Healthy Snacking

22 09 2012

Snacking can be healthy, but when they are the size of a meal, watch out! Eating the right foods in a small amount between meals can help to stabilize blood sugar and help to control your weight. A study in the Journal of American Dietetic Association found that having two snacks a day, in addition to three main meals, was associated with a lower body mass index (BMI) and maintenance of weight loss.

So, consider snacking…in moderation. Eating 3 regular meals and two healthy snacks may mean you are less likely to overeat and gain weight than if you would skip a meal or two and then binge on the fried fatty foods at the drive-thru window. Plus, nutritious snacks can help to keep a higher energy level and keep the mind alert.

Our lives are busy, so how can we eat healthy in a fast-paced lifestyle?

Plan ahead. Decide today what you will eat for meals and snacks tomorrow. If possible, have meal items cooked ahead so there is less prep time when ready to eat. Divide snacks into individual serving bags to be able to grab and go. Hectic schedules make it even more important to eat healthy. You need the fuel to keep going at the non-stop pace.

Keep a snack on hand. Store a healthy snack in your desk drawer or your kids sport bag for those times between meals when you are on the go. Trail mix, nuts, seeds, and fruit are great options to keep hunger at bay while keeping nutrition in line and energy up.

Know the serving size. What we think is a serving size can be very different than what is listed on the container. Very often what we think is a snack size bag is really two servings or more. Read the labels.

Be cautious. “All natural” is not a sure sign of being nutritious. Sometimes these products have added sugars, meaning high in calories and very little nutrition. Check the Nutrition Facts Label. Try to avoid trans fats in packaged products. It is an unhealthy fat you want to avoid. Low-fat claims may also mean sugar has been added to the product to help with taste. Many times the full fat version of the product is better for you than the low-fat version.

Nutritious Snack Ideas: Look for foods that contain fiber like whole-grain products and add protein-rich.

Fresh fruit and vegetables – Cut in advance to easily handle and store in snack size bags in the fridge to pick up as you head out the door.

Whole-grain crackers and hummus

½ whole grain bread and cheese sandwich

Whole-wheat pretzels and mustard (May want to eat this when you are not on the run!)

Rice cakes and natural peanut butter

Low-fat yogurt and granola

Trail mix

Baked tortilla chips and salsa

Nonfat frozen yogurt or sorbet

Air-popped popcorn

Tammy’s Challenges

Mind: Try something new: a new fruit, a new path to walk, a new book to read.

Body: Workout like a kid: ride a bike, hula hoop, jump rope.

Soul: Eliminate negative talk to yourself and to others.

I would love to hear from you.  Contact me through email at Tammy@TammYoga.com and Facebook at TammYoga and Twitter @TammYoga.

Namaste

Tammy

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