Nutritional Guidelines For Healthy Snacks
Fad diets, diet pills, foods to feed on exclusively, foods to boycott; What’s best? With all the crazy advice that you are doing rounds on the internet and in magazines, do people even still remember or have a clear idea of what a healthy snack or diet should look like? Probably, not. So clear your mind and erase what you think the truth is about healthy snacks. Use the following proper nutrition guidelines and the USDA’s MyPlate as your yardstick, your measuring rod for healthy eating.
Healthy Nutrition and Food Groups: My Plate
So, how exactly do you know how a healthy snack or meal should be? For this, we will go with what the USDA, (the department that is responsible for publishing nutritional rules and guidelines), has provided us with. There have been some changes with these guidelines over the recent years, but the basics have been maintained. Here is some information from the USDA for children and after school snacks.
Eating proper meals are going to cause to want to snack less. Getting proper nutrition from your meals are more satisfying and filling and cuts back the need to snack. Some people have changed their eating habits to 5 meals or snacks a day instead of eating three meals a day. Many people eat 3 smaller meals and add two small snacks between meals. This has shown to keep a persons metabolism to be a bit more regulated and less highs and lows. Below are some suggestions to eating smaller meals or snacks as some would say.
One of the major adjustments is focusing on filling up one-half of the plate with vegetables and fruits at each meal. While men require at the very least need nine servings of vegetables and fruits, women can have seven. You should bear in mind that vegetables and fruits have so much to offer including fiber and other essential nutrients such as vitamins.
However, despite many people touting fad diets, carbohydrates form a very significant bit of a healthy diet. The trick however is to feed on carbs rich in fiber such as beans, whole grains and fruits. A high fiber bar is a perfect snack. Some have as much as 10 grams of fiber in a 2-3 Oz bar.
The following are the recommended guidelines that you should adhere to.
Put your focus on vegetables and fruits- ensuring that at least half of your plate has fruits as well as vegetables at each meal.
1. Aim at having low-fat dairy – take three cups of low fat or even milk that is fat-free daily. Or, if you do not like to have milk, you could have the equivalent in yoghurt and cheese as well as other foods that are rich in calcium. A cup of yoghurt with some type of fruit added is a perfect snack.
2. Go for whole grains – you should have at the very least six servings of whole grain daily, and it should take up a quarter of your plate at every meal. There are many whole grain cereals on the market that make for a perfect snack. My favorite is granola cereal. I usually add some raisins and some type of nuts like walnuts or almonds. I use no fat milk or low calorie almond milk.
3. Avoid saturated fats, sugars, cholesterol and fat. Only consume 35% of fat.
4. For the remaining quarter of your plate, fill it up with lean protein. More than 15% of calories come from proteins such as beans, legumes, nuts and fish.
Visit the USDA guidelines for snacks. Very good site with the latest information on healthy snacks.
Guidelines to get you started;
The following will help you to develop a healthy plan for eating.
The most important thing is always to take in plenty of water.
-Pay attention to the portions as per the guidelines. They will, however, depend on whether you are looking to maintain or lose weight.
-Vary your foods to avoid boredom and to make sure that you get all the necessary nutrients.
-Keep in mind the recommended food intake for your weight, height, gender, age and activity levels.
-Do not cut out foods that you love; just make sure you exercise regularly and control your portions. The big problem that people have is they may eat way more then what they should eat because they like something. Eat a regular portion 2 to 5 oz and not 12 oz bowl of desert or whatever is your favorite food.
With the above guidelines, you can take them or leave them. This may help some get back on the path of leading a healthy life. Just make sure that some of the above nutritional guidelines are part of your daily life. Everybody is different. What works and is good for one may not work for another.
The Author’s Personal Snacking
I personally am a snack person and not a big meal person. Yes, I eat big meals from time to time but I also make up for it with a high fiber bowl of cereal in place of eating a 2nd or 3rd meal that day. High fiber low fat snacks has been more of the norm for me many days. You have got to work this out for yourself. I will be adding more to this site in the future about healthy snacks.
Visit http://www.health.com/health/food-recipes/ for some ideas on healthy snacks and foods. This is a wonderful site with a lot of great ideas.