It's Snack Time

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It's 4pm and you're sitting at your desk, but your mind starts to wander. You hear a rumbling sound coming from your stomach and you're a little light-headed. You're thinking, "I can't be hungry I just ate lunch!," but in reality that was over 3-1/2 hours ago. What is happening is that your blood sugar is starting to drop so you are feeling the effects of hypoglycemia. What's the solution? Adding a healthy mid-afternoon snack to your daily diet.

However, not all snacks are created equal. Grabbing a handful of candy may taste good in the moment, but in the long run it won't give you the satisfaction you desire. Skip the high sugar snacks that metabolize quickly and will only make your blood sugar spike again in an hour. Instead, choose a snack that is nutrient packed.

Think of your snack as a small bite; one that will help you through the afternoon slump and keep you from becoming ravenous at dinner. You don't want your snack to be so calorically dense that you are essentially adding another meal to the day. I recommend keeping your snacks between 100-200 calories, depending upon your current weight, dietary needs or weight loss goals. It's also a great way to include fruit into your day.

Try one of these snack ideas next time you feel that hunger pang coming on, easy for the office or one the go:

  • 6 oz non-fat/low fat yogurt with 1 tbsp chopped almonds or 1 tbsp raisins
  • Sliced apple with 1 level tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/4 cantaloupe with 1/4 cup low fat cottage cheese (sprinkle some cinnamon, for extra flavor)
  • 1 cup edamame (boiled soybeans, in the pod)
  • Having a salt craving? Try 3 cups air popped popcorn or 1 oz (~18 chips) low fat baked tortilla chips with 1/4 cup salsa
  • Carry a baggie of cut up of fresh vegetables (broccoli, celery, carrots, etc), and if you are in the office add 2 tbsp of hummus as a dip.

You might be wondering about energy/protein or granola bars as a mid-afternoon snack. I think they are great, but you have to read the labels carefully, especially if you are trying to watch your caloric intake. Many bars are 200+ calories, contain saturated fat and are high in sugar. You have to be a bit of a detective, but look for bars that have ~150 calories, and at least of 5g Fiber (i.e, Kashi or Luna Sunrise brands). Not only will this contribute to meeting your daily fiber needs, but will make you feel fuller too.

Enjoy!

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This page contains a single entry by alphabitesnyc published on April 17, 2008 8:33 AM.

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