These whole-wheat gingerbread buttons are a good example of why it is better to bake your own festive treats rather than buy commercially produced baked goods. Baking from scratch at home gives you more control and knowledge. Recipes can be adjusted in many ways to reduce sugar, fat and other nutrient empty calories. Knowing exactly what goes into your home bakes is an added bonus. Baking at homes offers the
To snack or not to snack? The irony about healthy weight management is that weight gain can be cause by eating either too much or too little. Finding the balance is the key to successful weight loss or maintenance. Snacking between meals is a common pitfall. Some people do not snack at all, leaving the achievement of their daily nutritional intake down to the consumption of one or two large meals per day. Others keep their main meals to appropriate portions by snacking in between but tend to snack on energy dense, nutrient empty foods such as crisps or baked good. Neither of these scenarios is effective when it comes to weight loss or maintenance.
There is an important role for snacking in weight maintenance, obesity prevention, health promotion and disease management. The key to snacking is to limit snacks to 2 -3 food items of small portion sizes. Snack foods should be selected for their nutrient density verses energy content. High salt, fried or sugar laden foods and beverages should be avoided.
Snacks should be small and nutritious and the purpose of a snack should be to:
- achieve an adequate daily nutrient intake (fibre, micronutrients)
- achieve an optimal fruit intake
- improve blood glucose levels
- avoid extreme hunger at meal times
- promote sustained energy between meals
- reduce excessive food portions at main meals
While snacking is encouraged for many health benefits, grazing throughout the day is discouraged. Give the body 2 – 4 hours to process a meal before the next one. Mindful eating is a good practice to learn. Mindless grazing sabotages all efforts in the nutrition department. Even healthy foods can be eaten in excess when trying to lose weight.