Consider a premenstrual woman with a hankering for chocolate: At 10 a.m. she might enjoy a quality piece of dark chocolate and be satisfied. Deny the craving, though, and it could easily snowball into eating a pan of brownies by 10 p.m. — with 12 times the fat and calories of a single chunk of Godiva.
Splurging on occasion is acceptable — just don’t get carried away! If you indulge the snack monster twice a day, you might be heading for junk food trouble, but a few times a week won’t hurt your healthy eating lifestyle.
Here are some healthy eating tips:
- Avoid stocking treats in your cabinets or fridge. Buy it only when the craving hits and enjoy a small quantity, she says. Then share or trash the rest.
- Try balancing low calorie snacks with the less-nutritious food, like a piece of fruit with your cheesecake instead of two slices of cake. By eating the fruit first, you will blunt your appetite and be less likely to wolf down a second slice of the cheesecake
Desperately craving less-healthy food? You can have your cake (ice cream, cookies) and eat it, too, provided you enjoy it in moderation and keep track of the fat and calorie cost. Overload on it, however, and you could wind up going off the fat-and-calorie deep end. Here’s the skinny on the best (and worst) of the less-healthful foods that can be incorporated into a balanced healthy diet.
Candy bars that are low calorie snacks (well, lower, anyhow!)
Best bet: 3 Musketeers
Milky Way, 3 Musketeers and Snickers, oh my. The hands-down winner for the healthy snacks chocolate-bar splurge is 3 Musketeers with a creamy 8 grams of fat (4.5 saturated) and 260 calories compared to Milky Way’s 10 fat grams (5 saturated) and 270 calories, and Snicker’s 14 fat grams (5 saturated) and 280 calories. (True, the peanuts in Snickers are healthy snacks, but if it’s nuts you crave, you’re better off eating a handful plain than trying to satisfy your nut craving by eating a candy bar.)
Cookies (single-serving packages of comparable weight)
Best bet: Mallomars as quick low calorie snacks
There’s no shame in putting your hand in the cookie jar for these light and fluffy chocolate-marshmallow delights and including them in your balanced healthy diet. One package (two Mallomars) contains just 60 calories, 2.5 grams of fat and 17 milligrams of sodium. One package of Oreos (three cookies), however, packs twice the calories (120), 7 grams of fat and an astounding 150 milligrams of sodium. A single-serving package of Chips Ahoy (three cookies), providing 160 calories, 8 grams of fat and 105 milligrams of sodium, emerges as the real cookie monster.