Snacking: fried has to goeth before a small (size)

Healthy snacks

To snack or not to snack, now that is the question. I read two articles on the subject, one in the Wall Street Journal and the other in the Mayo Clinic's online comments. Then I thought about Wednesday evenings, my own downfall.

The newspaper article was titled "The Battle of the Office Candy Jar" and detailed the travails of people whose bosses and office mates think that the workplace should always be stocked with a dish of candy bars. Then there are theĀ tempters who are forever bringing cookies and birthday cakes in to work or selling candy bars for their kid's baseball teams or school fundraisers.

The WSJ calculated the effects of eating two pieces of candy a day, five days a week, assuming one didn't cut down other foood intake or decide they needed to increase their exercise regime. Wow, it's over seven pounds added a year. It's even worse when the candy is presented in a clear jar, rather than a covered and opaque dish.

I immediately thought, 'It's Wednesday!' That's when I go to a three-hour evening writers' critique group. My cohorts bring in stories to be read aloud and commented on (I have one for tonight on the Festival of Holi that our former graduate students from Mumbai brought us to recently). They also bring in cakes and cookies and I used to bringĀ biscotti. Our leader always has a jar with Tootsie Pops and I invariably eat more than I intend.

The Mayo Clinic piece says snacks aren't always bad and their diet plan includes snacks that can help obviate hunger pangs and keep you from binge eating. But their choice of snacks is quite different: fruits and veggies make much more sense than doughnuts and candy.

Their website: can lead you to a healthy snack site which suggests 100-calorie snacks, e.g, 2 cups of carrots or, one of my favorites, air-popped popcorn.

I'd prefer to avoid snacking whenever possible, but I'm aware I need help in avoiding the tempting items I encounter on wednesdays or at parties. I've switched from bringing biscotti to fetching a sack of almonds. Mayo's cautions that even though nuts contain protein and thus can help you feel full for a longer time, they also contain calories, largely in the form of monosaturated fat (which is certainly a better variety than the polyunsaturated kind).

So I've made a game of it: I eat four almonds. No particular reason that I chose that number, but it works.

I also have a four by six card that says

My home-made snack barrier

Leave a Reply