Thursday, September 30, 2010

Much Munch

Do you snack? Should you snack? The idea of snacking is commonly traced to our ancestors who ate frequent high-calorie, small meals throughout the day to maintain energy (so they could catch the wild animals they were chasing). There are many diet programs that prescribe snacks between each meal. And, for some people with health issues (like diabetes), maintaining proper blood sugar throughout the day is a matter of life and death.

Somewhere between the body's need to snack and today an entire industry emerged devoted to snacking. A report published this year says 27% of children get their daily calories from snacking and unfortunately those snacks are often processed, sugary and salty concoctions with little health value.

Snacking, in and of itself, is not a "bad" practice. Adding un-needed calories and fake food to our daily diet is a bad practice. The decision to snack or not to snack is best made as a personal one. If your body feels hungry (i.e., tummy growling) between meals, perhaps a snack makes sense for you. If you choose to snack, snack wisely with foods that serve your body. Snacks of vegetables or fruits is a terrific way to get even more servings of those beneficial foods. If you're looking for something more substantial, consider an ounce of whole nuts or seeds. Organic whenever possible.

If you need a rule to follow, use this one: select snacks that serve.

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