By Sooyoung Uhm & Alex Wahlberg, University of Maryland Dietetic Students
“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.”
Think of your body as a car and food as the gas. If you continue to buy the
wrong type of fuel, over time you’ll wear out the car’s mechanics. Eating properly maximizes your body’s potential and ensures that it is running at its best.
Now think about this, when you drive across the country you need to make several stops to refuel. The greater the distance you go, the more fuel you need. You would never let your car just run out of gas! It’s important to eat enough food (and enough of the right foods) to keep yourself going throughout the day. Just like a car, your body needs the right equipment and maintenance for optimal performance.
Small, frequent snacks throughout the day keeps your metabolism revved up and helps normalize blood sugar which can curb cravings and prevent extreme hunger that can lead to over-indulging later. Healthy snacks are like slow-burning fuel and are a great way to stay satisfied and get the energy you need, but it’s important to snack wisely and choose foods that provide nutritional value and are low in calories.
Here are a few ideas that will satisfy a snacking urge and help keep you full:
- 1/2 cup low-fat pudding
- 1/4 cup reduced-fat trail mix
- 1 reduced fat string cheese & 1 medium apple
- 2 celery stalks with 2 tbsp peanut butter and 2 tbsp raisins
- 1 oz low-fat cheese and 3-5 whole wheat crackers
- 1 medium fruit or 1/2 cup fruit in its own juice
- 1 oz mixed nuts
- 3 whole wheat crackers with peanut butter & 6 oz skim milk
- 1 cup raw veggies with 2 tbsp reduced-fat dressing or 1/4 cup hummus
- 1 oz whole wheat pretzels, lightly salted
- 8 oz non-fat yogurt with 1/2 cup berries
- 3 cup air-popped popcorn
What are some of your favorite healthy snack ideas? Share with us in the comments below.