Healthy Snacks

(Posted May 2nd 2018 @ 10:15 AM by: Peggy Readout)

Healthy Snacks

Healthy Snacking

 

Choosing healthy foods is as important at snack time as it is at mealtime.  Healthy snacks can add fiber and nutrients to your diet without unwanted calories.  They can give you an energy boost during the day and prevent you from overeating at meals.

 

To avoid gaining weight from snacking, keep your food portions small and try to space your meals and snacks three to four hours apart.  Also, keep your snack under 250 calories.  Food labels can help you determine the number of calories in packaged foods by portion size.  Many snacks are coming in single serving portions now, which is helpful.  But you still want to be careful about what kinds of food you choose to snack on!

 

Sugary and fattening sweets like cookies and candy lack nutrients, and many salty foods like chips can dehydrate you.  These foods should be eaten in limited moderation.

 

For healthy and filling snacks, try these:

  • Fresh fruit or a handful of dried fruit, such as raisins
  • Raw vegetables - carrots, celery, red and green pepper - cut and portioned in small plastic bags (try filling celery with peanut butter or low-fat cottage cheese, or dipping your vegetables in low-fat dressing)
  • A whole wheat English muffin with apple butter and a cup of herbal tea
  • A slice of angel food cake with non-fat whipped topping
  • Non-fat, whole-grain crackers (could be topped with cheese or peanut butter)
  • Non-fat cottage cheese or yogurt
  • A handful of nuts
  • Hummus on whole wheat pita bread
  • A smoothie (blend nonfat milk and/or yogurt with fruit)

 

So forget the bag of chips or candy bar and reach for an apple, pear, or handful of nuts and raisins.  You’ll get extra fiber, vitamins, and minerals, all for about 50 calories.  With proper portions and healthy food choices, snacking can enhance, rather than hurt your diet.  Think of a snack as a ‘mini meal’ that will help you have a healthy diet, rather than as an opportunity to consume treats.

 

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