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The 4 pillars of healthy snacking

November 13, 2013

Snacking can either be a healthy habit or a dangerous pastime, depending on how you approach it. Healthy snacking can be loaded with nutrients and fiber. They’re low in calories, fat, sugar, and sodium, and they should be filling too!

Unhealthful snack, on the other hand, are loaded with calories, fat, sugar, and sodium. They often provide very little in terms of nutrients, fiber, or satiety. Things like potato chips, cookies and candy are all popular snack foods, but they don’t actually promote health or wellness.

So how can you navigate these snacking minefields? With the 4 pillars of healthy snacking, of course! If your snack can be held up by these 4 pillars and meets all the criteria, then you’re good to go.

Pillar One: Calorie Limit

Your snack should have less than 200 calories per serving. Choose foods like fruits and vegetables and pair them with a bit of whole grains, lean protein, or nonfat dairy.

Pillar Two: Fat Ceilings

Keep your snack low in fat by making sure that less than 35% of its total calories come from fat. In other words, shoot for 35 fat calories or less for every 100 calories that your snack contains.

Pillar Three: Sugar Caps

Follow a similar guideline for sugar. 35% or less of the weight of your snack should come from sugar – no more. That’s 9 grams or less per ounce, so be sure to check the Nutrition Facts Label!

Pillar Four: Nutrient Requirements

Keep your snack rich in whole foods. This means including whole grains, ¼ cup of fruits of veggies, and/or learn dairy and protein foods. Choose snacks that offer 10% or more of the daily value for potassium, vitamin D, fiber, or calcium, which are all nutrients that most people aren’t eating enough of.

healthy snacking

Article from Nutrition Education Store

Berries are the perfect healthy snacking; check out our recent blog post Healthy Snack Ideas with Berries!