Snack smart!

Snacking smart can provide many health benefits — hunger control, weight management, blood glucose control and more. When you snack smart, eating often helps stimulate your metabolism to keep burning calories throughout the day. It also controls hunger to prevent you from feeling famished at mealtimes and over-eating as a result. The best times to snack are between meals and before or after workouts.

Snacking often gets people in trouble when they choose high-fat, empty calorie items such as chips, cookies, candy or soda. These contribute to weight gain and displace essential nutrients in the body.

Keys to snacking smart

  • Choose snacks that are 150 calories or less, and limit added sugars and salt.
  • Consume whole-grain or high-fiber products. Foods high in fiber can help you to feel full, and they provide additional  health benefits. Aim for 5 grams or more per serving in a snack.
  • Select fruits when you have a sweet tooth. Fruits provide sweetness without empty calories and sugar. Try to pick fruits that are fresh and in season.
  • Pick fresh vegetables of varying colors to get more vitamins, minerals and fiber in your diet.
  • Pair protein with fruits or vegetables to increase satiety.
  • Try low-fat or fat-free dairy products, which are high in protein, calcium and Vitamin D.
  • Plan ahead. Have healthy snacks available in your home and office to prevent vending-machine temptation.
  • And last, but not least: Only snack when you are truly hungry.