Although the message of healthy snacking has started to set it, chocolate and potato chips came in second and third. However, in one year, respondents ate fresh fruit 10 times more than chocolate and 25 times more than potato chips.
That’s something to celebrate — especially because Americans snack more today than ever. Noshing in between meals accounts for 20 percent of eating, the report states.
Kelly Marsteller, registered dietitian at Memorial Hospital, said people snack more today because families have become busier.
But a hectic schedule isn’t a free pass to go nuts. Calories from mindless snacking adds up.
Marsteller said snacks are intended to prevent people from becoming hungry in between meals, and to in turn, avoid over eating at the next meal. Adults should have one to two snacks per day, and children two to three. Snacks should contain fewer than 200 calories.
Marsteller said snacks also provide people with vital nutrients. Food is made up of macronutrients — carbohydrates, fats and proteins. When snacking, she said, try to pair macronutrients.
Fruit is high in fiber — more filling — and low in fat. A serving of fruit ranges from 50 to 130 calories. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a large apple contains 130 calories; a medium banana 110 calories, a medium orange 80 calories; and a quarter of a cantaloupe 50 calories.
Looking for some healthy snacks outside of the fruit group? Marsteller recommended these treats — food that tastes good and can provide a much-needed energy boost.
— Low-fat popcorn
— Peanut butter and celery
— Baby carrots and low-fat ranch
— Hummus on a whole wheat tortilla
— Low-fat yogurt with fruit
— String cheese
— Peppers and bean dip
— Hard-boiled egg
— Tuna salad and whole grain crackers
— High-fiber cereal and low-fat milk
— Sugar-free pudding and graham crackers
— Trail mix
Read more about health
Study: Fast food piles on calories for adolescents, kids
Stacia Fleegal writes about breast-feeding her preemie son, Jax
Daffodil Days in full spring
What’s your go to healthy snack?