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Eat Healthier Snacks
Who doesn’t like a fulfilling snack once in a while? In fact, snacking can be an important part of your balanced diet. Healthy snacks like fruits, nuts, etc. keep our blood sugar stable, boost metabolism and reduces calories consumed overall.
5 Tips to Healthier Snacks
- Check the Fiber Count. A snack high in fiber (3g or more) not only helps to keep you regular but helps stabilize your blood sugar. Some of the best sources are raw fruits and vegetables along with good whole grain breads
- Protein, Protein, Protein. Every snack should have at least 10g of protein. Not only does protein help boost metabolism it helps build up our muscles so they are ready for the next workout
- Forget Fat Free. Healthy fats in your diet not only keeps you fuller longer but adds taste. Good sources include avocados, mixed nuts, and string cheese.
- Watch the Sodium. Too much sodium in the diet can increase water retention and the risk of heart disease. The generally acceptable range for sodium intake is 1500-2300mg per day. Decreasing the amount of processed snacking goes a long way.
- Stop the Added Sugar. Added sugar along with sodium can greatly increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Our daily intake of added sugar should be between 25-40g per day. For perspective, a snickers bar has 27g of sugar.
Snacks I Love, And You Should Too
- Raw fruits and vegetables- Because they are so high in water they help keep us hydrated which is great for the summer. The fiber and protein helps to stabilize our blood sugar throughout the day
- Mixed nuts- Nuts like cashews, almonds, walnuts, etc are great sources of vitamins and minerals. Be sure to eat in moderation because they have a lot of calories per serving
- Greek yogurt- This super flexible food is high in metabolism boosting protein. Can be mixed with fruit to make a delicious summer treat. Some yogurts are high in sugar so be sure to read the nutrition label to make sure it has more protein than sugar.
- Healthy snacks can be a great addition to any balanced diet but you have to be smart and strategic. The wrong snack can leave you hungrier than you were before eating and cause weight gain. Always look at the nutrition label before you buy and/or eat!
Brandon Howard is an ACE Certified Health Coach and Personal Trainer with a degree in Fitness and Wellness from Oakwood University. He launched HowardPower Fitness LLC in Louisville, Kentucky. Follow him on Twitter at @HowardPowerFit and Instagram at @HowardPowerFitness .