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Strategies for Smart Snacking
Over the past 30 years snacking has grown so much that snacks can contribute to a quarter of the calories consumed each day, averaging 580 calories! As snacking has increased so has weight, with approximately 68% of adults being overweight or obese. Snacks may provide some health benefits and can provide a bridge to the next meal, however this takes a bit of planning and thought, not just impulsive eating.
Here are some strategies for smart snacking to keep the calories in check and boost your nutrition !
→ Focus on nutrient dense whole foods (foods that are packed with nutrition, not just empty calories) that provide vital nutrients and fuel the body.
→ Choose minimally processed foods. This will help keep sodium, sugar and fat in check.
→ Balance nutrients by combining a small amount of protein with carbohydrates.
→ Keep portions in check to maintain calorie balance, aim for a snack with 100-200 calories.
→ Take control, plan ahead and have snacks at consistent times. Aim for 3 hours after a meal.
Quick Snack Guide -
Consistently Pair Fruits and Grains with Protein
- Blueberries (3/4 cup) with plain NF Greek yogurt (3/4 cup) and 2 T. granola
- Small apple with 2 tsp peanut butter
- Grapes (17) with rye crisp crackers (2) and Low Fat string cheese (1 oz.)
- Tuna (1/2 cup) with (6) small whole grain crackers (trans fat free)
- Small pear with 1oz. turkey, 1 slice whole grain bread, lettuce and tomato
- Low Fat cheese (1 oz.) with whole grain tortilla and 1/4 of an avocado
- Dried apricots (4) with 15 unsalted pistachio nuts
- Non Fat plain Greek yogurt (3/4 cup) with diced tomatoes, cucumbers and 6 whole grain crackers
- Egg salad (1/2 cup) with lettuce, tomato and a small orange
Benefits of Smart Snacking
- Aids in maintaining blood sugar.
- Provides the body with energy.
- Minimizes hunger peaks that result in excessive calorie intake.
- Aids in maintaining a healthy weight.
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