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Foods to help you avoid the 'afternoon slump'

April 25, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
What can you do about the dreaded "afternoon slump" when the clock strikes 3 and you need an energy boost? Instead of making a trip to the vending machine, here are some other ideas.

The "afternoon slump" comes around 3 p.m.: You feel like your energy is zapped and your instinct is to reach for something sugary to rev you back up. But dietitians say that's exactly what you should avoid doing.

A snack that's high in sugar may give a temporary energy boost, but it will ultimately leave you crashing.

The solution? Something that will help you maintain a more even blood-sugar level, like protein.

Try a handful of almonds. They're rich in protein but also have healthy fat to give you sustained energy. Or try Greek-style yogurt with a little honey, or a piece of fruit.

"That's going to give you protein as well as carbohydrate, it's going to give you an immediate energy boost and also the sustenance that you need," said dietitian Ellie Krieger.

Experts say the best thing you can do to keep your energy up throughout the whole day, not just around the dreaded afternoon slump, is to eat several smaller meals all day long.

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