February 24, 2020
At times, there’s nothing better than the perfect snack to keep your engine running. Quick enough to be consumed in a matter of minutes and less demanding than a full meal, snacks can be ideal for hectic schedules and are a necessary break in the action for many. Healthy snacking is brought front and center for National Snack Food Month, which has been recognized every February since 1989. In honor of the campaign, physical therapists in Glenn Dale offer our take on the importance of good snacking habits and provide some tips to help you become a better snacker.
Most people snack to some extent throughout the day to tide them over until the next square meal. Naturally, this varies from person to person, and some—like diabetics, those severely affected by low blood sugar, and individuals who work long shifts—have to snack on a fairly regular basis to sustain energy levels. But regardless of how often you snack, what you consume in these mini meals can have a significant impact on your overall health, which is why it’s important to understand what defines smart snacking.
If you care about your diet and make it a priority to eat nutritiously, snacks need to be accounted for in your overall plan. Even if you’re eating three healthy meals a day, snacking on foods that are highly processed or loaded with salt or sugar still counts, and it can throw off all the other progress you’ve made. Research has also shown that individuals who eat regular meals and healthy snacks are less likely to overeat and gain weight than those who skip meals or go long periods without eating. This shows why thinking ahead and planning out each day is one of the keys to healthy snacking.
Our physical therapists in Glenn Dale can steer you on a path to better snacking
If you’ve recognized that your snacking habits may not be ideal and you can stand to benefit from some changes, our physical therapists in Glenn Dale can get you started on the right track. Below are a few general tips and some of our favorite healthy snacks that you might want to add to your repertoire:
5 fundamental snacking tips
- To keep your energy levels going and avoid weight gain, steer clear of foods with lots of simple carbohydrates like chips, candy, juice, and soda; instead, choose healthy snacks that contain protein and carbs so that you’re better able to maintain your blood sugar and stave off hunger until the next meal
- Be sure to read the labels for ingredients and nutritional information before trusting a food to be healthy; packaging claims can be deceiving
- Prepare yourself with a good food carrier, insulated bottles for hot or cold foods, and a fanny pack if you’re on the move frequently
- Try making your own snacks at home, which allows you to take complete control of every ingredient and the portion size of each snack
- Get creative, make it interesting, and try new snacks regularly
A few of our favorite healthy snacks
- Ants on a log: spread peanut butter on celery sticks and top them with raisins
- Healthy ice pops: freeze fresh, unsweetened 100% juice in ice pop molds or ice cube trays
- Whole grain pita and hummus: warm a pita in the oven on low, cut it into small triangles, and dip it in hummus
- Apple and peanut butter: apples are great on their own, but even more exciting with some peanut butter for dipping
- Cottage cheese with baby carrots: cottage cheese is a protein powerhouse
- Yogurt and fruit: choose a yogurt with a low-sugar content and combine it with fruit of your choice
- Jerky: beef or turkey jerky is a very portable snack that’s loaded with protein
For more healthy snacking tips to keep you going through the day, click here. And if you’re dealing with any pain that may be interfering with your daily life, our physical therapists in Glenn Dale can help. Call CAM Physical Therapy and Wellness Services at 301-853-0093 today and schedule an appointment at any of our four clinics in Glenn Dale/Bowie, Laurel, Hyattsville, or Silver Spring, MD.