HEALTHY LIVING : Healthy snacking

Many people think snacks are junk food, though it doesn’t have to be that way. Snacking can be part of a balanced diet. Eating small portions between meals provides your body with energy to keep you going throughout the day. In fact spacing out meals and snacks can help prevent weight gain.

Many people think snacks are junk food, though it doesn’t have to be that way. Snacking can be part of a balanced diet. Eating small portions between meals provides your body with energy to keep you going throughout the day.

In fact spacing out meals and snacks can help prevent weight gain. The Nutrition Facts Label on packaged foods will help you figure the calories and nutrients that are in one portion size for as long as you keep your snack portions small and less than 250 calories.

Since more foods are now being packaged in single serving portions, it is  easier for one to keep track of how much they are eating. But you still want to be careful about what kinds of food you choose to snack on!

Sugary and fattening sweets like cookies and candy lack nutrients. Many salty foods – like chips – can dehydrate you. These foods should be eaten in moderation.

Research actually shows that snacking in between meals, or even eating 4-5 smaller meals throughout the day, is better for you than the traditional two or three larger meal routine.

That is, of course, if you are eating nutritious snacks instead of the all-too-popular vending machine potato chips and soda, which many of us are drawn to.

So really, it’s a matter of making good snack choices when it’s time for a food break. Power foods are always a good bet, because they usually combine high nutrients and lower calories.

Healthy snack choices start at the grocery store. That’s where the decision is made to eat healthy snacks – not at the office or on the couch, but at the grocery.

So forget the bag of chips or candy bar and reach for a handful of nuts and fruits. You’ll get extra fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

With proper portions and healthy food choices, snacking can enhance, rather than hurt your diet.

Snacking has its benefits too:

• Healthy snacks provide fiber and nutrients your body needs.

• You can curb the feeling of hunger or starvation right before a meal, which prevents overeating. Snacking may help you eat smaller portions and reduce your calorie intake.

• Though individual calorie needs vary, your body needs fewer calories as you age.

• Eating smaller meals more often may help you stay on track.

For healthy and filling snacks, try:

• Full Fresh  fruits e.g Apple ,Banana, Pear, Peach, Grapes, Plum, Orange, Berries, Watermelon

• A glass of of fresh mixed juices
• A whole wheat bread and a cup of herbal tea
• A bowl of whole wheat cereals e.g  weetabix or cornflakes

• A glass of yoghurt
• A glass of warm milk with toast
• Boiled sweet potatoes, cassava, guavas and yams

• Broth soups , vegetable soup, tomato soup, mushroom soup or chicken noodle soup
• A cup of porridge

Ends

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