Smart Snacking

Between work and the daily responsibilities of life, it may feel like there's no time for healthy eating. When we do stop to eat, it's tempting to go the quick and easy route by grabbing a snack that is less than optimal.

But it is possible to treat yourself to a healthy snack. In fact, if you have a hectic schedule, it's even more important to eat healthy foods that give you the fuel you need to keep going.

Even if you take time to eat three meals a day, you may still feel hungry at times. What's the answer? Healthy snacks. Snacking on nutritious food can keep your energy level high and your mind alert without taking up a lot of your time.

As with everything, moderation is the key to smart snacking.

People who eat regular meals and healthy snacks are less likely to overeat and gain weight than people who skip meals or go for long periods without eating and then consume large quantities of food.

It's natural to feel hungrier at certain times — like between a long afternoon of work and before dinner. Knowing how much food your body needs to satisfy this hunger is critical. A handful of walnuts provides great brain food before sitting down to do tackle a work project. But a whole bag won't help much with anything — except pounds!

Snacks are an important part of a healthy diet. When we snack is as important as what we snack on! To illustrate this point, consider the following example of a typical daily eating pattern;

We wake up and have a coffee to get us going. If we’re too tired, or rushing to get ourselves to work, and/or rushing to get the kids to school, we skip breakfast…even though we’ve all heard that it’s the most important meal of the day.

To keep energy levels going — and avoid weight gain — steer clear of foods with lots of simple carbohydrates (sugars) like candy bars or soda. Look for foods that contain complex carbohydrates like whole-grain breads and cereals and combine them with protein-rich snacks such as almond butter or low-fat yogurt or cheese.

How do I know if my snacks are healthy?

Choosing healthy snacks means shopping smart. Be cautious of the health claims on food packages. Here are some things to watch out for:

Here are some ideas for healthy snacking:

Give your body structure, routine, and energy by eating 3 meals and 2 snacks a day!

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