It’s 3 p.m. and your energy levels is dipping. You are craving for something to snack! You are thinking about raiding the vending machine, maybe grabbing a doughnut, and your resolve is weakening. The good news are that snacking is good for you because going too long without eating sets you for a blood sugar dip that could negatively affect your food choices for the rest of the day. The bad news are that most of the snacks in the vending machine or prepacked options are rotten choices. But in any event you still need to beat your cravings. For this reason we have prepared five tips for healthy snacking during the day.
Time your snacks strategically
Eating a low-calorie snack during a long stretch between meals can take the edge off hunger and prevent overeating at the next meal. If snacks are well timed, they may help to boost flagging energy, especially in children. Some people intentionally blunt their appetites with a low-calories knack before an event where calorie-laden foods are served. And be sure to include protein such as yogurt, cheese, nuts, seeds, nut bars or beans to keep you feeling full longer.
Decrease servicing sizes for snacking
The same foods that make up a small meal can work well, so a sandwich, a bowl of hearty vegetable soup, cheese and crackers, yogurt with fruit, or a homemade muffin or trail mix all make the nutritional grade.
Fulfill nutrient needs with snacks
Snacks can also provide several of the recommended daily servings of starchy foods or the 5 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables. Half bagel with cheese and an apple or a pita pocket filled with tuna and chopped raw vegetables makes a filling, nutritious snack. Other quick, low-fat yogurt blended with herbs and a piece of fruit.
Shop with snacking in mind
Add healthy snacking foods to your shopping list. When you have the right food on hand, it’s easy to prepare snacks to take on trips, to school, or to work. Stay away from prepacked high-fat items, such as potatoe and tortilla chips.
Avoid snack traps
Everybody knows that a raw carrot is healthier than a frosted doughnut, but some snack foods that sound nutritious are not much better than doughnuts. Read labels carefully to find hidden sugar and fats. Some common traps include granola bars. They are often loaded with sugar and fat. Fruit drinks may contain very little fruit juice but have large amounts of added sugar, such as high-fructose corn syrup. Coffee drinks similarly can have large amounts of high-fat cream or sugar. Microwave popcorn is often high in fat, as are trail mixes and other packed combinations of nuts and seeds.
Snacking throughout the day can keep hunger and overeating at bay, but you should keep snacking portions small. Healthy-sounding foods, such as granola bars, may be loaded with calories, fats and sugars. Be prepared with healthy snacks, such as fresh fruits or veggies with hummus. When shopping for your groceries, make a routine picking food for snacks such as nuts and seeds, various fruits or vegetables. Make your own healthy pie at home and bring it to your workplace. We hope our five tips on snacking will help you stop your cravings during the day.