You”ve no doubt heard the advice that it”s better to eat tiny portions of food frequently during the day, than it is to eat three (or more?) large meals. Indeed, this is good advice! Eating throughout the day is good for the metabolism, and just as importantly, because you aren”t ravenous, you can take the time to select nutritious foods. As we all know, when you”re running on an empty tank instead of a half-empty one, you”re more likely to reach out for the quickest available foods; many of which are calorie-loaded.
So what should you be snacking on throughout the day? Good nutrition today is, generally speaking, no different from good nutrition a century ago. Carrots, broccoli, nuts and wheat-based snacks are still very much on the menu, the only difference is that with the new crop of food entrepreneurs entering the market, we have a more succulent variety of snack foods to choose from. This includes an array of healthy foods from around the world that now, happily, sit atop grocery shelves for North Americans to healthily enjoy.
What to Eat!
To get you headed in the right direction, here are a few suggestions for healthy snacking throughout the week. Pack some of these ideas into your lunch, and watch yourself feel better, lose weight, and indeed, impress your doctor on your next visit.
- Mondays and Fridays: small baby carrots, clementines, broccoli florets, and dried apricots.
- Tuesdays: yogurt (with live cultures), dates or prunes, an apple, cheese sticks (mozzarella preferably).
- Wednesdays: plain, natural almonds, strawberries, celery sticks, radishes, a can of tuna.
- Thursdays: soy nuts, raisin bran cereal (with or without skim milk), cucumber slices, banana.
- Fridays: soy pudding (small cup), cherries, pistachios or hazelnuts, kiwi (loaded with vitamin C!), and a few thin slices of green pepper.
- Saturdays: pomelo (similar to a grapefruit, available in most Asian stores), baked spanakopitas, bran muffin, low sodium wheat crackers.
- Sundays: peaches or mangoes, Lupino beans (you can eat these straight from the can!), wheat toast with peanut butter, hard-boiled egg, tabouleh salad (available in certain supermarkets, and Lebanese/Moroccan food stores).
These snacks are not only tasty, but are also easy to prepare. People, understandably, get turned off when snacking becomes a cumbersome exercise; hence they give up. Health conscious individuals are willing to put nutrition back into their meals, but they must be user-friendly for them to stay committed.
Remember: healthy snacking is healthy living! Just make sure you know how to control portions. The American Dietetics Association says, “portion control is in your hands.” Know the smart amounts of health snacks to consume. Consult food guides or speak to your nutritionist.