Snacking is often a part of our day and eating on the run is almost an essential part of the American diet. Making smart choices with your snacks is vital to good health. It can be a challenge as many foods that are seemingly healthy and nutritious just aren’t.
Tips for healthy snacking include:
- Go for the grain – whole grain snacks give energy and staying power given their slower digestive times. Whole grain pretzels, high fiber cereals are easy to package examples
- Breakfast – many breakfast foods are high in sugar and processed grains (cereals, yogurts – particularly targeted to children, pancakes/waffles) be sure to get the fiber but try avoid excess sugars whenever possible. Eggs with spinach, meats and/or avocado can be a great start to the day with protein and healthy fats that will fuel you for the long haul
- “high-low” combination – combine healthy fats like peanut butter or almond butter w something light like apples or celery sticks
- Nuts – unsalted nuts contain many beneficial nutrients (antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein and monounsaturated fats). Walnuts contain all the typical components of nuts but additionally offer Ellagic acid which is a cancer fighting substance found in pomegranates and strawberries. Hazelnuts are high in Vitamin E which is important for skin health as well as Vit B1, B2, B5 and B9. Pine nuts which can easily be added to salads, pasta and yogurt is a great source of Pinolenic acid that can help with weight loss as suppresses GLP-1 and CCK two hormones responsible for hunger.
- Combination – combining macronutrients (protein, Fats, carbohydrates) at each snaking session like grapes w cheese, crackers and nut butter
- Mindfulness – It’s easy to lose awareness of what and how much you’re eating if done while watching TV, surfing the internet or scanning social media. Be mindful of how much food (and calories) you are consuming
- Transport – have a healthy snack in your bag with you otherwise the cookie at the coffee shop can be too tempting when hunger calls.
More information: 7 ways to snack smarter