Have you thought about just how much snacking you do during your day? The fact remains, we tend to consume a substantial quantity of our daily calories throughout the daytime between meals.
But a lot of us do not look at snacking as significant and let some questionable fast-foods creep into our food diets under the guise of”a bite.” Fortunately, there’s an infinite assortment of better and much healthier snack thoughts for individuals to detect and revel in.
Snacking can be a healthy way to refuel throughout the day. But picking “healthy” snacks may not be that simple unless you know exactly what to look for. Advertising can make food seem nutritious when it’s loaded with sugar and fat. A label will draw your eyes exactly to the main selling point like “contains real fruit,” “made with skim milk,” or “made with whole grains.” What you won’t see unless you inspect the label closer is that the “whole grain” snack food is loaded with fat and sugar. Even low fat or nonfat snacks often have a lot of sugar added to replace the moisture (technically called mouth feel) lost when fat is removed.
Another common “lure” on food labels is the fact that the snack contains a healthy ingredient such as fruit or oats. Again, check the Nutrition Facts panel and an ingredients label to see just how much of the “nutritious” ingredient is actually in the product. Ingredients are listed in order of most to least, so if fat is listed as one of the first ingredients, you know the food is high in fat calories. The ingredient label can also help you to identify ingredients you may be allergic to or want to avoid for other reasons.
What if you’ve just got to have some chips or cookies? Buy single-serving packages–again, check the label to make sure it says it contains one serving. That way you’re not depending on willpower to eat just one serving of chips out of a big bag.
Here are a few suggestions for snacks at home or on the go:
- Cut up your favorite vegetables into bite-sized pieces and store in zip-lock bags. Baby carrots and cherry tomatoes don’t even need cutting. If you don’t like them plain, add a low- or nonfat dressing for dipping.
- Keep a variety of fresh fruit available.
- Pick salsa instead of creamy dips.
- Some nutritious snacks you can purchase ready-made include pretzels, graham crackers, nuts, raisins, dried fruit, breadsticks, string cheese, peanut butter, and nonfat crackers. You can combine nuts, raisins, dried fruit, and pretzels to make a healthy and inexpensive trail mix.
- Keep your favorite single-serving yogurts on hand. For an added treat, top the yogurt with sunflower seeds or low-fat granola.
- Roasted soy nuts are becoming another popular snack. Health food stores and most major supermarket chains are now carrying soy products, including soy butter, which is a low-fat alternative to traditional peanut butter.
- Drink tea (iced or hot), low- or nonfat milk, vegetable juices, or water with your snack foods. Avoid those empty calories in non-diet soda.
Remember, if you buy ready-made snack items, read the labels to be sure you know exactly what you’re munching on!
The infographic below provides you with to decide to try making your own mix and match snack recipes by merely mixing some essential ingredients.