Opinion

Snacking shouldn’t send good health packing

Illustration by Samantha Measner

Illustration by Samantha Measner

When that afternoon snack craving strikes, the one that turns you into a hunger-crazed monster, how can you choose a satisfying and healthy snack?

With the exponential growth in consumption of snack foods, estimates are that Americans consume more calories snacking than they do during meals. According to a 2014 Nielsen Holdings N.V. study, 45 percent of the 30,000 consumers in the study are eating snacks as a meal alternative. Global snack food sales total $374 billion per year, reflecting this trend.

Healthy snacking requires understanding what makes a snack smart, trusting one’s hunger cues and ultimately executing a plan to be a happy – and healthy – snacker.

Spending time learning accurate information on general healthy eating is imperative. Many people propagate myths and misconceptions about “healthy eating,” and this is especially true with the overwhelming number of snack foods that claim to be healthy in one way or another.

The first step of proper snacking is finding a reliable source such as a dietician, trainer or a legitimate and dependable website. Refer to this source to help you make the best decisions about smart snacks.

There are some egregious sins when it comes to snacking. Remember that snacks are not meal alternatives – unless you want to end up hungry, grumpy and craving more food. Tempting 100-calorie snack packs may aid in portion control, but that doesn’t mean that Cheez-It crackers have magically become good for you. Even granola bars can contain so much sugar that you may as well be eating a candy bar. Look for a protein-rich snack to control your hunger, but don’t depend on it.

How do you know if you’re actually hungry and not just bored or stressed? Before you snack, think for a moment about your motivations. If you’re craving something salty to take your mind off your big test, find other coping mechanisms to combat stress, like meditation, exercising at the gym or calling a friend.

Once you have a plan the right information, stick to it. With today’s diet fads and overwhelming amounts of health and wellness information, people often begin to second-guess their decisions. A blanket rule is that fruits, vegetables and anything else that grows from the ground are good starting points for sources of nutrients.

I’m not saying you should never treat yourself. At this very moment, in fact, I’m enjoying some frozen yogurt. But making good decisions the majority of the time positions you on the pathway to better overall health and wellness.

Alyssa Jacobson is a senior majoring in advertising and political science.

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 22, 2014

Reporters

Alyssa Jacobson


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The Miami Hurricanes returned to the football field Tuesday, their first spring at the Carol Soffer ...

So much for the suspense of Selection Monday. The University of Miami women’s basketball team didn’t ...

The University of Miami women’s basketball team didn’t have to wait until Monday night’s Selection S ...

Nearly three months have passed since we last saw the Miami Hurricanes perform on a football field, ...

Manny Diaz begins his first spring practice as UM’s head football coach on Tuesday, and nobody — not ...

Watch a video about the Annual Senior Showcase involving students in the Theatre Arts Program. ...

Become one in a million. Join the All of Us research program. ...

With Florida lifting the ban on smokable medical marijuana, the nursing school’s Denise Vidot answer ...

Three School of Architecture students recount their first day in Switzerland, and some of the archit ...

In the aftermath of the powerful tornado that devastated a rural Alabama community, a UM storm exper ...

The Miami women's basketball team received a No. 4-seed in the NCAA Tournament and will host th ...

The Canes return home for a week, beginning a five-game homestand with a midweek series against Colu ...

The University of Miami women's track and field program rank eighth in the preseason edition of ...

New Hurricanes wide receiver K.J. Osborn was swayed by what he saw on his television set in early Ja ...

Images from the No. 27 Miami women's tennis team's 5-2 triumph over No. 42 Notre Dame at t ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.