Choose Snacks Wisely to Manage Weight More Effectively
If you are exercising portion control at mealtimes, your body may require additional protein, healthy fats and good carbohydrates between designated trips to the table. However, we are a nation of serial snackers and are often misled by product packaging as well as our ignorance of which foods are healthy. For example, 100-calorie snack packs sound like a no-brainer. However, according to a recent study in the Journal of Consumer Research, many dieters have a misperception that snacks in smaller packages are diet friendly. Some are but others are not. The biggest mistake occurs when someone eats multiple packets and actually consumes more calories than eating a regular-size container.
Nowadays, nutritionists understand that healthy snacks, especially high-protein options, can improve diet quality by curbing your between-meal appetite. But, the wrong snacks (i.e. - chips, chocolate, cheese crackers) can lead to unwanted weight gain. By doing a little damage control, you can fix what's wrong with your snacking strategy. The best place to start is by reading the FDA Food Nutrients label. Many processed foods that appear to be weight loss-friendly are packed with added sugars and sodium. In fact, did you know that snacks labeled as sugar-free might include up to half a gram of sugar per serving.
Food manufacturers spend millions on making their products appear to be healthy when they are not. One of the easiest ways to avoid being misled by food marketers is to make your own snack packs from fresh foods. That way, you control what goes into your snack pack and can avoid preservatives, added sugar and too much salt. By being wary, you can snack smarter. Popcorn made on top of the stove is a good fiber-rich snack to stave off hunger pangs. But, many microwave varieties contain butter flavoring that has been linked to Alzheimer's disease after high levels of exposure to the artificial chemical.
To learn more about how healthy snacks are best used for weight loss, contact the Metabolic Research Center. We've been helping clients restore their good health and manage their weight for more than 25 years. In addition to personalizing a menu plan specifically for your body, MRC offers a variety of diet-friendly food products as well as a host of healthy snack recipes.
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