- Bettina Applewhite
Healthy Snacking: Grains
During the coronavirus quarantine, I was reaching to potato chips often even though I'm not usually a snacker. I saw some chips on sale, bought them, and I was hooked. I had to regroup and think of more crunchy, salty snacks to try.
The benefits to snacking on grains are getting fiber, B vitamins, and minerals. Whole grains can provide you with the fiber needed to help prevent some chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Fiber is also important to prevent and relieve constipation.
I know there are a lot of diet trends out there that are giving grains and carbohydrates a bad name. But with all the benefits grains and especially whole grains give you, you won't want to miss out. Grains are more than just bread and rice. You have so many options. And grains as snacks are delicious.
Choose whole grains when you are eating grains. Grains provide carbohydrates. When you choose whole grains you are choosing complex carbohydrates. These carbohydrates take time to metabolize in your body and don't spike your blood sugars quickly. They help you to feel full longer. They provide more fiber and vitamins than refined grains. Whole grains options include brown and wild rice, whole wheat bread, slow cooked oatmeal and grits, and popcorn.
During the quarantine, I re-tried rice cakes. I remember rice cakes were so hard and bland. I remember rice cakes as diet food that tasted like diet food. Let me tell you they have improved the formula! You don't have to break your teeth biting into one. And there are so many flavors out there. I started with these Quaker Ranch flavor Rice Crisps. I thought it would be the safest bet as far as a measure of taste. I liked them. There are other flavors too and I can't wait to try them.
I like pita bread and will often buy the pita bread made with flax seeds but this summer I found some pita chips made with ancient grains and flax seeds. For snacking these are great! When I'm snacking I want the crunch and the ease of finger foods.
Some Good Options for Grains as Snacks
Air-Popped or Low Fat Popcorn
Whole Grain Crackers
Granola or Granola Bars
A Bowl of Cereal or Oatmeal
Muffins and Homemade breads made with whole wheat
During the quarantine, so many people have said that they've gained the COVID-19 pounds. It was easy to do. Life became more sedentary because life was forced to be inside the home. There weren't even commutes to work. The stress of the unknown could trigger emotional eating and increase snacking on items that you usually don't gravitate towards. Boredom is often broken with "let's eat". It was a combination for increased weight. Hopefully, learning some new snacking habits will help you to not only stop gaining weight but also help you lose those unexpected 19 lb weight gain from the summer. Plan ahead because the winter is coming and you don't want to add on your "winter coat" on top of your COVID-19.