How to Become a Healthy Snacker – US News
The first step to becoming a healthy snacker is understanding why snacking is important in the first place. It helps hold you over till your next meal, so you don’t feel like you’re starving. And the less hungry you are at lunch or dinner time, the easier it is to control what and how much you eat. If you had lunch at 1 p.m. and are planning on dinner at 8, aim for a snack at 4. It’s smart to grab one every three to five hours.
Snacks are also an opportunity to squeeze in nutrients from foods that your body might otherwise be missing out on. Maybe your standard three meals were too full to add a piece of fruit, or you just forgot to do so. Include some with your snack: It’ll increase your vitamin C and antioxidant intake. And if you missed your veggies at lunch? No problem; munch on some before dinner.
Snacking is also important because food is fuel for our bodies. Without it, we become tired, cranky, and even flat-out miserable. Just like you won’t get very far without fuel in your gas tank, you’ll come up short if your stomach is running on empty.
The hard part: Knowing what to snack on. Think of it as a mini meal—no more than 200 calories—that consists of a high-fiber carbohydrate for energy, lean protein, and/or a healthy fat. If you just snack on a carb, such as a piece of fruit, you’ll still be hungry. Protein and fat keep you satiated, so you don’t want another snack 30 minutes later.
Read the full article here.