Happy Healthy New Year
2009 has arrived and if you are like many of us you’ve made some kind of New Year’s Resolution. The New Year gives us a fresh start, a chance to achieve some life goals that we may not have been able to accomplish in the previous year. Why not aim for better health?
Weight loss and exercise is the plan for many in the New Year, it may have been the plan for 6 years running! After a month of splurging on large meals and holiday goodies it’s time to reign in the appetite for sweets and stick with some more sensible snacking.
Here are some tips to keep your snacking light and healthy:
Why is it important to snack you may ask.
Your bodyís fuel supply typically runs out within 4-6 hours after eating a meal. Itís important to eat so that your energy level doesnít drop off. If you consistently find yourself with a large gap between meals, a snack would be a good idea. However, with that said itís important that your snacks are of the nutrient-rich quality type, rather than those that are high in fat and calories and low in nutritional value. Planning your snacks ahead helps to assure healthy snacking habits. The types of snacks that you choose as well as the amount of snacks you eat in a day can make a significant difference in your health and your weight.
Listen to Your Body. If you feel hungry, have a snack. It’s important to listen to your body’s hunger and satiety cues. This is the most natural way to eat. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are satisfied, and, of course, remember that this is just a snack not a meal.
Have Snacks on Hand. Pre-planning snacks and having them in your car or at work can help you to avoid getting overly hungry. It also helps you avoid the temptation of going for snacks that are high in sugar or high in fat. Look for a small cooler that you can keep snacks in for when you’re out and about doing errands.
Include Some Protein. Try not to eat only carbohydrate for your snack (ie, fruit, pretzels, crackers). When you incorporate protein into your snack you will feel full longer. Try low fat cheese with crackers, veggies with yogurt dip, or peanut butter on graham crackers.
Moderation is the Key. Balance is so important in nutrition. It's not a sin to have chips, dips, and sweets for snacks but they should be balanced along with more nutritious foods as a part of your eating plan and definitely eaten in moderation.
Here are some good snacks to have anytime and anywhere:
- Low-fat yogurt
- Individual boxes of cereal (try unsweetened)
- Apples, oranges, grapes, any fruit that will travel
- 100% fruit or vegetable juice
- Baby carrots and cut vegetables
- Light cheese and crackers
- Pre-packed puddings
- Pretzels, baked chips, rice cakes
- Granola or granola bars
- Trail mix, maybe even make your own at home (careful with portions)
Here are some snacks for when you're at home:
- Light cheese or meat quesadillas
- Bagel with low fat cream cheese
- Bananas or apples with peanut butter
- Baked potato with salsa
- Low-fat microwave popcorn
- Pita and hummus
- Vegetables with dip or salsa
- Cottage cheese and fruit
- Melon wedge with lemon yogurt
Remember there is a smart way of snacking to help keep things light. Snacking properly can help take the edge off hunger and keep us energized throughout the day.
The Diabetes and Nutrition Services Staff wish you continued success in your healthy lifestyle.