Using snacks to fill in your neglected food groups for the day is a great way to hit your daily intake goals, and achieve My Plate suggestions. For example, if your breakfast contains; eggs, milk, whole wheat toast and fresh fruit, your missing your veggie for the meal. So, for your mid-morning snack you could have cucumbers and carrot sticks. Then your mid afternoon snack would fill in what you didn't get with your lunch. This process eliminates empty calorie consumption and boosts nutritional intake, and My Plate goal achievement.
Another benefit of snacking is it helps maintain your stomach levels all day. This helps you avoid getting hungry, which leads to fast eating and over consumption of food. When your stomach has food in it all day, it allows you to consume smaller portions at meal times, leading to less consumed calories over the day.
Smart snacking is crucial to achieve these benefits. Calories add up fast, so if snacking isn't done smartly it can result in weight gain. Here are some good suggestions to help you determine a good snack option.
- Few Calories: Fruits and vegetables are low in calories, even when consuming a large portion to satisfy hunger, the count is still low. Aim for less than 100 calories;
- Medium apple: 95 calories
- Small banana: 90 calories
- Two kiwis: 84 calories
- 20 medium baby carrots: 70 calories
- 20 grapes: 68 calories
- Medium orange: 65 calories
- 20 cherry tomatoes: 61 calories
- Medium peach: 58 calories
- Medium red pepper: 37 calories
- 20 pea pods: 28 calories
- LOTS OF WATER: Fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water, which helps fill you up, and keep you hydrated. The average person should consume 64 oz of water a day.
- LOTS OF FIBER: Fiber is the part of the plant that you can not absorb. It also passes through your digestive system slowly, keeping you full longer.
- Little Fat: Good rule to consider; HIGH fat = HIGH calories and usually low in water and fiber. We want to steer clear of these type of foods, especially when it comes to snacking.
Fruits and veggies fulfill all of these suggestions, which is why they are great suggestions for snacking. Here are some other great snacking options!
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