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Are veggie snacks really healthy?

Donovan Grant

Monday, September 04, 2017

 

Dear Donovan,

I have embarked on a fitness journey, but I am a major snack addict. I have taken to snacking on the veggie treats and health snacks in the whole/health foods section of the supermarket. The thing is, they taste so good that I am wondering if they are indeed healthy. Would you advise snacking on these veggie chips, and are these health snacks like almond nuts, dried fruits, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds really healthy?

 

I am very happy that you have decided to embark on your fitness journey. This could make a tremendous difference to your health as well as your appearance.

I think it is very important to understand clearly what fitness and health goals you are trying to achieve. Are you trying to lose weight in general, your tummy in particular, or are you trying to improve your general health? You mentioned that you are a snack addict, but I need to know what your regular diet consists of, and whether you are currently exercising.

Having snacks between meals can be a good way of introducing healthy calories and reducing the tendency to overeat at major meal times. However, your intake of snack foods will depend on what you are trying to achieve as part of your fitness goals.

Let us say you are trying to lose weight. It would not be wise to stuff yourself with vegetable chips, lots of nuts, etc. These may be healthy, but they can be high in calories. So in simple terms, not everything at the health food store would be a healthy snack if your goal is to lose weight. Of course, a person whose fitness goal is to gain a few pounds might be able to snack on some nuts and vegetable chips without any major consequences. So in general, what might make a good snack for one person might not make a good snack for someone else.

However, be warned. Not everything displayed in a health food store is all that healthy. You should limit your intake of nuts and vegetable snacks, and you should take careful note of the nutritional content and calories in these snacks. Since you are a serial muncher, you could soon find yourself piling on the pounds. As part of your fitness programme, I would encourage you to snack on other things such as fruits, vegetables, green juice, carrot juice, smoothies, as well as a few raisins and prunes. Overall, I think your aim should be to enjoy snacks which are as close as possible to their raw, natural form.

Good luck!

 

We will answer your weight-related questions

Are you struggling to lose weight, or just need some advice on living a healthier life? Tell us about your health issues and we'll have nutritionist and wellness coach Donovan Grant answer them for you. Grant has over 12 years' experience in the fitness industry and is the owner of DG's Nutrition and Wellness Centre, 39 Lady Musgrave Road. Call him at 876-286-1363. E-mail questions to clarkep@jamaicaobserver.com.