n weekdays, DJ Cheryl Miles is up by 5am, when most people are still asleep.
Miles, who is part of Singapore Press Holdings’ Radio 91.3’s Morning Crew, is in the studio by 5.30am. She goes on air half an hour later.
The show ends at 10am, but the DJ, who is also a singer and actress, continues to fill her day with a flurry of activities, including meetings, recording voiceovers and preparing for the next day’s show.
In between, the 34-year-old works out at the gym and attends dance classes once a week.
“I lead a busy life, so it’s extra important for me to exercise and eat right to get enough energy to last me through the day,” she said.
Nuts are her favourite snack and she used to prepare her own trail mix of dried fruit and nuts, including macadamias and almonds.
Nutritionists and dietitians too say that a handful of healthy nuts is a good and easy way to snack healthily on a busy work day.
Almonds, in particular, are cardio-protective nuts, said Ms Shabeena Anjum, a nutritionist at Healthway Medical.
This cardio-protective aspect, research shows, is due to the “good” fats in nuts – polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats – which help lower LDL cholesterol levels, or bad cholesterol.
Nuts are also a good source of protein, fibre and many vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin E, found in nuts like almonds and pecans, may help reduce plaque formation in heart arteries, thus re ducing the risk of heart disease, a report from the Mayo Clinic in New York noted.
A review study in the British Journal Of Nutrition observed that people who snacked on a serving of nuts (about 12 almonds) four times a week reduced their risk of getting heart disease by 37 per cent.
However, dietitians warn against over-indulging in nuts.
Although nuts are considered good for health, they are also high in fat, said Ms Claire James, a senior dietitian at The Food Clinic.
“Fat is the highest source of calories in our diets, providing nine calories per gram,” she said. Both carbohydrates and protein provide four calories per gram.
“For those who need to lose weight, eating lots of nuts will add to the waistline,” Ms James said.
Another tip for making a smart diet choice on a busy day, advises a report from health website webMD, is to choose wholegrain bread instead of white bread.
Wholegrain breads have a lower glycaemic index (GI), the measure of the rate which a food affects blood sugar, said Ms James. Foods with a low GI cause a slow rise in blood sugar, which helps a person feel full longer, helping to stave off hunger pangs, she said.
Wholegrains also have important nutrients like fibre, which helps the digestive system; and B vitamins, which are important for the immune and nervous system, said Ms Anjum.
It also contains selenium, an antioxidant which can help to prevent cancer.
Here is another healthy eating tip: when dining out, order your main dish with other vegetables instead of french fries.
Compared to french fries, which are high in saturated fat, vegetables like beans, carrots and spinach and other greens are rich in nutrients.
For example, broccoli is not only packed with nutrients, it is also high in vitamin C, an antioxidant which helps to boost the immune system. You should get at least two servings of vegetables a day.
Three tablespoons of cooked vegetables will make up one serving, said Ms James.
She added: “Choosing a side dish of vegetables such as broccoli or spinach when you are eating out is a great way to boost your intake.
“But potatoes don’t count as vegetables – they are considered carbohydrates – so choosing french fries won’t count.”