By your Fitness Trainers at Century Fitness

Here’s the thing with “healthy snacking”, it can be useful and even beneficial if you understand and follow some basic concepts.

Healthy snacking can be an opportunity to add fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats. You might find you need more of a certain macronutrient that perhaps you didn’t get from your regular meals. Making smart choices means you can supplement your regular meals with healthy snacks allowing you to recover better from workouts and having more energy throughout the day.

Importantly, healthy snacking is clearly not junk food.  Staying away from highly processed junk food and desserts that are heavy in sugar and/or fat is always a good plan.  Occasional celebrations and other situations will come up and should have little or no effect as long as you don’t way over-indulge.

Here are some tips to ensure you get the most from healthy snacking:

  • Eat whole fruit. Juice is not a replacement for whole fruit because it removes fiber, phytonutrients found in edible skins and some vitamins and minerals can be stripped away in processing.
  • Variety is the spice of life. If you had fruit in the morning already, choose a different variety. (Example: Had a banana with my oatmeal, will have berries with my yogurt.)
  • Get a little nutty. Many nuts have great health benefits and a good balance of healthy fats.  Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, brazil nuts, rank high for health advantages. Try choosing from: 1- raw; 2- low salt; or lightly roasted.
  • Mix it up. Put a little low sugar granola, some cut up whole (non-dried) fruit, seeds and nuts in a sealed container for whenever you need that snack.  (Tip: Watch the serving amount of seeds and nuts, although they are packed with good nutrition they also have a decent number of calories for their size.)
  • Learn the language of food labels. Beware of slogans on packaging like: All Natural”; “Better than the…”; “Lower in fat than…”.  You still need to read the label and the ingredients.
  • Keep your snack portion size reasonable – you can get a great nutrition boost in about 150 calories.

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Healthy snacking comes in to play even if you’re on a weight loss mission.  Eating regular meals and healthy snacks in between once or twice a day, balances your body’s energy system and hormones. Healthy snacking done right can also curb your hunger.  Appreciate, enjoy and savor your food slowly… perhaps with a spot of tea!

This article is intended to be provide knowledge of general health and fitness principles and is not medical advice. Please consult with a physician if you have questions.