- Dr. Liz Homan
Snacking season is among us, maybe not as much this year as in years past, but when at gatherings, it is very easy to just continually snack on all of the goodies! And then those goodies get brought home with you, or if you are like me, you absolutely love to bake, and since we don’t have anywhere to go, we end up eating it all. I get it… So, what could we do instead, at least while we are at home?
We can snack on healthy options!
But this can be difficult, especially when your enjoy baking and have lots of sweets around. For that, I recommend making things with the intent of gifting them to others. This could be your neighbors, your coworkers or leave them on your friends’ porch (of course with a little letter so they know who they are from!) It is also common to have more candy in the house this time of year, but I would recommend you put it away, in a closed container, in the panty.
This way you need to open two things to get to it… and then place some healthier snack options in front of the candy!
One easy and very nutritious snack option are NUTS.
Nuts are high in fat, but in the good fat (mono and polyunsaturated fats), those that raise your good cholesterol and are known for containing essential vitamins like A, D, E and K.
Nuts have been studied many times and results show many benefits to eating them. Some of these benefits include:
· Reduced risk of dying form cancer or cardiovascular disease
· Have a lower mortality risk
· Lower risk of type 2 diabetes
But, as with anything… to much of a good thing can still end up being a bad thing. This is why moderation is key, especially when consuming something that does have a high fat content. On average a one ounce serving of nuts contains between 160-200 calories and 13-20 grams of fat. So, even though when compared to potato chips, they might have the same fat content, it really makes a difference on the type of fat that you are consuming.
So, when grabbing some nuts as a snack, it is a great idea to put the amount that you want into a cup/bowl so that you do not end up eating the whole bag. The average serving size is just enough to fill the palm of our hand. And that is all you really should consume at one time.
Certain nuts are known for specific nutritional benefit. For example, Brazil nuts contain 780% of the recommended daily intake of selenium. Selenium is an important mineral for basic body functions, and I remember learning that if you wake up in the middle of the night and have a hard time getting back to sleep, eat a brazil nut and it will help regulate your sleep cycle. And then walnuts are great at providing omeaga-3 fatty acids and almonds are a great source of copper, magnesium and phosphorous. All of these nutrients are necessary for a healthy functioning body and nuts are a great source of obtaining these nutrients directly.
In all honesty, reaching for junk food may be the worst thing that we can do when hungry. So, having some different options for snacking is very important. And that may mean having some different nut around so that you can grab a handful and enjoy them and benefit from their nutrients.
Happy Snacking! 😊