If you're saving your coins for the vending machine to get your mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack, you are at risk of gaining fat and weight. Sodas have about 160 calories per 12 ounces and have very little nutrition....and, it seems like most people are drinking 20 ounce sodas. And, the other sugary and salty snacks are not much better.
To snack healthy, you need to plan and pack your foods....bottom line. Eating on the run will lead to poor decisions.
Sodas taste great or they wouldn't sell. Nutritionists believe sodas (and sugary drinks) are like liquid poison. I agree with them! The double jeopardy is that soda adds calories without making you feel full (empty calories).
According to government data, sweetened soft drinks add about 10 percent of the calories in the typical American's diet.
Dr. David Ludwig, a Harvard endocrinologist, who is widely cited by obesity researchers, says that sweetened drinks are the only specific food that clinical research has directly linked to weight gain. "Highly concentrated starches and sugars promote overeating, and the granddaddy of them all is sugar-sweetened beverages," said Ludwig, who runs the Optimal Weight for Life Program at Children's Hospital in Boston.
The increase in soda consumption mirrors this nation's obesity epidemic. At the midpoint of the 20th century, Americans drank four times as much milk as sodas. Today, this trend is almost totally reversed, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Snacking doesn't have to be bad. Eat healthy snacks with low to moderate calories and your energy level will improve throughout the day.
Eat quality calories for your snacks. What you eat really matters. Junk food like chips, pastries, candy, donuts and sodas aren't nutritious and have loads of calories. They also have you wanting to eat more in just a short time. A food journal would help you control what you eat until you get good at knowing what and when to eat.
The American Dietetic Association also recommends healthy snacking. Snacks bridge the gap between meals and can help you eat less at mealtime. Snacks with protein and/or fiber leave you fuller for a longer period, thereby helping you eat less.
Going too long between meals can cause you to load up on sugary carbohydrates to get quick energy. These types of snacks are usually high in calories, not very nutritious and cause rapid ups and downs in blood sugar levels (you will crash).
Here are 10 healthy snacks to munch on to give you energy and control your hunger:
- Fresh fruit and veggie smoothies
- Hard boiled Omega 3 eggs
- Raw, unsalted nuts
- Low-fat Greek yogurt
- Low-fat cottage cheese
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- White Albacore Tuna
- Salad greens with extra virgin olive oil dressing
- Natural nut butters
For your drinks, try unsweetened green tea or just water.
Don't eat the 100-calorie snack packs in a box or bag! They are loaded with trans fats...and, can you eat just one pack?
Eat well this holiday season.
Catherine Ebeling and Mike Geary are co-authors of the popular ebook, Fat-Burning Kitchen, which shows you how to totally revamp your kitchen to make your body a fat-burning machine!
Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
My Fitness Hut