Snacking is the key to maintaining a healthy body weight. Not eating enough between meals is the reason we binge on unhealthy foods and ultimately gain weight. But smart snacking isn’t so easy. When we’re hungry we’re not always satisfied by an apple and handful of nuts. We crave either fat, sugar or salt type foods.
But smart snacking is the key. Cookies, chips, ice cream and those 100-calorie snacks may taste better than veggies or air popped popcorn but the scale won’t agree!
25% of our total daily calories come from our snacks. That’s around 600 calories. No wonder we’re all battling the bulge. The key to healthy snacking is to avoid commercial high fat and high sugar treats. Best to combine two food groups at each snack. For example, one ounce of cheese and one fruit; or a handful of nuts and ¼ cup dried fruit; or 2 oz. of lean protein such as turkey slices on one piece of whole grain bread. This type of snacking prevents your blood
sugar from rising too quickly and keeps your energy stable for longer.
- Craving salt? Ditch the chips and try some salted edamame pods, which are full of protein. 1 cup has 12 gm. of protein.
- Craving crunch? Swap the butter caramel popcorn for a handful of pistachios, which have a lower fat content, compared to other larger varieties of nuts. One-quarter cup has 170 calories, 13 gm. of fat and 7 gm. of protein. Peanuts have 18 gm. of fat per ¼ cups and cashews have 23 gm. of fat!
- Veggies and dip. The veggies are great but the dips can really set you back in calories and fat. Instead enjoy lower fat hummus, which has half the calories and fat than regular dips and also boosts your fiber and protein. Two tbsp. has 46 calories and 5 gm. of fat. Spinach dip has 100 calories and 9 gm. of fat for 2 tbsp.!
The key is to think about what you’re snacking on. Mindful snacking is the only way to prevent bingeing, control weight and keep you energized.