Healthy Snacking is Another Key to Weight Management
Worth Repeating: A Recap of Healthy Snacking
After participating in our 2013 Get Fit Challenge along with my GMM and Open Hand coworkers, I learned a lot of valuable lessons for staying fit and healthy. Each week there was a special mini-challenge, designed to help us develop healthy eating habits and push our fitness boundaries. One that really resonated with me was an informational session called Healthy Snacking on a Budget. You’d think that by this time I would have a handle on what constitutes “healthy snacking” — especially given that I grew up more conscious of my eating habits than most — but au contraire!
Here are some of the takeaway tidbits:
1. Serving size! – Did you know that one regular-sized banana actually contains two servings? And those smallish bags of snack mixes that are so easy to grab from the shelf at a gas station often contain three or more servings? Same thing with bottled drinks and juices – one bottle does not always equal one serving size. Good Measure Meals is all about portion control, so when you snack for yourself, be sure to check nutrition labels before you dive into your snack of choice.
2. Do it yourself! – We talked a lot about what constitutes a healthy snack, and the basic premise is as follows: Snack = Protein + Carbohydrate. Since GMM meals and snacks are nutritionally balanced each day, we’ve got you covered with regards to proportions of proteins and carbs. But on days when you don’t receive meals, some examples of good proteins include low-fat Greek yogurt, hummus, natural peanut butter (with no added sugar or oil), and tuna. Good carbohydrates include fresh fruits, fresh veggies, whole wheat bread (whole wheat is first ingredient listed), and high-fiber crackers that do not have any partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oils in them.
a. Also, “do it yourself” when it comes to sweetening your snacks. Add some honey or dried fruit to your plain, low-fat yogurt and you’ll end up with less sugar than many pre-sweetened yogurts.
b. As a tip from yours truly, the best bread in the grocery store is always found in the bakery section, not on the bread aisle. Pick up a loaf of your grocer’s whole wheat/multi-grain varieties and I promise you’ll notice the difference!
3. Snacks created to sit a long time on your pantry shelf mean that they probably contain trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils, which contribute to heart disease. Think about it – food is supposed to spoil, that’s how you know it’s fresh and good! If it takes weeks and months for something soft and sweet to spoil, something’s up – and that something is “self-stable” trans fat. Trans fats raise “bad” cholesterol (LDL) levels, which increase the risk of heart disease.
Healthy snacking on a budget is a breeze with these helpful reminders from the Get Fit Challenge and from GMM meal plans! For more tips and recipes, visit the Recipes section in the bottom left hand corner on the Health and Wellness page of our website.
Now, Good Measure Meals makes healthy snacking easy with our two meal plans that include snacks that have been factored into the day’s calorie content. Just looking at the menus for those two meal plans is often very helpful for gaining healthy snack inspiration!
Contributed by Katherine Dyer, GMM Customer Service Representative
Katherine joined the GMM customer service staff in March 2012. Armed with a mission to spread access to good nutrition and healthy lifestyles, she is proud to be part of the team at Good Measure Meals and Open Hand.
When Katherine is not at her desk, striving to provide customers with top-notch assistance, you’ll most likely find her on the jogging trails, at Atlanta’s weekend farmers markets, or hiking in the mountains.