By PEAK Health & Fitness
The best snacks are those that fill you up quickly, help you feel full until mealtime and add relatively few calories to your daily total. Fruits and vegetables meet these ideal snack requirements for several reasons:
· Few calories: Most fruits and vegetables are low in calories. Even when you eat a portion that satisfies your hunger, the calorie count is low.
· Lots of water: Most fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water, which helps fill you up.
· Lots of fiber: Fiber is the part of plants that you can’t absorb and that passes through your digestive system slowly. Fiber fills you up and helps you feel full longer.
· Lots of nutrients: Fruits and vegetables provide healthy vitamins, minerals and other beneficial plant chemicals.
HEALTHY SNACK OPTIONS
· Fruits and vegetables: There are so many choices – apples, bananas, kiwis, carrots, oranges, red peppers, pea pods – just to name a few.
· Popcorn: Air-popped popcorn is a good source of nutrients, such as magnesium and potassium.
· Whole-grain crisp breads: Toasted whole-grain bread crackers, such as rye Melba toast, are good sources of fiber and complex carbohydrates.
· Hummus: Hummus is made primarily from chickpeas, a small amount of ground sesame seeds and olive oil. It’s a good source of protein and healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
· Nuts: Research studies have shown that nuts don’t generally contribute to increased calorie intake or weight gain when eaten in moderation, in part because you feel satisfied after eating them. Nuts also have been associated with a decreased risk of heart disease and overall mortality.
HEALTHY SNACKING TIPS:
· Keep your house/workplace stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables. Buy a variety so that you don’t get bored with your selection.
· Keep a supply of frozen or canned fruits at home and work for backup.
· Don’t keep conventional snacks, such as candy or chips, in the house.
· Have a small amount of mixed nuts when hungry, which will go a long way toward decreasing hunger sensations.
· Experiment with herbs or spices to make fruits and vegetables more interesting.
· Prepare snacks in the evening for the next day. For example, before bedtime slice up a red pepper, wash an apple or count out a snack-size serving of grapes. Put the snack in a container so that it’s ready to go in the morning.
Want to learn more? Join us for our upcoming classes:
Snacks: Easy, healthy and portable
Do long days at work tempt you to raid the vending machine for snacks? We will discuss easy, portable snacks that you can pack at home. Without the fat and calories typically associated with snacks, you can stay alert and satisfied at work. These ideas will help you save money and eat healthier while on the go.
· Thursday, Oct. 22: 5:30-6:15 p.m.
· Thursday, Oct.29: 5:30-6:15 p.m.
PEAK nutrition workshops are part of the university’s WellU program. Benefit-eligible employees can participate in two no-cost PEAK services. To register for your no-cost workshop, enter WELLU for the coupon code in the online registration system here.
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