In today’s post I will discuss healthy snacking and give you some of my simple and delicious “go-to” snack ideas!
Snacking is not always bad. Here’s why it’s important to have healthy snacks between meals:
Maintains balanced blood sugar levels
Healthy snacking helps keep your blood sugar levels balanced, especially if you eat a consistent amount of complex carbohydrate at each meal or snack. This is especially helpful for diabetics, and also beneficial for people without diabetes, since large spikes and dips in blood sugar levels likely contribute to insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
Snacking helps regulate your hunger levels preventing loss of control which leads to overeating at your next meal. So next time you start to feel hungry a couple hours before lunch or dinner, don't try to wait until the meal. Instead, eat a small healthy snack to tide you over. A good idea is to combine a complex carbohydrate such as whole grains, fruits or vegetables with a protein containing food such as egg, nuts or dairy products for a satisfying snack.
Helps reach your daily nutritional requirements
As long as you choose nutritious snacks, snacking will also help you meet your nutrient needs for the day. Although it's fine to have a less-than-healthy snack every once in a while, most of your snacks should consist of nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and nuts or seeds.
How to snack in a healthy way:
• Snacking is a good idea as it allows us to maintain control over hunger.
• Eat every 3-4 hours in a day.
• Plan your meals in advance to avoid prolonged hours of not eating or not having access to healthy foods.
• Snacking out of boredom or ‘grazing’ throughout the day is not healthy and will likely lead to overeating and weight gain. Have breaks in between meals.
• Most snacks should be around 150-300 calories, depending on your hunger level and when and what you next meal will be.
Healthy snack ideas:
- Apple slices + natural peanut or almond butter
- Greek yogurt + handful of berries+ 2 spoons granola/mixed seeds
- 2 rye crackers/ slice of whole grain bread with homemade tuna/egg salad
- Veggie sticks (carrot, cucumber, sweet peppers) + hummus/guacamole
- Chia pudding – chia seeds+ milk+berries- left to soak over night in the fridge
- Overnight oats with mixed berries and nuts (see my breakfast blog for recipes!)