Snacking refers to the intake of foods during the day other than your main meals. Snacks typically consist of smaller food portions distributed between meals. While research on whether snacking aids weight loss is mixed, some evidence suggests that increasing your meal frequency through snacking may help manage hunger and improve blood sugar regulation. By planning ahead and focusing on nutrient-rich foods, snacks may support your weight management goals by managing hunger and keeping you satisfied between meals. Think of a healthy snack as a mini-meal. It should be more than just a handful of popcorn or a bag of chips. Like a meal, it should contain some protein, carbs, and healthy fats. Bonus points for fibre, as that helps fill us up and slows digestion leaving you feeling fuller longer. Here are some options for healthy snacking you can switch to-
1. Mixed nuts
Nuts are an ideal nutritious snack, providing the perfect balance of healthy fats, protein, and fiber.Aside from being tasty; they’re linked to numerous health benefits and very filling. There are plenty of nuts you can choose from, including walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, cashews, and pistachios. Because they don’t require refrigeration, they’re a great choice for snacking on the go.
2. Kale chips
Kale is incredibly healthy, as it’s loaded with fiber and antioxidants like beta carotene, lutein.It’s also a good source of minerals, such as calcium and phosphorus. It has a lower level of oxalic acid, an anti-nutrient that impairs calcium absorption, than many other leafy greens .Pairing kale with olive oil not only makes more delicious and crispy chips but also a more balanced and filling snack.
3. Protein smoothie
A protein smoothie can be a filling snack for when you need something substantial until your next meal.They’re an easy and convenient way to increase your protein intake. You can add just about any other ingredient to the mix, from fruits and veggies to healthy fats like avocado, nut butter, or chia seeds, for a nutrient-rich snack.
Oatmeal is a truly versatile snack that you can enjoy hot or cold — at home or on the go. Oats are a nutritious whole grain that provides a good amount of fiber and higher protein content compared with other cereals.What’s more, you can satisfy your sweet tooth with oatmeal topped with fruit, cinnamon, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips, or go for a savory version by adding eggs, avocado, and veggies like mushrooms or tomatoes.
5. Cucumber slices with hummus
Cucumber’s fresh flavour and crunchy texture go very well with the rich creaminess of hummus. Hummus is typically made from chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, and garlic. Thus, it provides a mix of plant-based protein, fibre, and heart-healthy fats. You can also pair them with some whole grain crackers or pretzel sticks for a heartier snack.
When your next craving hits, aim for whole foods that add nutrition to your day instead of highly processed, less nutritious options.Having some healthy choices in reach can help you stay satisfied, add more nutrients to your diet, and support weight management. Healthy snacking can be benifically in all aspects of life , so start making choices of what you intake.