Many foods that claim to be a great nutrition value aren’t. A good example is when bran muffins and cereal bars are packed with unhealthy fats and added sugar. Fat-free foods can contain lots of added salt and sugar so read food labels. A few examples of good snacks are:
- Whole grain snacks — such as whole-grain low-salt pretzels or tortilla chips and high-fiber, whole-grain cereals. These can give you some energy with staying power; these are smarter snacks.
- Many breakfast foods can be repurposed as smarter snacks and consumed later in the day. A slice of whole-grain toast topped with low-sugar jam, or low sugar granola can also make a great quick snack.
- Try a “hi-low” combination. Combine a small amount of something with healthy fat, like peanut butter, with a larger amount of something very light, like apple slices or celery sticks.
- Unsalted nuts and seeds make great smarter snacks. Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, roasted pumpkin seeds, cashews, hazelnuts, filberts, and other nuts and seeds contain many beneficial nutrients and are more likely to leave you feeling full (unlike chips or pretzels from the vending machine in your office). Nuts have lots of calories so keep portion sizes small and under control.
- Try to eat more than one macronutrient (protein, fat, carbohydrate) at each snacking session. For example, have a few nuts (protein and fat) and some grapes (carbohydrates). Try some whole-grain crackers (carbohydrate) with some low-fat cheese (protein and fat). These balanced snacks tend to help you feel more satisfied.
- Don’t eat your snack while doing something else like watching TV, or working at your desk. Stop what you’re doing for a few minutes and eat your snack like you would a small meal.
- Think ahead and carry a small bag of healthful snacks in your pocket, purse, backpack, or briefcase so you won’t turn in desperation to the cookies at the coffee counter or the candy bars in the office vending machine.
Additional Information Sources…Smarter Snacks