In these modern times it seems as if snacking has gotten a bad rap. It is true that most snacks that are readily available are unhealthy. The whole snack food category is filled with high-sugar, high-calorie foods that do little more than add to the problem.
Snacking can be a hugely satisfying part of a complete diet. Typically most Americans eat 2 to 3 meals a day, but food is digested in about 3 to 4 hours. This means that somewhere between breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner, we experience hunger. It is important to have a small portion of a healthy food snack (around 250 calories) between meals to prevent our metabolism from slowing down. Another benefit to snacking between meals is that it can prevent you from overeating during your main meals of the day due to the fact that you are not starving just before you eat. This can go a long way in reducing the total amount of calories consumed daily.
Here are some of my favorite snack suggestions.
- Fresh whole fruit
- Yogurt and granola
- Whole-grain crackers and low-calorie dip
- Trail mix with dried fruit
- 1/2 a peanut butter sandwich with whole-wheat bread
- Fresh fruit smoothie
- Raw fresh vegetables
- Small bowl of cereal
- Low-fat cheese
These are just a few healthy snack ideas. Get creative; use those leftovers and take time to invest in your health!
Photo from Flickr.