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Want to munch? Have fruits and veggies for healthy snacking

health-and-fitness Updated: May 07, 2012 13:27 IST

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If you want to develop healthier snacking habits, consider chopping up some fruits and vegetables and putting them where you can see them -- in a clear bowl within arm's reach.

After placing sliced apples and carrots into both clear and opaque bowls within reach of their participants -- 96 college-aged students -- researchers found that they were more likely to grab the foods when they could see them clearly.

The study, published in the journal Environment & Behavior and announced this week, also found that students were more likely to reach for the apples than carrots based simply on their sugar level.

For their experiment, researchers placed the bowls of sliced up apples and carrots at a table about two meters away. Participants watched as the food was taken out of its packaging and told that they were welcome to it.

After leaving the students alone for 10 minutes, scientists observed that the participants were more likely to reach for the foods when they were in clear bowls, compared to when they were hidden in opaque vessels.

Meanwhile, for other healthy snacking ideas, the Mayo Clinic suggests reaching for foods that clock in at about a hundred calories or less.

In addition to fruits and vegetables, whole grain snacks like crackers and crispbreads, nuts, seeds and low-fat dairy products like cheese and yogurt are good bets.

A 100-calorie snack can be one cup of sliced bananas or raspberries, two cups of carrots or two tbsp. of peanut butter.