Tips for snack­ing your way to a health­ier life­style

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS -

MANY peo­ple think of snacks as un­healthy treats, but this doesn’t have to be the case.

Opt­ing for nu­tri­tious snacks is a sim­ple strat­egy for you and your fam­ily to be­come health­ier eaters.

By choos­ing a com­bi­na­tion of items from the five food groups, snack­ing can help you meet your nu­tri­ent needs for the day and boost your en­ergy lev­els be­tween meals.

By hav­ing healthy snacks on hand dur­ing the day, it will help pre­vent you opt­ing for the near­est savoury or sweet op­tion, this in turn can help you main­tain a healthy weight and pre­vent you from overeat­ing at meal times.

If you are not sure if a snack is healthy, read the Nutri­tion In­for­ma­tion Panel and 5 Star Food La­bel to avoid foods high in fat, sugar and salt, like choco­late bars and pack­ets of chips.

Pay at­ten­tion to the por­tion size on the la­bel too. For ex­am­ple, two to three sweet bis­cuits pro­vides about 600KJ and should not be a reg­u­lar snack.

In­stead, opt for healthy whole­grains, fruits or veg­eta­bles with pro­tein foods like un­salted nuts or dairy prod­ucts for a nu­tri­tious snack.

You could have tuna or low fat cheese on whole­meal crack­ers, or add grated zuc­chini, pump­kin or car­rot to whole­grain pikelets or muffins.

Fruit, with its high fi­bre and wa­ter con­tent, is also a sim­ple place to start.

As well as the tra­di­tional ap­ples and or­anges, you could try fresh chunks of pineap­ple and ripe melon for lunch­boxes.

Cut up cel­ery and car­rots, with hum­mus or tahini, is su­per-tasty and will pro­vide a veg­gie fix.

Hav­ing fruit and veg­eta­bles on hand as snacks through­out the day will help you reach the rec­om­mended num­ber of serves per day!

Other healthy snack op­tions in­clude a hand­ful of dried fruit and seed mix, left­over roasted veg­eta­bles or a blended smoothie.

We know at least one-third of all can­cers can be pre­vented by sim­ple life­style changes.

These in­clude main­tain­ing a healthy weight, eat­ing a healthy diet, be­ing SunS­mart, lim­it­ing al­co­hol and be­ing ac­tive.

So start munch­ing your way to a can­cer free fu­ture today.

Keep your favourite healthy snacks on hand at home or the of­fice.

More in­for­ma­tion about Can­cer Coun­cil Queens­land and healthy liv­ing is avail­able at can­cerqld.org.au. — Chris McMil­lan Chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Can­cer Coun­cil Queens­land

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