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Top Ways to Reduce Unhealthy Snacking
Let’s face the facts. Many of us are in a fast paced lifestyle and when we get hungry, we grab the easiest thing to much on. More than likely, these are not healthy, high is sodium and packed with preservatives, chemicals and non-nutritional contents. But, for some reason, we seem to habitually love these junk food items. If you are becoming aware of the fact that you have to make some changes in your life, reducing the unhealthy snacking is the first place to start.
A number one mistake that many people make is replacing a bad snack for one that simply doesn’t fill them up. This opens the door for returning to our former bad habit and adding that other (bad) snack back into our diet. Nutritionists advise that it is more important to get a snack that is healthier and might have a bit more calories than one that is slim in keeping you full.
Be careful what you read on those packages. Marketing experts are more than happy to let you know that this snack is “only 100 calories” so you don’t feel guilty grabbing the bag. What they don’t tell you is that they are low in fiber and high in refined carbohydrates. You will soon be looking for another bag soon. Reading the labels and packaging is also important, because that’s when you find out all of the chemicals, additives, preservatives and the many things you can’t pronounce.
It’s important to include fiber, protein and healthy fats (yes, those do exist) as well as combining the textures and flavors. You can make combinations that are filling, tasty and healthy such as air-popped popcorn along with some nuts, reduce-fat mozzarella string cheese and some fresh fruit or even hummus as your dip with fresh vegetables. Organic peanut and almond butter is always a good topper.
Things to avoid include almost all cookies and crackers. They are called empty calories and are often high in sugars and salt. Exceptions to this might be Melba toast and some of the whole grain, reduced-fat crackers. Cookies may be your favorite snack, but they can also be your downfall.
Choosing Greek yogurt is a good way to supplement your snacking because it is high in protein. Some of us don’t prefer the texture or even flavor, so we mix it with regular low fat yogurt as well as fruit.
Be careful when selecting health and granola bars. Many on the market proclaim to be healthy but they are high in fats and sugars. The rule of thumb is to find a tasty granola bar that has a minimum of 3 grams of fiber and five grams of protein.
While snacking is an American past time, it is showing in the average American waistline; and this includes our children as well. Making a transition to reduce unhealthy snacking may be more of a challenge with the kids because they are used to things in a variety of environments. Reinforcing can only be guaranteed while you are watching, but making a change can mean a change in habit and lifestyle for them.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Obesity Prevention12 Jul 2013|