Hooray, it’s snack time! However, that does not mean fatty, sugary, junk food. “Chain-nibbling” between or instead of meals, is also counterproductive. Believe it or not, one small portion of a nutritious goodie between meals offers several health benefits: First of all, it helps maintain a normal weight by preventing the development of ravenous hunger between meals, followed by overeating at mealtime. Second, healthy snacks increase nutritional intake without the guilt associated with them, as in: “eat it today, wear it tomorrow!” Third, this strategy aids in maintaining a steady blood glucose level; Wide glucose fluctuations wreak havoc on every system in the body, even in individuals free of diabetes or hypoglycemia.
The following are some healthy snack ideas, but remember: eat only one small portion between meals!
* Make a trail-mix by combining 2 or more of the following: nuts, seeds, dried fruit. A quarter to a half cup constitutes one portion.
* One handful of BAKED corn chips.
* Fresh fruit (equal to 3/4 cup), with a teaspoon of nuts or seeds.
* One toasted whole grain bagel with sesame butter (tahini), or guacamole.
* An unflavored rice cake with additive-free peanut butter.
* One quality granola bar.
* Veggie sticks, with or without a half cup low-fat cottage cheese.
* 1 – 2 tablespoons peanuts, nuts, or seeds.
* A smoothie made of one cup low-fat milk or soy milk, 1 cup frozen fruit and 1/4 cup orange juice.
* A cup of plain, additive-free, low fat yogurt. You can add 1 teaspoon honey, or whole grain dry cereal, or granola or trail-mix, or pieces of fresh fruit.
* 1-1/2 cup unbuttered popcorn, with a little salt and light olive oil.
* A small bowl of puffed cold whole grain cereal with low fat milk or soy milk, and a few chunks of fruit and/or nuts.
* A glass of tomato juice with lemon juice, black pepper, and Tabasco, if desired.
“Mission Nutrition” Tips and Recipe from Judy E. Buss, Health Columnist, Nutritional Cooking Instructor.
Excerpted from Judy E. Buss’ article, first published in the “Feeling Fit” Magazine, Sun Coast Media Group newspapers, Florida.
Stay tuned for more Judy E. Buss’ “Mission Nutrition” words of wisdom and recipes.