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GNC Pro Performance Smart Shake
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Smart Snacking DecodedSmart Snacking DecodedFeel good, fuel up, & lose weight with healthy snacksFor healthiest snacking, pick items that contain a mix of protein, complex carbohydrates, and/or healthy fats
Done right, snacking can be a way to add healthy foods to the diet and keep excess pounds at bay, fueling us through long days of work and family activities. Research bears this out: snacking more times per day is associated with a healthy body weight, overweight adults tend to snack less, and snackers routinely eat more fiber, vegetables, and fruit than nonsnackers.
Our tips and ideas will put snacking to work for you, and lead you down the positive path to health and wellness.
Master the macros
Macronutrients give us energy, or calories, in the form of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. For healthiest snacking, pick items that contain a mix of protein, complex carbohydrates, and/or healthy fats. For example, instead of a plain piece of fruit, try a piece of fruit and a small handful of almonds or walnuts. Here are some other good snacking options:
- A banana with a tablespoon of peanut butter
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup blueberries or strawberries
- Chopped raw carrots, peppers, celery, broccoli, or cauliflower with hummus or white bean dip
- 1/2 cup cereal-pick one with at least 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber per serving-with skim or low-fat milk or yogurt
- An energy or granola bar with at least 8 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and fewer than 200 calories
- 1/2 of a 100% whole grain bagel with low-fat cream cheese or hummus
- 6 whole grain crackers-rye crackers are crisp and tasty-topped with 1/3 of a sliced avocado and sliced tomatoes or cucumbers
It's important to remember that alcohol can contribute calories to the diet as well. For optimal health, it should be used only in moderation-no more than one drink per day for women or two per day for men-or not at all. One drink is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.
Mix in more micros
Micronutrients are the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, such as beta carotene, vital to good health. Minimally processed, whole plant foods offer the highest variety and amounts of micronutrients. The closer a food looks to when it came out of the ground or off the tree or vine, the more micronutrients it will have.
For example, fresh or frozen blueberries are a better source of micronutrients than a blueberry muffin. Another bonus of whole plant foods is that they tend to be lower in calories, so you won't break the calorie bank snacking on them.
Factor in fiber
Fiber is neither a macro- nor micronutrient, but fiber-rich diets are well known to lower the risk of numerous chronic diseases, including heart disease and diabetes, keep our digestive tracts in top working order, and help us stay full, which aids in weight maintenance. For more fiber, reach for
- whole grains,
- beans (try bean dip or hummus), and
- nuts (keep servings to a small handful).
Tip: To make sure your grains are whole, read the ingredient list. The word "enriched" is a tip-off that a product is not whole grain.
Keep calorie goals in mind
Routinely reaching for fatty, salty, nutrient-poor snacking options may add unwanted inches to our waistlines, so pick your snacks with care. This is especially true if you are trying to lose weight. For example, a woman on a weight-loss plan may have a 1,500 to 1,600 daily calorie goal. About 400 of those calories can go toward snacks, so if you have two to three snacks per day, plan for about 135 to 200 calories per snack.
Here are some examples of snacks that fall within these guidelines:
- 3/4 cup no-fat Greek yogurt with 1/2 sliced banana
- 1/2 cup high protein cereal with 1/2 cup skim or soy milk
- 1 ounce-a small handful-of walnuts, almonds, or other nuts
- 1/2 cup edamame-steamed soy beans-lightly salted and with a teaspoon drizzle of olive oil (try a squeeze of lemon for an extra kick)
- 1 scoop protein powder, 1/2 cup sliced fruit, and ice and water to blend
All in all, snacking has a lot going for it. It can keep your body consistently fueled with healthy foods, which makes for more energy, and a healthier, happier you!
(J Am Diet Assoc 2011; 111:1730-4; J Am Diet Assoc 2011; 111:1898-903)Suzanne Dixon, MPH, MS, RD, an author, speaker, and internationally recognized expert in chronic disease prevention, epidemiology, and nutrition, has taught medical, nursing, public health, and alternative medicine coursework. She has delivered over 150 invited lectures to health professionals and consumers and is the creator of a nutrition website acclaimed by the New York Times and Time magazine. Suzanne received her training in epidemiology and nutrition at the University of Michigan, School of Public Health at Ann Arbor.
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Comments about GNC Pro Performance Smart Shake:
It is a great product and is simple and easy to use. The removable cups on the bottom are amazing and i use them every day for vitamin c pills and protein powder. I only wish that GNC sold accessories to this such as different cups so i can put pre workout on the outside and protein inside so its easier to use.
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Comments about GNC Pro Performance Smart Shake:
This is a great cup for post workout protein shakes and vitamins / supplements. The bottom of the shaker has two cups. The bottom cup is larger and completely open. It's good for powders. The middle cup is smaller and has a removable divider that makes it great for pills and capsules. I use whey protein mix and put creatine caps in the upper cup then throw the whole thing in my gym bag.
My only gripe is that the lower cup could be a bit larger. The whey protein is supposed to be three scoops per 12 ounces of water; the bottom cup only holds two scoops. They could shorten the upper cup and add the volume to the lower cup.
As it is, I put the powder in the shaker itself and don't use the bottom cup.
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