Healthy Snacking

By Jigna Mehta

Why eat snacks?

Nutritious snacks may help you manage your appetite which can be an important factor in weight control.

A wide variety of pre-packaged snacks available in the market including Indian snacks. A lot of them contain an excess amount of salt, oil, and added or simple sugars.

Tips for choosing healthy snacks:

1)    Plan your snack items ahead and keep the portions small. (pre-portion it)

2)    Take snacks along with you. (specially to work and on road trips)

3)    Select baked or steamed snacks instead of fried

4)    Try to choose snacks that combines two or more food groups

(example: whole wheat bread with a 1 tbsp of peanut butter or ½ cup greek yogurt with berries)

5)    Include fresh whole fruits instead of fruit juices to increase fiber

Healthy snacks ideas:  

1)    Trail mix: Nuts with raisins, sunflower seeds, and pretzel sticks (Optional)

(Nuts are packed with nutrition but also high in calories so keep portion control in mind. Portions size:  one ounce or 1/3 cup. It provides approximately 160 calories.)

2)    Fresh vegetables with hummus or fat free dressing (2 tbsp)

3)    Low fat string cheese (1 oz)

4)    Some multigrain or whole wheat crackers with fat free milk (8oz)

5)    Fruits with Low fat cottage cheese (1/4 cup)

6)    Celery or carrots with peanut or almond butter (1tbsp)

7)    Edamame beans (1/3 cup)

8)    Plain popcorn (2 cups)

9)    High fiber cereal with fat free milk (1 cup)

10) Protein bar (less than 200 calories and more than 8 gm protein)

Typically snacks are advised in between meals or as bedtime if dinner is eaten early.

Keep them small, keep them healthy.

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