In our society where many Americans are conscious of obesity or simply being overweight, “snacking” is a term that sometimes has a negative connotation. It’s not the act of snacking that causes health problems, but more so the manner in which we snack. In fact eating between meals can actually have real health benefits.
Depending on your schedule, the time between meals can be lengthy. Being very hungry is not just annoying, it can be unhealthy. If you eat breakfast at 7AM and lunch at noon, that’s 5 hours to build up an appetite. Binge eating can be a result of being too hungry and eating too quickly. Choosing a healthy snack option can mitigate that hunger and leave you feeling satisfied until your next meal.
Breaking up your caloric intake into smaller, more frequent meals has positive effects. Eating more frequently throughout the day boosts your metabolism as well. The key is to pick a snack with good nutritional value. That means food that is high in nutrients and low in calories. Read the label and look closely at the first five ingredients.
It’s a good idea to keep your snacks relatively low in calories. Pay special attention to serving sizes. Try to keep your mini meal around 100-120 calories.
Typically, limiting your snack to 100 calories results in a small amount of food. You may find that if you eat slowly you’ll be more satisfied. It can also help to choose a variety of snacks throughout the day.
It Doesn’t Have to be Boring
A whole wheat tortilla with some white meat chicken and low fat cheese is a tasty treat between lunch and dinner. Try to eat half and save the rest for later in order to keep calories in check.
Nuts & Dried Cranberries
Unsalted nuts (or lightly salted if you must) have healthy unsaturated fats and protein. Combined with the fiber and carbohydrates of cranberries this is a handy and quick pick-me-up. Watch your portions as both are calorie-dense.
Raspberries with Yogurt & Honey
What’s not to like about this one? Three great tastes with benefits like antioxidants, to promote brain health, with a hunger-satisfying protein. Use a small amount of honey for flavor and sweetness.
Shrimp & Cocktail Sauce
This classic combo is packed with protein and flavor. If you like seafood, this is a nice treat to give you the spark you need to stay active.
Egg on Toast
A couple of cooked egg whites seem to belong on wheat toast. Seasoned with a touch of salt and pepper, it’s the perfect vehicle for fiber and protein, especially mid-morning.
Sweets & Chocolate
If you’re anything like a lot of us, sometimes you just need something sweet. Skim milk and light chocolate syrup is good on occasion. This drink is ideal for after a workout when our body is seeking carbs and protein for muscle recovery.
A healthy diet can help you enjoy an active retirement. We encourage you to visit Kendal at Oberlin and dine with us. Check out the healthy and delicious options available on the menu.