How the foods you eat may impact your energy-level

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – If you feel tired and lethargic throughout the day, it’s possible you’re not eating the right type of foods — the ones that can keep you energized and focused.Aside from food affecting our waistlines, various meal choices can also impact how you feel. Registered dietitian Kathleen Oswalt reviewed several healthy snacks that double as energy-boosting foods.“What you want to do is try and dump those highly processed foods,” said Oswalt, who is based in the Charleston-area. She helps her clients understand that diets high in saturated fat and loaded with sugar provide only temporary jolts, and when you limit those items, you often feel better overall and think more clearly. Often, feeling low on energy is a result of a blood sugar drop. To combat it, she says you need the one-two punch from a complex carbohydrate and a protein to keep your blood sugar consistent throughout the day. When looking for something to eat to battle any type of slump throughout your day, she says to consider foods like tuna salad with some crackers. Another example, an apple will provide the healthy carbs and nut butter has the protein. Some other examples of this combo are carrots and hummus and yogurt with berries. Edamame is also a great snack that is packed with both carbs and protein.“One of the things you want to think about when you’re putting your snacks together is to make sure that you have two different nutrients. You want protein and you want a complex carbohydrate so that you’ll have a longer lasting type of energy versus only short spurts of energy,” Oswalt said.It’s clear: the mood-food connection is real. It’s an easy impulse to reach for a snack like ice cream or chips, but it’s best to try and look for more balance, according to Oswalt. Having healthy snacks ready to go is key to staying fueled and focused when you need it most, keeping your energy up and your blood sugar stable when a slump looms.“Some of the things you can incorporate into your diet are things like nuts, fatty fishes like salmon, white fish, looking at fruits and vegetables,” she said. Oswalt says it’s not just proper nutrition that can provide energy,  it’s also the timing of what you eat that does wonders to make you feel more alert.“You don’t want to avoid missing meals or snacks, and really you want to think about feeding your body every three to four hours to fuel that healthy metabolism,” she said.

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