Healthy choices exist when eating on the go
Each week a nutritionist from the University of Maryland Medical Center provides a guest post on healthy eating. This week, Elaine Pelc weighs in on healthy snacks.
Most people don’t eat three meals a day. Lack of time is a common complaint of those who skip breakfast and lunch.
It is very important to feed your body at regular intervals throughout the day. Doing so maximizes the efficiency of your metabolism and helps keep your body strong and well-nourished.
Having a balanced meal while you’re on the run is possible with a little forethought.
Grocery shelves house many meal replacement options, many in the form of bars or drinks. The difficulty is knowing which ones are good for you. Remember that your body burns through carbohydrates faster than it does fat and protein.
Choosing options with a small amount of healthful fats and a decent amount of protein will help keep you full longer. The trick is to find a bar or drink that has a nutrient composition that is similar to a balanced meal.
If you are more of a “bar” person, look for something that is between 150 and 300 calories, with at least 5 grams of protein and less than 5-10 grams of fat. Kellogg’s makes a variety of Special K Protein meal bars that are less than 200 calories and have 10 grams of protein. Some other bar options are Cliff Bars, Luna Bars, Think Thin bars, Slim-Fast meal bars and ProBar Halo bars.
Drinks are another meal replacement option. Some good products include Slim-Fast shakes, Glucerna, Ensure or Boost. You can also make your own protein shake with three-quarters cup of low-fat or fat-free Greek yogurt, three-quarters cup of frozen fruit, one-quarter cup of low-fat or fat-free milk or light juice.
Some people prefer on the go options that more closely resemble a meal. Try a low-fat or fat-free Greek yogurt with a one-quarter to half a cup of high-fiber cereal or a sandwich packed the night before.
Other healthful snack ideas to use in a pinch:
1-2 tablespoon of natural peanut butter and a piece of fruit.
Almonds and walnuts in pre-portioned bags.
Single-serving bags of low-fat popcorn.
Whole-grain crackers with low-fat cheese.
Eating a balanced diet while on the go can be easier than you think. These suggestions can help ensure that being on the run doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your diet.