Hurlburt Field, Fla. --
Snacking is a big part of the American diet. Our snacking habits are typically made up of french fries, chips, cookies, cakes, cheeses, crackers and candy bars. While it’s OK to eat these foods in moderation, they shouldn’t be consumed daily, let alone multiple times in one day.
Often these foods are extremely high in fat, sugar, sodium and empty calories. Today’s society is so fast paced that we don’t often take the time to plan ahead our meals or snacks, and when hunger sets in, we run to the nearest vending machine or pull into the first drive-through we come across. Choosing healthy snacks and making meal plans doesn’t have to be hard though.
Healthy snacking guidelines consist of the following criteria per serving:
Less than 200 calories
Less than 6 grams of fat (unless eating nuts, which can have up to 21 grams of fat per ounce)
Less than 140 mg sodium
Less than 5 grams of added sugar
At least 2 grams of fiber
Some ideas for healthy snacks that can easily be packed and brought from home include: fruits and/or vegetables, hummus, almonds, Greek yogurt, air-popped popcorn, tuna, or hard-boiled eggs.
In the event that you forget to pack healthy snacks or if you finish off the last protein bar stashed in your purse or desk, try to make smart choices at the vending machine or snack bar. Most fast-food restaurants also serve fruit as a side option, so opting for that instead of french fries will help you meet the recommended daily intake for fruit.
Avoiding snacks high in sugar, fat, and excess calories can help you avoid mid-afternoon energy crashes, too. Food and drink high in sugar can give you a short-term energy boost, but after it passes you are likely to feel more fatigue than you did prior to consumption. Healthy snack choices is just one simple way to increase your pledge to be Fit to Fight.
For additional information on healthy eating and snack choices please call the Health and Wellness Center (HAWC) at (850) 884-4292 or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website on healthy snacking or the Human Performance Resource Center.