- Morgan Berenbaum
The midmorning hunger pangs that come after a much-too-early bowl of cereal can be hard to ignore.
But as you head toward the refrigerator, keep in mind that there’s a right way and a wrong way to snack.
To help guide you toward the healthiest options, Harvard Medical School compiled a list of seven tips. Here’s the ultimate guide to healthy snacking habits.
Choose whole-grain snacks.
- Melia Robinson/Business Insider
For a sure-fire energy boost, pick a whole-grain snack. “Whole-grain snacks can give you some energy with staying power,” Harvard Medical School’s Healthbeat newsletter said. When you can, opt for whole-grain pretzels, chips, or cereals that are high in fiber.
Breakfast is key — but avoid too much sugar.
- Becky Hughes
Breakfast can help keep you energized throughout the day, especially when you’re accustomed to eating it. Try to go for a morning meal that’s high in protein and complex carbohydrates but low in sugar.
“Many breakfast foods can be repurposed as a nutritious snack later in the day. How about a slice of whole-grain toast topped with low-sugar jam?” the newsletter suggested.
Nuts, in moderation, can keep you feeling full and satisfied.
- Hollis Johnson
“Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, roasted pumpkin seeds, cashews, hazelnuts, filberts, and other nuts and seeds contain many beneficial nutrients and are more likely to leave you feeling full (unlike chips or pretzels),” the newsletter said.
But because nuts can be high in calories, try to keep the portions on the smaller side. Pictured is one serving of almonds.
Go for “high-low” combos.
Partner something that’s higher in fat (peanut butter, for instance) with something low in calories (in this case, celery sticks), and you’ve got a tasty, crunchy snack.
Mix and match your macronutrients.
Macronutrients (protein, fat, carbs) are key to keeping our body’s running smoothly. For snacks, consider putting more than one type of macronutrient together. Cheese and crackers, fruits and nuts – the possibilities are endless.
Pack your own snacks.
- Nikki Sharp
Carrying around a snack like a bag of carrots can keep you from picking up a higher-calorie snack from the cafeteria or vending machine. And this way you’ll never have an excuse to get hangry.
Step away from your desk.
Eating mindfully is a good way to make sure you don’t over-snack. When we’re staring at our screens all day, we can forget how much we’re putting into our mouths. Stepping away will give you a chance to focus on your snack. And your brain will thank you for the break.