Grains As Healthy Snacks

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,125
    Pam O’Brien, Executive Editor of FITNESS Magazine with the help of the Grain Foods Foundation, discusses why snacking is good and what healthy snack options are available.

    Pam O'Brien: Hi! I am Pam O'Brien, Executive Editor of Fitness Magazine. Today I am going to discuss the basics of healthy snacking.

    Snacking often gets a bad wrap but it's actually good for you, it's important to eat every three to four hours to keep your blood sugar and your energy level stable and to keep you from getting too hungry.

    Also eating a healthy snack helps kick your metabolism into gear. When you go too long between meals your metabolism slows to conserve energy. Eating a snack helps keep your body's engine humming.

    Here are a few smart snacking strategies to incorporate into your diet. First, choose snack foods that are both nutritious and satisfying. To keep you energized and nourished and curb cravings, a smart snack should include a combination of protein and fiber, such as string cheese and crackers or an apple with some peanut butter.

    Watch portion sizes. A healthy snack should have about 150 to 200 calories. Plan ahead; bring a few small snacks with you to work everyday such as cereal and energy bar or pretzels. Also keep healthy non perishable snack food in your desk and carry them in your bags so that you are prepared whenever hunger strikes.

    Registered Dietitian Sylvia Melendez-Klinger from the Grain Foods Foundation discusses what snack options are best for you.

    Sylvia Melendez-Klinger: There is no limit to healthy snack choices, consider grains such as crackers topped with peanut butter or hummus or popcorn with a bash of your favorite seasoning.

    To get in your recommended fruits and veggies try baby carrots and cucumber slices with lime juice, or low fat vanilla yoghurt topped with blueberries, sliced strawberries and whole grain cereal.

    For a protein filled snack try almonds, peanuts or walnuts or cooking shelled edamame with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. And for something sweet, a small banana top with one teaspoon of peanut butter and melted chocolate is an excellent choice.

    Pam O'Brien: And for those of us always on the go, here are some on the go snack options. A granola bar made with oats, pretzels, a small bag of popcorn, fruit like apples, pears or grapes, nuts, and when you need a treat, a square or two of dark chocolate with some almonds.

    And that's how to snack in a healthy delicious way.