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 ¼ cup orange
* 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 Recipes from Judy E. Buss, Health Columnist, Nutritional Cooking Instructor.
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