The Secrets of Healthy Snacking
Want to get fit and healthy? Consider eating more often! That advice might seem counterintuitive, but experts say that eating healthy snacks, or 5-to-6 “mini-meals” per day, can actually enhance your health and well being. Susan Bowerman, RD, assistant director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, says, "When done right, (snacking) keeps your energy levels up and gives you more opportunities to get in all your nutritional needs."
According to Prevention Magazine, people who eat frequent “mini-meals” can enjoy health benefits such as:
- less likely to develop colon cancer
- steadier moods
- less likely to develop diabetes
- healthier immune system
- tend to be leaner
- lower blood cholesterol and levels of stress hormones
- less -“itis” illnesses (such as dermatitis, bronchitis, colitis, arthritis)
- and “just plain live longer and healthier”
Prevention calls this approach “grazing.” How do you “graze?” It’s simple: eat twice as often, eat half as much and chew twice as long, the magazine recommends.
Of course, when it comes to snacking, things can easily go awry. If you are “grazing” on cookies and potato chips, for instance, you can’t reap the benefits of healthy snacking, not only forfeiting the potential health benefits but possibly sabotaging your well being.
Prevention calls its solution “supergrazing,” recommending focusing on smoothies to pack lots of healthy ingredients like fruits, veggies, flax seeds and wheat germ into one vitamin-packed beverage. Venus and the EleVen team are big fans of smoothies and green juices, too, and there are lots of other healthy options to keep on hand for quick, healthy snacks.
When thinking about what healthy snacks to select, Jonny Bowden, a Los Angeles nutritionist and author, recommends thinking of snacks as "well-constructed mini-meals.” He says snacks “should be built around adequate protein, a little bit of fat and hopefully some fiber.”
As a rule of thumb, keep snacks limited to under 200 calories each. One idea is apples with peanut butter, which has carbs, fiber and protein. In fact, Men’s Fitness calls apples with peanut butter the “best pre-workout snack.”
Here are some additional ideas:
- Boil up a pot of eggs, and keep hard boiled eggs on hand in the fridge.
- Nuts are a good source of protein; just don’t overdo it, limiting your portion to a handful at a time.
- Stock your fridge with hummus and veggies.
- Yogurt is also a good option, but read the label before you buy, as many yogurts are packed with added sugar. Consider buying unflavored plain yogurt, and add your own fresh fruit.
Healthy snacking can help support active living, which is the essence of the EleVen lifestyle. Whether you are pursuing sports and fitness; working hard at building a business or climbing the corporate ladder; or running around with kids or friends, the EleVen lifestyle is about dedicating yourself to being better than your best in all areas of your life. Ensuring you stay fueled with good nutrition throughout your busy day can help you achieve excellence whatever your pursuit.
EleVen is also about looking your best, and our activewear provides both performance and style. Check out our latest collections here!