Four Ways To Snack Smarter
Four Ways To Snack Smarter
Snacking often conjures up images of a package of chips or anything wrapped up that you can buy in a vending machine, but these processed foods are not a healthy way to keep your body well fueled. For your body to function optimally, you need to consider not only your meals but your snacking habits as well. If you’re nibbling on some leaves of kale for lunch in order to “eat clean” but tearing into a danish by 2:30 p.m., the green lunch of yours isn’t doing your body good. Here are some ways to improve your snack habits.
Include protein in your snack.
The idea of a snack is that it’s a bit of energy that’ll sustain you until you have your next meal. While you may really want to grab that cupcake from the box sent to the office to relieve your hunger, this treat will just spike your blood sugar and you’ll feel a crash afterwards. Your snack should include protein so that you experience a feeling of fullness or satiety, and protein will not make your blood sugar spike, but rather help you maintain it level. Some foods that include protein that you can try for snacking: hummus, unsalted nuts (a small handful is enough), bananas and peanut butter.
Watch the size of your snack.
Since you’re feeling a little peckish by the time you want a snack, you may not realizing you’re consuming much more than you should be. A snack should be less than 200 calories. So think a pita with some nut butter and a small apple, or a small handful of almonds and a glass of chocolate milk.
Get creative with your snacks.
Don’t feel you have to stick with what are generally seen as snack foods, such as carrot sticks and celery, or trail mix. As long as you watch your portion size, you could consider small portions of foods more often thought of as meals as your snack. Make an open-face tuna sandwich your snack or why not make a petite cheese plate with a few pickled veggies a beautiful treat to yourself as your mid-afternoon snack. In fact, if you are able to make your snack feel more like a meal (with more than one component), some experts believe this makes you feel more satisfied than if you were to just eat a pear.
Make your snacks nutrient-dense.
Rice cakes may have few calories and satisfy that crunch you’re craving but they also boast very little in terms of nutritional value, so you’re losing out on an opportunity to be feeding your body what it needs to be healthy. Make kale chips in the oven for something satisfyingly crunchy but loaded with vitamin K and fibre. Rather than your usual oat muffin, substitute a recipe that incorporates quinoa and vegetables for one that’s more filling and with more nutrients.