We’ve all been so busy that we make bad food choices, and grabbed a bag of chips. Or even a candy bar that’s been marketed to boost us when we “slump”. But in all reality, we need to be far more conscious of the foods we snack on because snacking makes up almost half of the daily calorie intake of the average American.
HALF! That’s a lot of calories that you probably never thought to count. That’s a lot of food that you could have been eating with more nutrients and protein.
People snack most at work, under stress, and when bored. So it’s important to know what kind of snacker you are, so you can be prepared! Preparation could mean that you stop buying sugary, carbohydrate-rich foods so that you stop temptation, but it could also mean that you keep apples and almonds in your desk at work, or in your purse when you’re on the go!
By realizing the type of snacking you do, you minimize that chance of feeling guilty when you do it by planning healthy options instead.
- Instead of picking “empty” calories (calories with no nutritional value), reach for a snack that is high in fiber and important nutrients. These include whole grains, beans, fruits and veggies, low-fat dairy and lean meats.
- Include carbs with lower glycemic indexes such as fruits, nuts, whole grains, veggies, and beans. The energy from these snacks won’t hit your bloodstream at all once, causing cravings and an “energy crash” later on.
- Balanced with small amounts of protein and some heart-healthy omega-3 fats. These balanced snacks tend to feel more satisfying and filling because they take longer to digest and supply energy over a longer period of time. Plant foods such as nuts, seeds, soy foods, and avocados are good examples.
So now that we’ve given some examples of healthy snacking, it’s time to make a SNACK ATTACK PLAN!
Decide your favorite healthy snacking alternatives such as carrot sticks, apples, oranges, soy nuts, almonds, unsalted nuts, avocados, kale chips, low-fat yogurt, etc. and keep them easily accessible for when you know you usually get the urge to snack.
So snack healthy!