How to choose healthy snacks
In certain health-conscious circles, snacking has gained a bad reputation. However, if we choose our snacks wisely, it can help prevent overeating and meal times and increase productivity to get you through that mid-afternoon slump. Having a small snack after exercise also aids muscle repair and recovery, so snacking sensibly may be more important than you think.
It’s important to remain aware of portion size when snacking as well, even if the food you’ve chosen is healthy, it can be easy to overeat if you don’t split portions beforehand. For example, nuts are an excellent source of protein and monounsaturated fats (good fats). However, they’re quite high in calories, so if you eat them straight out of the packaging, it can be easy to consume the equivalent of a meal’s worth of calories in one snack. Below are some tips to help you choose healthy snacks which keep you sustained throughout the day:
Choose fruit-based snacks, they’re high in water to keep you hydrated and fulfill the body’s need for fiber.
Choose snacks that are high in protein. Protein is an essential part of a healthy diet. It works to build tissue, muscle, and bones, and slows digestion, which keeps you fuller longer.
Vegetable snacks such as cucumber, carrots and tomatoes are high in potassium and contain electrolytes, making them a particularly good snack post-exercise.
Avoid pre-packaged snacks, as they usually contain the most preservatives and are high in refined sugar and flour, fat, and sodium; key contributors to type 2 diabetes and other cardiovascular problems. Another often overlooked element of snacking is considering what you are drinking. Soda and “juice drink” branded products are packed with sugar and are high in calories. Instead, try making your own juice with ingredients at home or switch to drinking water. Although healthy snacking in daily life is important, it can often demotivate people if they deprive themselves of the occasional indulgence. Snacking on chocolate or junk food doesn’t do any harm in moderation.