How to Snack Healthy

By Athlete's Care on June 13, 2013

By MAXINE SILBERG Registered Dietitian at Liberty Village, Yorkville, King & Yonge, Yonge & Eglinton Athlete's Care locations.

It’s late afternoon and your energy levels are starting to drop, all you can think about are the cookies in the break room, or the bag of chips you have stashed away that you bought for the party this weekend.  Instead of reaching for unhealthy snacks be sure to know how to plan and choose snacks that will help maintain a healthy weight and keep binge eating to a minimum.

Snacks that are high in fibre and protein will help keep your blood sugar levels stable and avoid spikes and drops that interfere with your energy levels towards the end of the workday. Whether you are heading home to make dinner, or out for a run you want to make sure that you have sustained energy to keep you going until your next meal. Choose foods that are high in fibre and protein, as they will take longer to digest and keep you feeling full for longer than refined carbohydrates like cookies or chips. If you have a fridge at work, keep a week worth of foods like hummus, nut butters, yogurt, cheese or hard-boiled eggs. Pre-cut veggies are also a good idea to keep on hand for dipping into foods like hummus and nut butters, or pairing with cheese and crackers. If you do not have a fridge, foods like nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews) and seeds (pumpkin sunflower, roasted soy nuts or chickpeas), whole grain crackers, kasha granola bars, cans of tuna or baked beans will provide higher amounts of fibre and protein.

After a grocery shop, stash your fruit bowl on your desk, instead of your table at home. Having healthy food options within arms reach will lower your chances of needing to stave off late afternoon energy drops with birthday cake, cookies and high sugar drinks.  Eating a healthy snack in the late afternoon will help ensure you do not walk in the door and eat what’s in sight while you cook dinner, only to sit down and eat a whole dinner. This ritual is all too familiar and leads many people to consume double the amount of calories they would have, had they not snacked before dinner. 

Next time you go grocery shopping try planning a weeks worth of afternoon snacks to help keep your health goals in sight.