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  • Writer's pictureTracey Sinibaldi

Snacking - When We Should and Shouldn't

Snacks can either be your friend or foe. Do you have control when it comes to snacking or is it hard to stop once you start? Snacking can get pretty tricky – most have fun and bright packaging that entices you to buy. On the other hand, snacks can be great because they’re easy, involve minimal prep, and you can grab them on the go. However, most of the snacks that we all know and love can be unhealthy and are heavily processed with added sugars. It can be difficult to navigate the snack aisle and determine which ones are healthy for you.

Watch the Wording

Companies tend to overuse or misuse words such as "natural", "gluten-free", and "low-fat". Be careful if you see any of these phrases. While they may appear as a healthy choice, these words don’t paint the whole picture of what the snack contains. Something the “natural” snack could still be high in sugar or sodium. This is why it’s important to know how to read a food label. Know that the first ingredient listed is what the product contains the most.

Are you actually hungry?

People tend to snack when they are bored! Try to determine if you're grabbing a snack because you want one or need one. Having a snack for events or gatherings is completely okay, but you'll typically want to avoid things such as mindless eating. This also means trying to avoid snacking while doing something else (watching TV, doing work, etc.). If you do choose to snack and do something else, try to portion out your snack, instead of eating straight out of the bag.

Make your own snacks!

Homemade snacks can both taste better and be healthier for you than ones bought in the store.

  • Try making your own healthy trail mix or pita chips.

    • For trail mix, opt for nuts high in protein and healthy fats such as almonds, cashews, pistachios, and walnuts. Then add some seeds, such as sunflower, chia, flax, or pumpkin and a small amount of dried fruit adds a bit of sweetness. Trail mix is a great snack to have on hand and will also keep you full and satisfied.

    • Homemade pita chips can be another great option. Buy some pita, cut it into triangles, and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. These taste great with peanut butter or some hummus.

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