Mindful Snacking

Indulging to treat yourself to a snack is OK, but it’s important to be mindful about calories and nutrients so that good choices are made. Mindful snacking requires thinking ahead of time and making smart choices.  Make sure that snacking habits are not adding too many calories and too few nutrients.

Check out the nutrition labels at the grocery store and make smart choices when shopping.  Select snacks that will maintain energy levels and nutritional needs.  Watch out for added sugars and salt.  Mindful snacking can help to sustain overall good health; fight weight gain and fatigue.

Make sure that the food you choose is what’s best for you.   Hap hazard snacking habits can hamper your health.  Check this out:

Question – Is Cotton Candy or a Chocolate covered frozen banana the healthier sweet treat?

Cotton candy is full of sugar (220 calories), but it does contain has fewer calories than the chocolate covered frozen banana (240 calories). However, the banana provides more nutrients:  540 mg potassium and 4 grams of fiber.  The Chocolate-Covered Frozen Banana is the healthier choice of the two.

Question – Is Potato Salad or Pasta salad the healthier side dish?

Each has about the same number of calories and fat: 1 cup serving size contains 360 calories and 20 grams of fat. but the potato salad has more sodium (1,323 mg), Pasta Salad has less sodium (924 mg).  Pasta Salad is the healthier choice of the two.  Make it even healthier by using whole wheat noodles, providing more fiber (bran), vitamin E,  B vitamins, antioxidants, protein, and healthy fat.

Question – Is a Hot Dog or Nachos the healthier food choice?

Neither of these is the best nutritional choice.  The Hot Dog is a better choice, though, with a lot less calories (400) while nachos contain more than twice the calories (1,100). However, the Hot Dog does also contain lots of sodium (1,000 mg) and fat (22 g).

Question – Is a piece of Pecan Pie or Vanilla Milkshake the healthier dessert choice?

Pecan Pie is very high in calories (500/slice) and fat, but it’s actually the better choice compared to the calories of the Vanilla milkshake (1,300).  An even better choice would be a slice of fruit pie (200-300 calories).

Question – Is an Ice Cream Sandwich or a Vanilla Milkshake the healthier snack choice?

Ice Cream Sandwich is the healthier choice. A typical Ice Cream Sandwich has less calories (180) and less fat (4 grams) compared to an Ice Cream Sundae Cone calories (240) and fat (12 grams).  An even better choice would be a Fudgsicle (100 calories) and (2 grams of fat).

Question – Is a Margarita or a Pina Colada the better frozen cocktail choice?

Both frozen drinks contain lots of calories: Margarita (540 calories); Piña Colada (430 calories).  However, the fat free Margarita is a better choice.  The Pina Colada contains 5 grams of fat and more sugar.  An even better choice would be a wine spritzer or a shot of gin or vodka mixed with club soda (100 calories).