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Health and Fitness News Article - TheraGear Article Resource

Snack Your Way to a Better Body

Article #21

Snacks can be a source of nutrients, energy, and fiber. They can stave off hunger during the day and keep you from overeating at meals. And although you may not think so, it turns out that snacking can actually be good for you and help you to lose weight.



Why Snack?



Current research suggests that four to five small meals help maintain a more constant level of blood sugar, which helps keep your energy level up and keeps you from getting overly hungry.




Go Shopping!



The best way to snack is to have a supply at home that you can readily choose from and take with you to work. When you’re at the supermarket next buy a 6 pack of low fat yogurt, a packet of museli bars, some soya snacks, fresh and dried fruit or nuts. Visit the health food section of the supermarket and you will find heaps of snacks, try something new. Include a wide variety of healthful snacks in your eating pattern. Snacking on grain-based snacks, for example, can help maintain energy levels while providing vitamins, minerals, protein and carbohydrates.




Snack Healthy



Nutrition experts recommend choosing a wide variety of foods from all the food groups in the Food Guide Pyramid. It makes good health sense to moderate total fat intake. Remember cutting down on fat doesn't mean cutting back on taste. Today there are lots of good-tasting, low-fat, nutritious snacks available.



Use the Food Guide Pyramid as your "snack guide." The pyramid provides you with a practical tool to help you include a broad selection of foods.






Grains

Nutrition experts recommend 6-11 daily servings of grains, including bread, rice, cereal and pasta. To reach this goal, you can include plenty of grain-based snacks that are low in fat and calories.



Fruits and Vegetables

The pyramid recommends two or four servings of fruit and three to five servings of vegetables each day. Snack on bananas, peaches, carrots, apples and celery. Fruit and vegetable juices give you carbohydrate calories for energy, and also vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to keep you healthy.



Dairy

Include snacks from the milk, yogurt and cheese group. To help meet your daily calcium requirement, choose two to three servings of dairy products each day. Snack on low-fat yogurt, or have a low-fat or skim milk shake or a slice of cheese on a biscuit.



Snacking Tips



There are easy ways to make snacking work for you, which is especially important for an active lifestyle. Light snacks help keep you going whether you're at home or work, and especially when you're planning to exercise. Here are some tips for incorporating snacks into a healthy lifestyle:




Snack for energy.

Include a small snack two to three times a day to help keep up energy levels.




Remember that juice counts.

A glass of fruit or vegetable juice counts as a serving, too. Keep some in the fridge so you can grab one any time.




Snack with a friend.

Take a snack break with a friend. By snacking with someone, you can remind each other to eat healthful snacks and take time out of your busy day to "catch up."




Stash a snack.

Keep snacks in a desk drawer at work or even in a briefcase or carryall, so you're ready when the munchies hit. Be sure to toss a couple of snacks into your duffel bag when you're going to work out.



Pack snacks in the car.

Snacks are great when stuck in traffic. Pack the car with some whole-wheat bread sticks, fat-free flavored rice cakes, or fresh apples, bananas, grapes and whole baby carrots.



Have a quick breakfast.

Missed breakfast? Try a new take on the traditional morning meal with a snack-like breakfast, like individual packs of low-fat yogurt, a bagel with jam, and a glass of fruit juice.



Treat yourself.

Enjoy an evening snack, especially something sweet, after dinner. Savor some fig bars, fat-free caramel corn cakes, or low-fat frozen yogurt.




If you snack every three to four hours, your energy levels will stay high and you'll be less likely to binge later. There are so many good foods to enjoy. Eat up, eat well, and eat frequently.



To discuss this article visit Worldfitness.com



Amanda James