Happy Saturday People:
Most of you know that snacking is a healthy way to keep your metabolism up and your weight down. However, many of you don’t really know the difference between a good snack and a bad snack.
Here are some simple rules for you to follow that will keep you on the right Snack Track:
1. As always, avoid foods made with simple carbohydrates (sugars). Instead, choose foods that contain complex carbohydrates like whole-grains and combine them with a protein such as peanut butter or low-fat yogurt or cheese.
2. Just because something is preceded by the words “all natural” or “pure” doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s good for you. For example, many “all natural” drinks are filled with that “all natural ingredient”…sugar. And as you now know (thanks to Body Designs 19), sugar reeks havoc on you blood stream and ultimately your metabolism.
3. Be wary of those addictive Granola bars. Although they can be a good source of vitamins and nutrients, many also contain a great deal of fat.
4. Also, be skeptical of words like “low-fat” and “non-fat”. What? You read it right! Be Skeptical! If the fat has been eliminated or cut back, the amount of sugar in the food may have increased in order to keep that food tasting good. As a result, many these foods have nearly as many calories as their full-fat versions.
5. Whatever claims are made on the front of the package (like in the name of what you’re about to enjoy), you can judge its validity by reading the actual food label. And if you’re still unsure, bring it to me and I help you figure it out.
6. Read serving size information. What looks like a small package of cookies can contain two or more servings. That means double or even triple the amounts of fat, calories, and sugar shown on the label.
So now you know what to avoid. Here’s is what you should do.
1. Prepare healthy snacks in advance. Make you own granola or trail mix.
2. Keep healthy snacks with you. Make it a habit to stash some fruit, whole-grain crackers or baby carrots in your pocket blood (yes, I am from New Jersey), briefcase, backpack or workout bag so you always have something healthy with you.
3. Make it interesting. Whole-wheat pretzels with spicy mustard, rice cakes with peanut butter and raisins, or low-fat fruit yogurt are healthy, tasty, and easy. One of my favorites is peanut butter spread on celery with raisins placed on top.
4. Satisfy cravings with healthier options. If you’re dying for chocolate, try a hot chocolate drink instead of a chocolate bar. An 8-ounce mug of hot chocolate has only 140 calories and 3 grams of fat. A chocolate bar, on the other hand, has 230 calories and 13 grams of fat. Substitute non-fat frozen yogurt or sorbet for ice cream. If you’re craving something savory, snack on baked tortilla chips instead of regular corn chips and dip them in salsa instead of sour cream. Or satisfy salt cravings with pretzels instead of chips.
I know that’s a lot of info. just for snacks. But I really think that most people overlook their importance when dieting. You can eat well at all of your meals and then one or two mistakes snacking can set you back “a ton”. So, if you have any questions about what you’re currently eating as a snack, feel free to bring it in and we can discuss it.