Snacking: Not Always Bad for Your Health

The Pros
Snacking has acquired a bad name. However, this may not be warranted. It is not only easier at times to snack than to eat a large prepared meal, but it may also be healthier. Snacking will not by itself help a person maintain a healthy weight, but it does provide a person with energy throughout the day. It can also be a good way to get a well balanced diet. Snacks also keep people from making the bad food choices they often make when really hungry. Waiting to eat a big meal can lead to overeating and sluggishness. The key, of course, is to make snacks healthy ones.

Tips for Healthy Snacking
It is a good idea is to prepare snacks ahead of time. People often snack on unhealthy foods because they are so readily available and don't require the preparation of a full meal or even a healthy snack. Preparing snacks ahead of time helps a person avoid junk food and eat snacks that will complement each other across the day. At least a few snacks everyday should be made up fruits and vegetables. This may be an apple, a carrot, or any other fresh fruit or vegetable. Pre-wash them and keep them in a transparent container so they aren't forgotten. A person can also snack on low fat items such as pretzels or popcorn, yogurt, or low fat granola.

If a person is eating simply because they are bored, they should try drinking a glass of water instead, or a glass of juice. Also, many people feel hungry or unsatisfied when really they are just dehydrated. Try getting out of the house, taking a walk, and planning a dinner that is fun not only to eat but also to prepare. And for those people who are just plain old burned out on cooking, let someone else do the cooking a couple times a week.

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