The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that the average American eats 2.2 snacks per day and gets 25% of their total calories from snacks. 25% is a big chunk of our diet and can make a significant difference on our health and weight management efforts.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers advice on Smart Snacks below (link: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/fruits_vegetables.html).
“Most healthy eating plans allow for one or two small snacks a day. Choosing most fruits and vegetables will allow you to eat a snack with only 100 calories.
About 100 Calories or Less
A medium-size apple (72 calories)
A medium-size banana (105 calories)
1 cup steamed green beans (44 calories)
1 cup blueberries (83 calories)
1 cup grapes (100 calories)
1 cup carrots (45 calories), broccoli (30 calories), or bell peppers (30 calories) with 2 tbsp. hummus (46 calories)”
Learn more about What Counts as a Cup? (Link: http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/fruitsvegetables/cup.html)
Instead of a high-calorie snack from a vending machine, bring some cut-up vegetables or fruit from home. One snack-sized bag of corn chips (1 ounce) has the same number of calories as a small apple, 1 cup of whole strawberries, AND 1 cup of carrots with 1/4 cup of low-calorie dip. Substitute one or two of these options for the chips, and you will have a satisfying snack with fewer calories.
Remember: Substitution is the key.
It's true that fruits and vegetables are lower in calories than many other foods, but they do contain some calories. If you start eating fruits and vegetables in addition to what you usually eat, you are adding calories and may gain weight. The key is substitution. Eat fruits and vegetables instead of some other higher-calorie food.”
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