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Healthy snacks: Cancer-fighting combos

Focused on Health - January 2014

By Brittany Cordeiro

Healthy snacking isn’t just for kids. Adults need to choose nutritious snacks, too.

“Eating a healthy meal or snack every few hours refuels your body and puts you in better shape to fight off diseases like cancer,” said Mary Ellen Phipps, a wellness dietitian at MD Anderson. “It also helps keep your blood sugar and metabolism at healthy levels.”

Phipps suggests eating a healthy snack if your next meal is more than six hours away. It’s also okay to eat a small snack if you get hungry in-between meals.  

A healthy snack includes an unrefined carbohydrate, like fruit or whole grain crackers, and a protein, like peanut butter or low-fat cheese. “Pairing these two together will help you stay full longer and keep you energized,” Phipps says.

Try some of these healthy snack combos.

snack guide

Use this list to plan ahead if your busy schedule doesn’t include time for three balanced meals.

“You miss out on vital nutrients when you skip meals,” Phipps says. And, it isn’t a quick and easy way to lose weight. “Starving your body of essential calories can actually lead to weight gain over time.”

Make sure to keep a healthy snack on hand to tide you over.  And, opt for snacks that include a fruit and/or veggie to sneak in extra cancer-fighting nutrients.

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© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center