By: Dr. Keith Kantor
What are some of the biggest snacking mistakes you see nutrition-wise (i.e. too many calories, not enough protein, etc.) and please explain why this is wrong in a few sentences.
Most people consume too many low calorie but also low nutrient foods like crackers, granola bars etc. These foods are low in fat and typically higher in carbohydrates which send your blood sugars on a roller coaster ride resulting in more carbohydrate, sugar and caffeine cravings a few hours later. Focus on unprocessed snacks that are balanced in healthy fats, protein and fibrous carbohydrates. Options include fresh vegetables and hummus or guacamole, fruits and cheese, nuts and nut butters. Some named brands that I approve of include Perfect Bars, Lara Bars or Epic Bars.
-Just because a snack is labeled as healthy/organic , it doesn’t mean you can go overboard, right? What should you do instead? Make sure that you are eating enough vegetables, fruits, healthy fats and protein per day before reaching for crunchy, sweet or salty “healthy/organic” snacks. The organic or healthy snacks can be made with quality ingredients but they are just more expensive and higher quality junk foods that will not help you reach your health goals.
-What does a healthy snack look like? Portion wise, nutritionally, etc.
The portions will vary based on your activity level and eating schedule. A very active person may have a snack that is 300-600 calories and then a sedentary person may only eat a snack that is 100-200 calories. Snacks should contain protein, healthy fats and in some cases quality high fiber carbohydrates. For optimal health people should consume 9-11 servings of vegetables and some fruits each day. You should also drink one half your body weight in ounces of water per day, the best type of water to drink is pure alkaline Hydroxide water. This water helps with inflammation, hydration and clearing the detoxification pathways. That being said your snacks should contain fruit and/or vegetables, protein and healthy fats. See examples listed above.