by Matt Weik
Snacking (in a healthy manner) is an essential part of a balanced diet. While we try to eat our typical meals throughout the day, life gets in the way. We may work odd hours or be caught waiting for a train or plane when traveling. A delicious, healthy snack will help you out in these situations, as well as be perfect if you’re trying to lead a healthier lifestyle but are always on the go. You could choose to hit up the vending machine, but that won’t really satisfy your hunger or be a healthy option if you’re trying to lose weight.
Dieticians worldwide agree that snacking can improve your nutrition since hunger pangs are less likely to catch us by surprise. They also help keep us hydrated and add a bit of variety to our day, so it’s not just about eating three (or more) large meals each day. Different snacks suit different people at different times. Some are great for our health, but we don’t enjoy them. Others are tasty but rather fattening. This is where making the right choices can quickly satisfy hunger and keep you on track with your health and fitness goals.
Do you want better snack options that satisfy hunger and provide health benefits? If the answer is yes, then this is an article that you will want to pay close attention to and take notes.
Factors Dieticians Consider When Approving Snacks
● The food should be low in fat and high in fiber and water so that fewer calories are consumed, that way, you can stay full longer and satisfy hunger.
● An item that, when consumed, does not lead to weight gain or promote health issues.
● Food and beverages containing added sugar should be removed from being considered healthy snacks.
● Fresh fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, etc., are highly recommended and nutritious.
● A snack that combines protein and carbohydrates is given preference as it helps keep you full and satisfy hunger.
Examples of Health Snacks
Nuts are amazingly healthy snacks. They are high in fat content and should be consumed in portioned amounts. Among the nuts, almonds seem to provide some of the best benefits. Almonds are high in vitamin E and could deliver massive amounts of nutrients. They are loaded with antioxidants and can improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels too. One ounce or roughly 23 almonds contain 164 calories, 4 grams of fiber, and 6 grams of protein.
Oats are another excellent snack choice and can satisfy hunger. It contains essential sources of fibers, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Since it has a good amount of fiber, it takes a longer time to be digested by the body and keeps glucose levels more controlled when compared to a carbohydrate that is higher in sugar. This slow digestive property makes it one of the best healthy snacks any time of day and can also help promote the health of the digestive tract. If you would love to add oats and oatmeal to your nutrition plan but find them boring, you can get creative. To improve the flavor, consider adding some fruit, protein powder, nuts, or even a nut butter to it.
Celery is the perfect low-calorie snack vegetable. It provides antioxidants and fiber and is rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, and potassium. It can be eaten raw or cooked. The fiber in celery benefits the digestive and cardiovascular systems. The antioxidants present in this versatile vegetable can play a role in preventing diseases. If you don’t like it plain, try adding some natural peanut butter which can further help satisfy hunger thanks to the healthy fats.
Hard-boiled eggs are a simple snack that is slammed with protein to support lean muscle. We can use boiled eggs with other ingredients to make a protein-packed salad, or you can simply eat them on their own. They are a tasty and healthy snack that can be consumed any time of day.
Popcorn is a delicious low-calorie snack (assuming you skip the movie theatre butter variety). It is a great source of fiber and can help satisfy hunger. It is oil-free and is a lighter snack option. Three cups of air-popped popcorn have 4 grams of fiber and around 4 grams of protein. What’s nice about air-popped popcorn is that you can eat a lot of it without taking in a bunch of unhealthy calories.
Sprouts and Beans
Sprouts and beans are a good, effective snack to help satisfy hunger without disturbing cholesterol levels. Sprouts are loaded with vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, and phosphorus. Bean sprouts are full of vitamin B, which can increase metabolism. Vitamins play a very important role in our fight against diseases and can also help repair and heal the body.
Dried fruits are one of the most appealing snacks. They contain vitamins, minerals, and fiber. If paired with nuts, it will give some texture, crunch, and added nutrients. However, one thing to note is that dried fruit is high in sugar. Therefore, you’re going to want to monitor how much you eat. But they can also be tossed into salads and oatmeal to liven up the flavor profile if you wish.
Yogurt is one of the healthiest snacks you can eat while also helping to satisfy hunger. It is a dairy product that comes from milk and is a snack item that contains a good amount of protein. Greek yogurt would be preferred when possible. The result is a low-sugar snack that is full of protein and calcium.