Healthful Snacking for Weight Loss

Healthful Snacking for Weight LossThere are steps to healthful snacking. If you can manage calories, keep your fat intake low, avoid hidden sugars and eat healthy snacks such as fruits and nuts, you will soon feel (and see) the difference. But how do you manage healthy snacking keeping all these factors in mind?

The first step is to avoid much of the prepackaged snack food you find in the snack aisle. Processed food often contains added sugars, salts and excess calories. That bag of chips is tasty because of added salt and MSG.

Unfortunately, fat-free products can be problematic as well. Most products advertised as conducive to dieting, while lacking in fat and calories, are just as lacking in nutrients such as protein and fiber. These snacks may seem healthier because of the reduced fat, but sugar and other ingredients are added to replace the fat.

Healthful snacking is best when eating fresh, unprocessed food. Fruit is not only free of added salt, fat, MSG and preservatives, they also help you fight your sugar cravings since they are naturally sweet. Unprocessed nuts are another healthy alternative, but beware of eating too many in one serving as nuts are higher in natural fats and depending on which nuts you buy may have higher calorie counts. Healthy snacking means avoiding simple carbohydrates found in white starches like potatoes and rice, eating complex carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and getting a controlled amount of fat calories from nuts and other protein-rich foods.

The most important part about snacking is portion control. While fruit is good for natural sugars and nutrients, eating too much fruit can have a negative effect on your diet and body.