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Healthy Munchies

Jena Walther, MS, CSCS

 

We have all experienced the afternoon “crash,” and it seems most  people look to beat that crash with energy drinks or some supplement.   Is there a more appropriate solution to energy lulls? Choosing healthy  snacks over sugar and stimulants may solve your afternoon energy crisis  and help you lose body fat. Sometimes more is actually less - i.e.  mucnhing on healthy snacks during the day can also help prevent you from  over eating at night.

 

So what makes a healthy snack? Healthy snack foods are:

  • Low in saturated fat (less than 3 grams per  serving)
  • Low in added sugar (natural sugar is okay, but read the ingredient  list and limit high-fructose corn syrup, sucrose, molasses, and cane  juice)
  • Moderate-to-High in protein (more than 5 grams per serving)
  • Contain complex carbohydrates (Look for whole wheat and 100% whole  grain flour in the ingredient list)

Fruits and vegetables are always a good choice considering you need at  least three servings of each on a daily basis.  The next time you get  home from the grocery store, cut your fruit and vegetables up and throw  them into Tupperware containers for on-the-go snacks - this will prevent  your fresh produce from growing mold in that plastic bag in your  fridge.

 

Other healthy snack options include:

  • Whole wheat pita bread and hummus
  • Low-fat cheese
  • Fat-free/light yogurt
  • A handful of nuts or seeds (only 1 handful since  the Calories add  up quickly)
  • Switching your “4 O’clock chocolate” to dark chocolate to  supplement your sweet craving with an antioxidant boost

So, when you have the urge to snack, reward your body with  something  healthy to keep you going all day long!

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