The three square meals you eat each day sometimes cannot deliver your daily nutritional requirements. Snacking is becoming very common. This is one of the important reasons to have healthy snacks between meals instead of stuffing your belly with junk food. Healthy snack foods deliver essential nutrients to boost your energy mid-day. You’ll be more alert and focused at work as well.
A study published in The Journal of Nutrition, showed that about 97% of Americans eat snacks, where they get around 24% of their calorie intake. This is too much for the daily average requirements; hence it is essential that healthy snack options should be considered.
How do you snack better to stay healthy?
- Snacking prevents you from getting too hungry that you’ll overeat during your lunch or dinner. So the next time you feel hungry before your next meal, have a snack instead of allowing yourself to go hungrier. A sample of a healthy snack you can eat is a combination of dairy products or nuts with vegetables, fruits or whole grains to provide you with carbohydrates and protein.
- Choosing the right healthy snacks help you lose more pounds if you’re keeping to a diet. Let us say that you have a snack between breakfast and lunch, another one between lunch and dinner, and one more before you go to bed. Let us presume that your snack is usually some cookies or a bar of milk chocolate or a bag or chips. Each one of these easily provides you with about 250 to 350 calories every time. That’s a lot. Now think of substituting healthy snacks, which will give you about 100 calories only. Which one will you choose?
- Consider replenishing your energy during the day by snacking on foods rich in nutrients, such as seeds or nuts, low fat dairy, vegetables and fruits. When you snack on healthy foods, you also keep your blood sugar at an even level, which is very good, particularly for diabetics and people with high blood pressure and heart disease.
- Instead of packaged snacks, munch on fresh fruits such as grapes, strawberries, pomegranate seeds, blueberries, watermelon, and melon or whatever fruits you have. Buy fruits in season, because they are cheaper. You can also have some fruit yogurt that’s low fat or have some low sugar crunchy cereal. The sugar in fruits are all-natural and are easier to metabolize by your body than processed sugar.
- If you are hankering for chips and crisps, pork rinds and salted nuts, find better substitutes, such as baked crisps (instead of fried), unsalted mixed nuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, celery stalks with low-fat cream cheese or homemade popcorn.
- Learn to read the labels. It is important that you know the nutrients contained by the food you eat. Always check the amounts of trans fat, saturated fat, sodium and sugar in the package of snack food that you eat. You should also check the amount of other additives and their sugar content. Better yet, choose fresh snack items like fruits and vegetables and whole grain for carbohydrate and protein sources.
- It will be easier to reach for healthier snacks when they are stashed in your desk drawer. This means that you do not have to go to the vending machine. Have a stash of dried fruits, applesauce, bottled water, snack bars, low-sodium jerky and tuna pouches.
For your wellness, it is important to time your snacking as well. Only have a snack when you feel that you are really hungry and lunch or dinner is still several hours away. Try to minimize your calorie intake to 100 calories per snack. If you will be too busy and will substitute your snack for a regular meal, make it a slightly larger snack, with about 250 calories.