Egg Nutrition Center Blog

The Benefits of Snacking Mindfully

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Some people trying to lose weight view snacking as a taboo, believing it is something they must cut out in order to achieve their weight loss goals. However, if a snack is carefully planned, it is a great way to pre-empt hunger, add beneficial nutrients and fuel the body to recover from physical activity and exercise1.

When planning snacks, keep in mind that 10 to 35 percent daily food intake should be lean protein2. It is unlikely that a person will fulfill this requirement just with regular meals, so it’s important to supplement meals with high-quality sources of protein when snacking, such as low fat yogurt, low fat cheese, or an egg.

Among the various functions that protein plays in keeping people fit and healthy, one of the most important ones is tissue formation. Besides this, protein can help in strengthening the immune system. Protein can also aid in developing strong muscles, joints, and bones. Another advantage of consuming protein is the satiety it provides, thus curbing the urge to binge eat later in the day3.

To ensure you or your clients have balanced and mindful snacks, encourage preparation of snacks in advance (this helps avoid vending machine and drive-thru). Inexpensive and loaded with nutrients, eggs are one of the best ways to start a snack with high-quality protein. Try hard-boiling a dozen at the start of the week and taking one in a small container each day for an easy on-the-go snack (see below for tips on hard-boiling and peeling). Be sure to give eggs the company they deserve even at snack time – enjoy a hard-boiled egg with a serving of whole grain crackers and a few cherry tomatoes for an extra dose of powerful antioxidants.

Basic Hard-Boiled Eggs

Directions

Step 1-place eggs in saucepan large enough to hold them in single layer. ADD cold water to cover eggs by 1 inch.

Step 2- Heat over high heat just to boiling. REMOVE from burner. COVER pan.

Step 3- DRAIN immediately and serve warm. OR, cool completely under cold running water of in bowl of ice water, then REFRIGERATE

 Tips for hard-boiling

  • For easier peeling, use eggs that are 7 to 10 days old.
  • Banish the greenish ring. This harmless but unsightly discoloration that sometimes forms around hard-boiled yolks results from a reaction between sulfur in the egg white and iron in the yolk. It occurs when eggs have been cooked for too long or at too high a temperature. Our method – cooking eggs in hot, not boiling, water, then cooling immediately – minimizes this.
  • Hard-boiled eggs are easiest to peel right after cooling. Cooling causes the egg to contract slightly in the shell.

References:

1.       Snacks: How they fit into your weight-loss plan. (2012, May 25). 
         Retrieved June 3, 2013,http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/healthy-diet/HQ01396
2.       http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/protein.html
3.       http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/high-protein-diet-weight-loss

Author: Anna Shlachter MS, RDN, LDN