Healthy Snacking: How to fuel your body and mind, curb hunger and stay satisfied
August 29, 2019
Who doesn’t love a good snack? Personally, I love when I get a mid afternoon pick-me-up or a sweet snack before bed. But sometimes snacking gets a bad rap, leaving the question should you really be snacking? The good news is that the answer is YES. Healthy snacking has several benefits:
Increased intake of vitamins, micronutrients, phytochemicals, and antioxidants
Snacking can help us not overeat at mealtime
Help fuel a late afternoon workout
Provide energy and help prevent the mid-afternoon slump
Help you concentrate and be more productive
So, it’s good news that snacking can be beneficial, but we want to make sure they are healthy, and not just giving us a sugar high which is then followed by a crash.
Things to keep in mind when planning your snacks:
Avoid simple carbohydrates that will turn quickly into sugar
Plan options that include complex carbs, but also some protein and potentially some healthy fat
Use the snack to get more fruit and vegetables into your day (10 servings a day is ideal!)
Try to also incorporate some fiber into your snack to help meet your daily quota and keep you full longer
Don’t forget to hydrate. While drinking water isn’t snacking, if you are dehydrated, you might feel hungry instead of thirsty, and you will feel more fatigued
Healthy Snacking Ideas
1. Veggies and hummus
2. Fresh or frozen fruit: Apples, bananas, oranges, peaches, pears, grapes, berries, melon, pineapple, mango, kiwis…the options are endless! Check for what is in season for the best tasting and cheapest produce. Frozen fruit can sometimes can get a bad rap, but can be a great affordable and easy choice! Just look for frozen fruit without added sugars
3. Fresh Veggies: Carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and broccoli are all great options! **TIP-cut them up at the beginning of the week to make it easier during the week to reach for them-don’t make time an issue!
4. Apple or banana with nut butter! -look for nut butters with just nuts and salt in ingredients-no need for the extra sugars and oils! (Look for single serving packs for on the go, portion controlled snacking!)
5. Greek yogurt-look for ones lower in added sugar-sweeten it yourself with berries or sliced banana! Some of our favorites include Siggis, Chobani, and Fage
6. Build your own trail mix: combine mix of your favorite nuts and seeds, unsweetened dried fruit, coconut, dark chocolate chips; get creative-feel free to choose whatever you want!
7. Self-popped popcorn-forget microwave popcorn, you can easily make your own on the stove! Put unpopped kernels in a saucepan with a little bit of oil or butter, cover with lid, and let pop! season with garlic powder, nutritional yeast, and herbs to take your popcorn to the next level