Healthy Snacking. Smart Snacking
by Jes @SnackFirst on Feb 22, 2022
What are snacks?
Snacks are small amount of food bites that are eaten between meals. Especially between lunch and dinner where the interval is longer, snacking can help to keep one focused, keep hunger pangs in check and be an energy booster. During parties, watching shows, snacking is essential in some activities and also in key bonding events like a catch up.
Most people don't realise that snacks actually contribute to your daily calories. Or that it's so easy to over-consume snacks, which is compounding to the ever increasing waist line and obesity levels.
Introducing healthy snacking by being smart on your snacking habits. Here are some ways you can actually keep snacking without putting on weight.
1) Cut portion size
Snacks are cheaper in bulk but that does not mean you have to finish them in one go. Portion out a handful and put the bag away before you start snacking. Nuts are healthy but if you consume more than a handful, it will become additional calories.
2) Read nutritional label
A quick way to see if snacks are unhealthy, is to see if sugar is the top few ingredients. Or if the list of ingredients are long. Snacks lower in fat and sugar but high in dietary fiber and water means fewer calories but staying full for a longer period of time.
3) Limit sweet snacks to once a week
If you can pair a protein with carbohydrates, this is an ideal way to keep you from being hungry. Examples include having an apple and string cheese, whole wheat crackers with peanut butter, carrots and hummus, or plain yogurt and fresh fruit. Make sweet treats the exception once a week while a healthy snack once a day. This effort to limit yourself will make these snacks taste additionally tasty. Plus, they will taste extra sweet once you see the fruits of your results.
4) Schedule snacking time earlier in the day
Time for high tea? Make it a routine to have a work break and enjoy the snack. Control and limit yourself to that 1 high tea session to prevent over-consumption. Best if you can take them earlier in the day so that your body have enough time before sleep to burn them off. If you can burn the extra sugar content away, they will not convert to fats!
5) Buy healthy snacks
Some examples of healthy snacks:
Natural sugar are much better than added sugar so if you have a sweet tooth, go for a banana or an apple. Sugar in fruits and added sugar are definitely not the same thing and do not contribute to weight gain similarly. Natural sugar in fruits are digested more slowly than processed sugar plus with the additional fibre, you may be feeling fuller after some fruits. However, do limit to 2 to 5 servings a day.
Needless to say, for additional proteins, nuts are a good snacks and are a great substitute for biscuits and potato chips. Eating nuts keep you feeling full and you will tend to take in lesser calories in a meal. Most nuts are also great source of vitamin E, potassium and magnesium, not commonly found in our daily meals. Nuts are also one of the approved snack in ketogenic and paleo diet for fast weight loss. Alternatively, nut drinks would be great as a protein booster too!
Yoghurt pack a whole load of calcium and protein but do choose lower sugar content ones instead. Eat them with nuts and seeds and you can substitute a normal meal easily. They are usually a rich source of vitamin B and minerals like potassium, phosphorus and magnesium.
One of the cheapest source of healthy food, a sprinkle a day is the easiest way to consume these superfood. The powerhouse of nutrients, sesame seeds, chia seeds and sunflower can be added to salads, congee, oats, yoghurt and even stir fry vegetables for a healthy and crunchy menu.
As a wholegrain cereal, oats are a great way to get antioxidants and tons of minerals. Oats are a great way to lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, which is why it is considered a healthy food. Many other ketogenic healthy snacks you can read more here.
Healthy snacking does not have to be boring, they definitely do not have to be tasteless. By snacking smartly, we can choose to maintain our waist line and yet enjoy them every day! Happy snacking! :)