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11 Best Foods to Eat When You’re Hangry

When you’re hungry to the point of angry ("hangry!") skip the quick-fix sweets and grab a healthy snack that will keep your tummy happy and your mood high for hours

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Nuts

Nuts are packed with both protein and fiber—two nutrients that will keep you satisfied until you can sit down for a true meal. It doesn’t take too many either. One study shows that eating about seven nuts a day can not only stave off hunger, but also help you concentrate, and may even fight off cancer and arthritis.

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Fruit and nut butter

If you’re seeking out sweets, try reaching for some fruit; then add a protein boost by smothering it with a creamy nut butter or sunflower butter. The healthy fats in the butter will keep you full, and the sweet fruit will help deliver a jolt of immediate energy. Too much work? Grab a handful of trail mix for the best of both worlds. Nut butter is just one power ingredient in this roundup of energizing post-workout snacks.

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Tuna and crackers

A can of water-packed tuna has a whopping 40 grams of protein, along with healthy omega-3 fats. Rather than mixing in mayonnaise, which is high in saturated fat, try spritzing the tuna with a bit of lemon or lime juice, or slice in some avocado for a delicious healthy fat. Add hunger-fighting fiber by pairing it with a few multigrain crackers.

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Chips and guacamole

Sound too good to be true? Avocados are packed with good fats and fiber. Pair the guacamole with a healthy chip—like baked black bean with an extra dash of protein, or kale packed with vitamins A and K—and your hunger pangs will be gone in no time. Here’s how to change up your homemade guacamole with deliciously different ingredients.

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Cheese

Grab a single-serving portion of cheese—think low-fat string cheese, Laughing Cow Creamy Swiss or a Mini Babybel—and pair it with a healthy carb, like air-popped popcorn or baked black bean chips. You’ll get a protein punch from the cheese, not to mention a salt fix, and an immediate energy boost from the carbs. Don’t miss the healthy diet and weight loss secrets nutritionists won’t tell you for free.

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Greek yogurt with fruit or granola

Greek yogurt has more protein than regular yogurt, along with less sugar. It also has the added benefit of providing lots of bone-building calcium and inflammation-fighting probiotics. Top it with berries or granola to add stomach-filling fiber. Check out these other yummy, healthy Greek yogurt toppers.

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Hummus with veggies

Pair your hummus, made from flavorful, protein-packed chickpeas, with a fiber-filled vegetable like broccoli, cauliflower, or carrots. The veggies will fill you up without blowing your calories for the day, and offer a satisfying crunch.

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Jerky

You can satisfy your sweet or salty craving (or both) with a naturally-flavored high-protein turkey or beef jerky. Bonus if you can find one made without preservatives. Double bonus if you can find one made from grass-fed beef: Research shows that grass-fed beef contains the same healthy omega-3 fats found in fish. Check out the other healthy foods that often get a bad rap.

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Prunes

If you’re craving something sweet, grab a few prunes for a satisfying snack. Prunes are a great choice because they’re full of fiber, which will keep you feeling full. They’re also packed with age-defying antioxidants. Add a slice of cheese for an extra fat and protein boost.

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Deli roll-ups

Take two slices of low-sodium deli turkey and a slice of cheese, and roll them up with sliced tomato in a whole wheat tortilla shell for a highly satisfying, protein-packed snack. Add a slice of avocado for some healthy fats. Don’t miss these secrets to building the perfect sandwich.

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Oatmeal

Oatmeal is chock-full of fiber (about 4 grams per serving), which will fill you up fast and keep you feeling fuller longer. Dress up your oatmeal with fruit for a sweet punch and even more fiber, or nuts for some healthy fats. Or some of each! Sprinkle with cinnamon for an anti-inflammatory boost.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest

Alison Wilkinson
Ali Wilkinson lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, three small children, and two large cats. She is a lawyer, writer, knitter, runner and over-consumer of Nutella. Her writing has appeared on Red Book, Scary Mommy, Elephant Journal and Babble, among others. She writes about parenting and other things that make her laugh (and cry) at her blog Run, Knit, Love.