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Should you stock your desk with snacks? That depends.

September 18, 2015

Should you stock your desk with snacks? It depends on your track record. If having food on hand triggers you to mindlessly nibble, then storing even healthy options within close reach can set you up for disaster. But some find that keeping good stuff nearby prevents them from eating junkier options. If that's you, stock up. Just put your stash anywhere that requires you to get up from your chair. Here, desk munchies, rated.

Individually wrapped dark chocolate squares

Pick it: The treat can satisfy a sweet tooth while providing minimal calories (45 per 0.32-ounce square) along with mood-boosting, heart-protective antioxidants.

RELATED: 4 Surprisingly Healthy Road Trip Snacks

Roasted chickpeas

Pick it: You'll get your crunchy, salty fix as well as an array of nutrients like fiber and potassium. Plus, an Australian study found that chickpeas can help curb the desire to eat processed snacks.

Cereal

Skip it: You can store some at the office for breakfast in a pinch, but if you keep a box at your desk, you might start grabbing handfuls throughout the day and find you've finished the whole thing.

Fruit and nut bars

Pick it: They offer built-in portion control for people who have a tough time limiting servings of nuts or dried fruit. Look for brands with "clean" ingredient lists that read like a recipe you could make yourself.

RELATED: Best Snacks for Weight Loss

Box of crackers

Skip it: They tend to be highly processed and pack far more carbs than you can likely burn sitting at a desk, and they're difficult to stop eating once you start. The same holds true for pretzels and pita chips.

Jar of nut butter

Skip it: It's just too tempting to keep dipping in your spoon. I've had clients confess that they polished off an entire jar in one week. Stock whole nuts instead, in premeasured ¼-cup portions.

RELATED:Â 8 Nutty Snacks Under 80 Calories

Cynthia Sass is a nutritionist and registered dietitian with master’s degrees in both nutrition science and public health. Frequently seen on national TV, she’s Health’s contributing nutrition editor, and privately counsels clients in New York, Los Angeles, and long distance. Cynthia is currently the sports nutrition consultant to the New York Yankees, previously consulted for three other professional sports teams, and is board certified as a specialist in sports dietetics. Cynthia is a three-time New York Times best-selling author, and her brand new book is Slim Down Now: Shed Pounds and Inches with Real Food, Real Fast. Connect with her on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

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