Article Summary:How and why you should choose a healthy, filling snack between meals.
Your stomach is growling but your next meal is hours away. What do you do? If you think your best option is to avoid the snack altogether and wait for the next meal, think again.
The Benefits of Snacking
You may feel regretful about snacking, but snacks aren't necessarily bad for you. In fact, mini-meals several times a day can be beneficial. If eating a healthy snack keeps you from taking second and third helpings at your next meal, you may actually consume fewer total calories for the day. A wide variety of snacks can fit into a healthy lifestyle, so you don't need to avoid snacks. Rather, plan them with variety, moderation and balance in mind.
Choose Snacks Wisely
Select foods that can satisfy hunger, supply your body with energy and provide important nutrients. Choose a wide variety of these foods to ensure that you get all the necessary nutrients, and to make your snacks more interesting. Here are some of your best snack picks:
Whole-grain snacks are rich in complex carbohydrates and fiber, which give you immediate energy that has some staying power. Look for items such as low-fat whole-grain crackers, whole-grain pretzels and whole-grain crispbreads.
Fruits and Vegetables
Eating fruits and vegetables provides a feeling of fullness with no fat and only small amounts of calories. They provide vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are a good source of protein, which helps keep you feeling fuller longer. The fat in nuts and seeds is monounsaturated fat, a healthy kind of fat. Nuts and seeds are high in calories, however, so don't eat them in large quantity.
Low-fat dairy products
Cheese, yogurt and other dairy products are good sources of calcium, protein, and other nutrients. Dairy products can be high in fat, so choose the low-fat versions. Yogurt may have alot of added sugar, so you should consider light yogurt to limit your calorie intake.
Though snacks can contribute to a healthy diet, they can also be a source of excess calories if not eaten in moderation. For example, a resonable amount of almonds (about 23 kernels or a handful) contains 164 calories. But if you eat handful after handful until it totals a cup of almonds, the calorie count jumps to 800-plus calories.
Snacks are great!
- Eat Several mini-meals per day
- Eat high fiber whole grain snacks
- Eat low calorie fruits and veggies
- Stick with the berry family
- Stick with Dark Green Veggies
- Dark Greens
- Green Beans
- Eating good quality nuts and seeds
- Almonds with skin on unsalted
- eat in moderation
- Low fat dairy products are good
- low fat cheeses
- no fat cheeses
- unsweetened yogurts
Robert Adams is a Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Coach with NESTA (National Endurance & Sports Trainers Association) where he devotes alot of his time training One on One with Athletes and everyday Men and Women, helping support their Personal Fitness and Health Goals.
He is a Fitness Enthusiast and spends part of his days dedicated to helping stay in Great Shape, while training at the local Gym.
He is also a graduate with Honors from the Culinary Institute of America with an Associates Degree in Culinary Arts, where he utilizes his culinary talents on Healthy Eating, Balanced Nutrition as well as Personal Meal Planning for all his Fitness Training Clients.
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