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Guiltless snacks.

It's five o'clock and you're hungry. A bag of chips sits on the counter. There's nothing in the refrigerator but a few wilted carrot sticks and limp stalks of celery. Temptation strikes. The problem with snacking is not when you snack or even that you snack in the first place-but what you choose to eat. Whether your snacks are ready-made or made at home, the trick is to steer clear of excess fats and sugar. To do that, surround yourself with plenty of good-tasting foods rich in complex carbohydrates and fiber. Create an illusion of fat and calories by combining creamy and crunchy or chewy textures. And use a little imagination. In fact, eating frequent mini-meals can be good for you. Here's how: * Binge control-If eating a bagel at three o'clock in the afternoon keeps you from eating second or third helpings it dinner, you may actually save the 500 or so extra calories you might be tempted to devour. * Satisfaction for small appetites-Young children's tiny stomachs can hold only small portions of food at one time. Senior citizens may also feel more comfortable eating smaller, more frequent meals. * Extra energy and nutrients-Traditional meals often lose out to busy schedules. A grab-and-go meal is often the difference between getting some nourishment and getting none at all.

Snacks rich in complex carbohydrates and fiber will give you immediate energy with some staying power. A small amount of low-fat protein adds more sustained energy.

Snacks to Pick and Fix

These ideas for healthful snacks keep fat and calories at bay by maximizing whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables. Best of all, you can make them all in ten minutes or less. * Toast one-half of a whole-wheat English muffin. Top with Canadian bacon, tomato slice, low-fat American cheese. Microwave until cheese melts. * Mash one-half of a banana into peanut butter and spread on a wholegrain bagel. * Mix cold leftover chicken (or a convenience-type chunk chicken), seedless green grapes, sunflower seeds, plain yogurt, and a dash of curry powder. Stuff into a hollowed-out green pepper or a whole-wheat pita pocket. * Spread one-half of a cinnamon-raisin bagel with part-skim ricotta cheese. Top with apple slices. * Layer soft mini corn or flour tortillas with shredded low-fat cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese. Microwave until cheese melts. Slice into bite-size pie shapes. * Spread a brown rice cake with farmer cheese (like cottage cheese but drier and firmer) and fresh strawberries or low-sugar spreadable fruit. * Top a baked potato with plain yogurt and Cajun seasoning. * Spread raisin toast with apple butter. * Spread several slices of whole-grain crisp bread (wafer-thin crackers) with fruit-flavored low-fat, nonaspartame yogurt. * Mix one-half cup of fruit into one cup of low-fat yogurt. * Blend one ripe banana, one teaspoon of vanilla, and one cup of lowfat yogurt for one minute. Pour the mixture into a tall glass.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Saturday Evening Post Society
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:HeartBeat; includes related article
Publication:Saturday Evening Post
Date:Apr 1, 1990
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