A Healthier U

THE BEST SNACKS BEFORE BEDTIME

Many people find themselves craving snacks or feeling slightly hungry before bedtime. It can be hard to resist late-night snack temptations such as sweets and candy, or salty chips and crackers. Before diving into a bag of your favorite M&M’s consider the following:

Are you eating out of hunger or habit? If it’s been a few hours since your last meal, you may very well be feeling true hunger and need a small snack to sleep well through the night. If you notice you’re snacking more out of habit (or mistaking thirst for hunger), try sipping on an ice-cold glass of carbonated water with fresh lemon, or hot tea instead. Studies show that snacking accounts for up to ¼ of our daily calories, and people who skimp on calories during the day often feel overly hungry and less satiated throughout the evening. In other words, people can gain weight from too much regular snacking, while mindful eating (and eating earlier in the day) may help regulate weight or stave-off weight gain over time.

Once you’ve decided you are indeed hungry and would like a snack, try to keep it between 100-300 calories. This should be enough to quell hunger and help you rest well through the night. Here are some examples of tasty and healthful bedtime snacks:

  • A piece of string cheese
  • A bowl of whole-grain cereal + milk (or milk alternative)
  • A small container of Greek-style yogurt
  • 2 slices of deli turkey + 2 slices cheese, rolled together to make turkey roll-ups
  • A small container of chocolate pudding (or 1 serving homemade pudding)
  • A cup of baby carrots + 2 TBSP prepared hummus
  • 1 banana + 1 TBSP peanut butter (or other nut-butter)
  • ½ c. low-fat cottage cheese + ¼ c. canned or fresh fruit
  • 1 serving oatmeal + 1 TBSP walnuts + 1 TBSP raisins + splash of milk
  • 4 whole-grain crackers + 1 slice cheese
  • 2 cups air-popped popcorn or kettle-corn
  • 1 stalk celery spread with 1 TBSP peanut butter (or other nut-butter)
  • 6 oz. cup of hot-cocoa + 1 graham cracker or 2 fig cookies


CHOLESTEROL: THE GOOD, BAD AND UGLY
With all the talk about cholesterol, both healthy and high, good and bad, you may wonder exactly what it is. Given the answer — waxy, fat-like molecules made in the liver — it sounds undesirable in any amount. But the body needs cholesterol to make hormones, convert sunlight into vitamin D, and produce bile acids to digest fat. It’s also a good predictor of heart attacks and strokes.

“The amount you carry depends on your genes, plus your dietary and exercise choices,” said Clint Allred, MD, cardiologist with University of Utah Health.

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GOLD MEDAL TRAVEL TIPS
With the 2018 Winter Olympics rapidly approaching, you might be preparing to make your way to PyeongChang, South Korea for the XXIII Winter Games. Before you hop on a plane, here are a few tips to help you stay healthy and safe during your travels.

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