Many people think that fat-free crackers are a healthier option than a regular cookie, and choosing a salad is a much better choice than cheeseburgers. But the reality is not quite what you think, there are many healthy foods that are not as healthy as we think.
Unhealthy foods and junk food are part of the reason Americans are fatter and sicker than ever. Thanks to clever marketing campaigns and misleading information, many of the snacks you think are healthy are actually packed with calories you never expected.
Despite your best efforts in choosing healthier snacks, many choices can sabotage your health and weight. So how do you snack in the healthiest way possible? We asked an expert!
Is my healthy snack really healthy?
INTEGRIS dietitian Karen Massey, a community nutrition educator, says that all foods can be healthy or unhealthy. It simply depends on the quality of the nutrients you get from the food you have chosen.
Low-fat cottage cheese is on the list of healthy snacks. (Photo: Everyday Health)
“How can you tell if your so-called healthy snacks are junk food or not?” “Things called junk food don’t contribute much in terms of nutrients, but can still be incorporated to provide ‘joy’ in the bigger picture,” she said.
“Marshmallows aren’t going to win any nutrition awards, but enjoying some marshmallows shouldn’t be a problem when mixed into a diet that includes a variety of healthy foods from the food groups,” says Massey. By contrast, snacking on an apple won’t make up for eating a regular basket of fried steak and onions.”
Even treats like candy, cookies and soft drinks can be included in a healthy diet as long as they are eaten as an occasional snack. Much of a healthy diet should include whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and nutrient-dense foods. An occasional bowl of chips or a handful of candy won’t do any long-term harm, as long as you don’t make it a daily habit.
“Since most packaged foods have a Nutrition Facts label, one of the best ways to compare snack options is to look at the label. Choose foods that fit your calorie budget,” says Massey. you’re a good start. A seemingly healthy bar of granola can have as many calories as a cake or cookie.”
“Quality matters too. Guacamole tends to have more fat than French onion dips, but the nutritional value of guacamole is significantly higher,” added Massey.
How should I choose healthy snacks?
Ideally, snack selection should be on the same basis as meal selection. Focus on including a variety of foods from the basic food groups. After all, snacks make up a significant portion of Americans’ daily food intake.
“Incorporating fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains, and lean protein foods into a snack is a great way to meet health goals,” says Karen Massey. is unique. There is no recommended “quota” for snacking.
How many snacks to snack on depends on a person’s activity level, body size, medical situation, schedule, and personal preferences, Massey says. Some people rarely snack, while others derive a significant portion of their daily food intake from snacks distributed throughout the day.
Tracking your snacking habits can be important, especially if you include notes mentioning how each snack has contributed to your personal goals. For example, if eating an afternoon snack helps you avoid overeating at dinner, an afternoon snack can be a wise strategy.
“Conversely, if eating an afternoon snack tends to stimulate the urge to chew right up to bedtime, then you’re better off skipping or limiting afternoon snacking,” says Massey.
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