Snacks. They can be a burden sometimes, when you have to stop what you’re doing and eat something quick before the next main meal. They’re really beneficial in that they help control and stabilize your blood sugars, preventing them from dipping too low and sending you on a hunger binge, eating anything and everything. When giving some consideration, they can keep the pounds off and keep your metabolism running well.
I usually tell people to eat a small snack that combines some carbohydrate, protein, fiber, and a little fat. The carbohydrate is quickly digested and is a good source of glucose, your body’s preferred source of energy. The protein and fat are metabolized more slowly, keeping you fuller longer. The fiber also does the job of keeping you full, is zero calories, and absorbs water, with insoluble fiber helping in intestinal transit (ie, no better way to say this, but that means pooping regularly!) and soluble fiber lowering your cholesterol levels. Because fiber absorbs water from your intestines, it’s also good to keep snack time as a friendly reminder to drink plenty of water.
So ditch that bag of chips as a snacktime treat – these ideas will keep you full until your next mealtime, give you energy to keep going for the next few hours, and prevent that trip to the closest vendor you can find for that ice cream. When utilized effectively, snacks can keep you straight on the path to eating well and keeping off unwanted weight.
Great Snack Ideas
Broccoli slaw with reduced-fat cilantro salad dressing and a handful of nuts – Full of fiber from the broccoli and nuts, plus the nuts add a little protein to your day!
Apple slices with almond butter – The carbohydrates from the apple will give you a quick boost of energy, and the heart-healthy fats and protein from the almond butter will keep you going for the next few hours.
Veggie variety with 2 tablespoons hummus – Cut up some sugar snap peas, cucumbers, carrots, and/or celery to meet your veggie quota for the day. These fibrous foods are great with the protein-packed hummus.
Slices of avocado with whole-grain crackers and turkey – I like to slice up 1/4 of an avocado (about 4 slices) and layer it with turkey on whole-grain crackers.
Low-fat string cheese and grapes – I don’t know why, but I love this combo!