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Healthy Snacking
January 19, 2013 COMMENT comment
     
HEALTHY SNACKING
By Prerna Gauba
 
 
A couple of hours after lunch, when the day at work begins to seem a little dull, someone usually pops the question to brighten it up a little: "Should we order some samosas?" To satiate those 4 pm hunger pangs, we often think one piece or that one slice wouldn't hurt. And before we realise, the damage is done. "Unhealthy snacks are full of sodium, high fructose corn syrup and nutrientfree calories," informs Sonia Bajaj, celebrity nutritionist. Additives in unhealthy snacks lead to cravings for more. What's more, these do not give the brain the fuel it needs to send messages to rest of the body, which in turn leaves the body fatigued and affects the ability to focus too. The only cure to avoid harmful snacking, as most nutritionists suggest, is to eat something healthy at regular intervals. "Healthy snacks come packed with nutrition and have minimum possible calories and contain complex carbohydrates, lean protein and some good fats,” adds Bajaj. So switch to a stable diet, which includes fibrous food, a heavy breakfast consisting of oatmeal bowl and fruits and most importantly six to eight glasses of water in a day. When hunger calls in the middle of the afternoon, opt from these healthy options:

A bowl of fruits
Grab an apple, banana, pear, grapes, or other portable fruit. The average serving of fruit is around 70 calories. Choose different fruits everyday so that it does not 
become monotonous. Also, you will gain a good variety of nutrients plus fibre. Protein and fibre combination is good so you can have it with a cup of fat-free milk, which is about 90 calories.

Almonds and walnuts
Choose nuts over that packet of fatty chips. Almonds and other nuts are naturally high sources of vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, and potassium and are rich in protein and fibre. But remember, nuts have high calories so limit the intake.

Low-fat or non-fat yogurt
Delicious yet lowfat flavoured yogurts are easily available these days. These are healthy and have a good nutrition value – and curb your hunger pangs as well.

Instant oatmeal
With 110 calories, plain instant oatmeal is another healthy option. For a sweet flavour, add or sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Rich in fibre, oatmeal also helps to lower cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease.

Whole wheat crackers
Add a tablespoon of peanut butter on 10 multi-grain wheat crackers and you have a tasty snack. This nutrient-rich option has 193 calories and offers 2 grams of fibre. The combination will help to keep your blood sugar stable and keep you feeling full for a longer duration.

If you still can't stop yourself from ordering food from outside, make smarter choices. Opt for a brown bread sandwich without cheese instead of the high-calorie version and dhoklas instead of samosas.

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