Satisfy Your Snack Cravings

By: KELLY SHERIDAN

It has become popular knowledge that eating small snacks throughout the day is better for the metabolism than consuming three larger meals. However, what you choose for your mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack likely depends on how you are feeling that day. Are you jumping with energy, or slumping over your desk? Is your sweet tooth demanding a king-size Hershey bar, or are you craving a crunchy bag of salt-and-vinegar chips? What many people don’t know is that there is a healthy way to satisfy snack cravings. By becoming familiar with healthy alternatives to the unhealthy snacks that you may commonly crave, you can choose your daily healthy snacks with ease.

When a certain food becomes the object of an uncontrollable craving, it indicates the absence of a specific vitamin of mineral. For example, a strong desire for fatty snacks is a sign of low calcium. So while you may want to sprint to the nearest McDonald’s for a side of greasy French fries, the craving can be just as easily satisfied with any snack that includes broccoli, cheese, sesame, or mustard and turnip greens. Smart snacking can also aid workouts and keep you alert throughout the day.

So what are you hungry for this afternoon? Chances are that there is a healthy substitute for it:

  • Sweets: This is probably the most common of all snack cravings, and simply indicates a lack of chromium, sulfur, tryptophan and carbon phosphorous. There are so many healthy ways to gain these nutrients! Put the candy bar down and grab any small snack involving fruit, chicken, spinach, dairy, nuts, broccoli or sweet potatoes.
  • Bread: When bagels and rolls consume your every thought, all you really need is nitrogen. This can easily be found in high protein foods such as meat, fish, nuts and beans.
  • Carbonated beverages: Step back from the Coke machine! Carbonated drinks are often loaded with sugar and can leave you feeling bloated. Craving a bubbly beverage, like fatty snacks, indicates an absence of calcium. Again, this can be found in cheese, sesame, broccoli, and mustard and turnip greens.
  • Salt: Craving salty foods is a common occurrence, and indicates a lack of chloride or mild dehydration. Drink a glass of water, and if the craving persists have a small helping of olives or some low-fat cheese and crackers.

Although what you crave has a great deal to do with your snacking choices, your daily activities play a role as well. Level of fatigue, workday activities, and exercise schedule are important factors to consider when planning your meals for the day. Snacking lightly throughout the day is crucial for maintaining a steady level of energy, and what you munch on has a lot to do with how you feel.

Let’s be honest: sometimes, staying alert throughout the day requires a little too much effort. Maintain a constant state of alertness by starting the day off right with a healthy breakfast, such as cereal with fruit or yogurt, or whole-grain toast with eggs. Choose snacks throughout the day that are high in complex carbohydrates and protein, such as whole-wheat crackers with low-fat cheese or peanut butter. Kelly Dyckman, a student at Villanova University, recently started packing healthy snacks to keep energized throughout her long day of classes. “My favorites are crackers with peanut butter or pretzels with hummus or a slice of cheese. They’re easy to carry around and help me stay awake throughout the day,” says Dyckman. It is also important to avoid sugary snacks. Most are high in calories, and they energy they provide only lasts for a short period of time. Afterwards you will be left feeling even more tired than you were before that bag of Sour Patch Kids.

These high-energy snacks are even more essential for those with a vigorous exercise schedule. Anthony Carr, another active student who spends a great deal of time strength training, recognizes the importance of protein in his diet. What is his favorite mid-day snack? “I have a peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole-grain bread every day,” says Carr. “It’s easy to make and keeps me energized for hours.” Delicious and simple, a peanut butter and banana sandwich is actually a great choice for athletes. The bread contains healthy carbohydrates, peanut butter provides a healthy dose of protein, and bananas have natural sugars. Give it a try!

Now that you are well-armed with healthy eating tips, you have no excuse to choose a doughnut as a mid-afternoon snack! Fulfill your next craving with something healthy, and continue your healthy lifestyle.

Source: http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=50491

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One Comment on “Satisfy Your Snack Cravings”

  1. Lenny Kribbs
    November 25, 2012 at 9:26 am #

    Tryptophan is a great supplement if you want to boost your serotonin levels. .

    <a href="My web blog
    http://www.melatoninfaq.com/melatonin-dosage/

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