Building a Better Snack
Posted: September 11, 2009 at 1:36 pm
I admit to being something of a "binge snacker." I know that has an impact on my weight, but what really is good to go for when you just plain have that urge? Thanks! Mark
Proper snack management can be as easy as A-B-C:
The ABCs of Building a Better Snack
Avoid sugary sweets, starchy high fat cakes, cookies, and chips, and unrefined flour snacks like, crackers, and some granola and energy bars.
These snacks have no nutritional value and actually zap your energy and increase your cravings. Learn to be a food label sleuth and watch out for junk food disguised as healthy food. A good rule of thumb: choose 3 grams of fat or less per serving (a little more is okay if it’s a healthy fat), restrict saturated fats and instead choose healthy fats like poly and mono-unsaturated fats and omega 3s. Choose 10 grams or less of sugar. Less is best!
Build Your Snack with Carbs, Protein, Fat, and Fiber.
Eat foods that combine several of these food building blocks or put food groups together to create a nutrient complex snack. Let’s look at 2 tablespoons of peanut butter on 2 whole grain crackers and an apple: the peanut butter includes protein and healthy fat, the whole grain crackers and apple are healthy carbs that include lots of fiber to fill you up and the entire snack packs b-vitamins for energy, vitamin C, healthy antioxidants, iron and selenium! Sounds like a small snack, but in this case smaller is better: less calories but lots of staying power because fiber, healthy fat, and protein fill you up and help you feel satiated longer! When you choose a single snack item – ask yourself: “What can I add to this snack?” Add nuts to your whole grain pretzels. Add a low fat cheese stick to your carrots and celery. Add 2 ounces of lean, low sodium deli slices to a slice of whole grain bread and squeeze in a slice of tomato and cucumber! When you build on your snack, you add nutrient value, and you stay fuller longer, which cuts cravings for junk food!
Count calories: an extra 100 calories a day above what your body needs to maintain its weight can add 10 pounds a year!
Consider eating smaller meals and spreading your calorie consumption out over the day by including nutritious snacks – this will help you maintain all day energy!