As movie theaters reopen after pandemic closures, a senior registered dietitian at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Courtney Ford, provides some tips for moviegoers to enjoy healthier options while watching movies. She warns that mindless binging of unhealthy snacks may occur when people are too focused on the movie and not on what they are eating.
Popcorn: The Healthiest Item
Ford suggests that popcorn is the healthiest item most often available at theaters as it is a whole grain that doesnt dramatically affect blood sugar. However, heavy salt and butter can offset its benefits. To enjoy popcorn while watching movies, she suggests ordering it without butter or adding less salt.
Choose Chocolate-Covered Nuts Over Fruits
According to Ford, chocolate-covered nuts are a great choice as they offer protein and are also heart-healthy with less sugar compared to chocolate-covered fruit. She advises moviegoers to steer clear of the candy section as pure sugar snacks, like gummy or sour candies, can raise blood sugar levels really high and cause drastic drops.
Combine Protein with Carbohydrate Items
Ford suggests looking for items that combine a protein with a carbohydrate, such as a hot dog or a grilled chicken sandwich or wrap. Items high in protein will keep you full longer than less substantial foods. Sugary drinks like sodas and frozen fizzy beverages are empty calories that should be avoided.
Healthy Snacking at Home or Community Events
For those who prefer to stay at home or attend community events, Ford recommends making movie nights healthier by choosing frozen grapes and fresh fruit instead of candy and adding popcorn. Packing sandwiches for a balanced meal is also a good option.
Eating healthy doesnt mean you have to completely avoid the foods you enjoy, Ford emphasized. It is important to be intentional with what you order and not eat more than you actually want. The more you put off these cravings, the more likely youll overdo it when you finally let yourself enjoy them, she said.
With these tips from a nutrition expert, moviegoers can now enjoy their favorite movies while still being mindful of their food choices. By being intentional with what you order, you can still indulge in some treats without overdoing it. Remember to combine protein with carbohydrate items, avoid sugary drinks and candy, and choose healthy snacks like chocolate-covered nuts and fresh fruit.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Courtney Ford?Courtney Ford is a senior registered dietitian at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. She provides tips on how to choose healthier snacks at movie theaters.
What are some of the healthier snack options recommended by Courtney Ford at movie theaters?According to Courtney Ford, popcorn is a whole grain that doesn’t dramatically affect blood sugar, and is the healthiest item most often available at the theater. Chocolate-covered nuts are also a great choice, as they offer protein and are heart-healthy. She also suggests looking for items that combine a protein with a carbohydrate, such as a hot dog or a grilled chicken sandwich or wrap.
What are some alternatives to going to movie theaters that Courtney Ford recommends for healthier snacking options?Courtney Ford suggests making movie nights at home or at community events healthier by choosing frozen grapes and fresh fruit instead of candy, adding popcorn, and packing sandwiches for a balanced meal.
Why should moviegoers avoid sugary drinks like sodas and frozen fizzy beverages?According to Courtney Ford, sugary drinks like sodas and frozen fizzy beverages are empty calories, and should be avoided. They can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels, and can also contribute to weight gain and other health problems.