Snack SmartPosted: Feb 12 in Nutrition by Staff
Snacking is merely superfluous eating, devoid of nutritional value, right? Actually, picking your foods properly can turn snacking into a great way to make sure you’re getting appropriate amount of fruits, veggies and whole grains in your daily diet. When going through a medical weight loss program, you’ll need to make many changes in your diet and lifestyle to lose weight, and replacing your unhealthy snacks with their nutritious alternatives can be a great boon for your healthy weight loss.
Eating healthy snacks throughout the day can actually help you eat less at meals, particularly if your healthy snacks contain a high amount of fiber. If you’re feeling hungry and you still have a long time to go before a meal, eat a satisfying and healthy snack to help keep hunger at bay. Snacks like chips and candy will only fill you with empty calories and leave you unsatisfied, more likely to overeat when dinnertime comes. Instead, try some unsalted almonds or low-fat yogurt.
More often than not, processed foods are going to be less healthy than their natural alternatives. When in doubt about what healthy snack to pick, always go with a natural option like fresh fruit, veggies or nuts. This will help you avoid all the troubling little additives that processed foods contain. Here are some good ideas for quick, healthy and natural snacks:
- Unsalted nuts
- Cherry tomatoes
- Celery sticks
Just because your snack food is healthy doesn’t mean your snack volume is. As the saying goes, too much of a good thing is a bad thing—this is especially true of snack foods. If you take a look at the packaging, you may be surprised by how small the serving size of each food is. Instead of bringing the whole container to the table with you, fill up a small bowl with your snack and leave the rest behind. This will keep you from going overboard and help you stick to the recommended serving.
Sometimes, making sure you’re snacking properly boils down to just making things interesting. Try these tasty spins on old favorites for some added flavor and nutritional value:
- Dip veggies in hummus or a low-fat salad dressing
- Mix some berries, granola or sliced almonds into your low-fat yogurt
- Make a healthy trail mix using dried fruit (no sugar added, of course), unsalted nuts and a high-fiber cereal. Remember: no M&Ms.
Snacking doesn’t have to be unhealthy. With the right knowhow, you can make your snacks a balanced and nutritious part of your weight loss program.