-fat) 6 oz. 8-35 g
CONDIMENTS / SWEETENERS
Food Amount Carb grams
Table sugar 1 Tbsp 15 g
Honey 1 tsp 6 g
Jam or preserve 1 Tbsp 15 g
Syrup, Regular 1 Tbsp 15 g
Syrup, Light 1 Tbsp 7 g
BBQ sauce 1 Tbsp 6 g
Ketchup 1 Tbsp/ 1 pkt 5 g
Spaghetti sauce ½ cup 10 g
Cranberry sauce ¼ cup 25 g
* Ask for nutritional information where you buy/eat fast food
New York style pizza 1 slice 45 g
As I noted I am sure I missed a couple of foods. But I did my best to provide you with a comprehensive guide to counting carbs for women with PCOS . Let me know in the comments below if I missed any of your favorite carbohydrate containing foods. I would love to know. Bet your eyes are better than mine! ♥