A Simple Guide to Healthier Snacking
Although it’s so easy to feel guilty about snacking every once in a while – don’t! In fact, studies have shown that eating small meals throughout the day can actually aid in weight loss and developing a more balanced diet.
There are so many reasons why we love snacking, and thankfully, there are ways to make sure you learn how to make smarter choices and work out new routines for yourself and your loved one!
Here are some tips!
Snack only when hungry, not when stressed or bored. It’s very easy to find an excuse to snack while watching TV, or while reading in bed while drinking a nice cup of tea.
Control the portion size of your snack, which basically just means make sure you are self-aware. The word itself, “snack”, should mean a small portion of food meant to sustain energy throughout the day. That means that if you’ve eaten a large bag of potato chips instead of just a cup or two, you’ve gone too far. Go for single-serve items like a cup of diced fruit or a small pack of popcorn or pretzels.
If you’re looking for better options, look for:
Nutrient-dense foods. Whether it’s fresh or dried fruit, whole-grain crackers or cereals, nuts, and of course fresh veggies and low-fat dips, these snacks contain high nutrients like vitamin D, calcium, potassium, and dietary fiber, which provide optimal nutrition!
Also, be sure to avoid:
Empty-calorie foods – make sure you save snacks high in calories, fat, sugar, and salt for special occasions or “cheat days”. These should never be your go-to, everyday snacks, no matter how small the portion. As much as we’d all like to consider something like chocolate or ice cream or a few cookies a snack, let’s face it, it’s a dessert!
Finally, if you’re looking for a snack that is most dense in nutrients behind fruits and veggies, look to yogurt and dairy products! Although it is important to flag that they may be full of sugars and additives, healthy yogurts like plain Greek yogurt provide an amazing source of protein, which builds muscle and keeps you full longer, and minerals like magnesium, calcium, and potassium, all of which are great for your bones and joints.