Are You a Mindful Holiday Snacker?
America is in an obesity crisis, and the numbers point to the ubiquity of high-calorie, processed snacks as one of the main causes. Consuming these foods, heavy in fat, processed sugar and carbohydrates, may not only make you fat, it may damage your health. It’s acceptable to snack between meals, even when on a diet, as long as you are mindful of the proper foods to snack on.
The worst snacks are high in saturated fats and sugars (especially high fructose corn syrup) and have little other nutritional value to offer. Pre-packaged chips, candy bars, soft drinks and cookies are examples of the snacks to avoid. The calories these foods contain rapidly become fat deposits, and the chemicals they contain may be carcinogenic and are linked with a variety of other illnesses.
Better snack options
Some snack foods aren’t as bad for you as the worst snacks, yet are to be eaten as infrequently as possible. They offer some nutritional value but contain an unsatisfactory amount of fat and sugar. Frozen yogurt is a popular snack believed to be healthy, some store bought brands contain added sugar, and if you are buying from a trendy chain that offers toppings, you may be tempted to add high-calorie toppings. You’ll also want to moderate fruit juice and canned fruit in syrup (contains added sugar) and products made from refined white bread flour.
The best snack foods
Fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grain cereals and extra lean meat (natural or organic jerky) make good, nutrient rich, low-fat snacking options. Whole grain breads are good but lack protein, so pair that with skim milk or a lean meat. Sushi rolls with brown rice and canned tuna makes a filling between meal snack.
Keep in mind the portions of food you eat for snacks, even if you chose the best nutritional option. Moderating the intake of food while keeping your metabolism high through exercise is the best way to maintain your health.
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