If you’re looking to improve your snacking habits, these 14 healthy snacking ideas can help boost your energy levels and even help with weight loss.
Snacks can be an important source of nutrients, energy, and calories throughout the day. However, when most of us reach for a snack, it tends to be an unhealthy choice. According to a 2021 Global Consumer Survey study, the three most commonly loved snacks by Americans are cookies, chips, and ice cream.
Snacks can be an important part of a healthy diet. But a lot depends on what you achieve at that moment when your stomach rumbles with hunger or you feel your energy levels drop. Choosing a healthy snack, like one of the best protein bars, instead of junk food, candy, or salty snacks, can affect your weight and overall health.
This article takes a closer look at whether snacks can be a healthy choice between meals, better morning or evening snacks, and what healthy choices you can build into your tissues. your overall eating pattern to make the most of your snacks. Plus, we talk to a registered dietitian to get a clear idea of what to eat and when.
Should you snack between meals?
The Food & Health 2020 Survey from the International Food Information Council shows that about a quarter of Americans snack several times a day, and nearly 40% of us even occasionally replace our main meals with snacks. a light meal.
New statistics collected during the coronavirus pandemic show that working from home accelerates food consumption even more. However, the trend is increasing among Americans, who added 25 snacks a year per capita in the five years leading up to the pandemic, according to NPD Group Eating Patterns in the US.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 state that “pre-planning meals and snacks with food groups and nutrient-rich foods and beverages can assist in eat healthy at home and improve individual and family dietary patterns”. So snacking can be just as important as your main meal in making healthier choices.
Snacking between meals can give you a much-needed energy boost. It can also help control your blood sugar levels and curb your appetite to avoid overeating at mealtimes. They can also be a source of extra nutrients or calories if you find it difficult to schedule or finish meals.
ProYouth Nutrition registered dietitian Rachel Akuffo agrees. “Snacking with healthy options can be helpful to keep your energy levels up and can prevent you from becoming too hungry and overeating at your next meal,” she says.
But she adds a word of caution: “Ultimately it’s about calories consumed versus calories consumed. Whether snacking is beneficial depends on why you snack, your snack choices, and the amount of food.”
As we all know, poor snack choices, or eating too many snacks, can reduce our hunger at mealtimes, make us skip essential nutrition, change our eating behavior. Our drinking gets worse and worse and increases our desire to eat salty, sugary, or greasy foods that are detrimental to our health.
Akuffo points out that bad habits can also be present: “If you are simply responding to snacking habits, the brain mimics the temptation of chocolate and other unhealthy snacks, so eating Junk can lead to weight gain and other problems.”
The Harvard School of Public Health says that the ideal snack should be “enough to satisfy you, but not so much that it affects your appetite or adds too many calories.” They recommend aiming for a snack that’s about 150-200 calories. However, if you’re trying to lose weight, the British Heart Foundation recommends cutting this down to around 100 calories.
When is the best time to snack?
The worst time to snack
A 2019 study of snack time in Seattle workplaces looked at the relationship between obesity and snacking time. The researchers found that the evening snack was associated with more weight gain than any other snack time.
The researchers also found that mid-morning snacks tend to be healthier than any other time and are often linked to consuming more fruits and vegetables. Evening snacks are more likely to be chips, snacks, and soft drinks. People who snack in the evening are also more likely to get distracted while eating, which can lead to more food consumption.
A 2017 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition also found that eating food in the evening and at night was more likely to lead to a higher percentage of body fat and body mass index (BMI). Result? The later you snack, the more likely you are to make unhealthy choices and overeat.
Best time to snack
So, when is the best time to snack? This seems to be harder to pin. Much of that depends on what you reach for, rather than when you eat your snack. However, a 2020 study on the effects of eating a low-sugar mid-afternoon snack of hummus found it reduced later snacking on sweet and sugary foods by 20% in the evening.
Eating more food during the day instead of at night, researchers say, is also good for you. A 2019 study on the relationship between circadian rhythms and eating, found that consuming more energy earlier in the day reduced inflammation, improved sleep, and increased the body’s ability to cope with stress. It also improves gut health.
Since we know that eating late at night can increase obesity, it seems that keeping your snack time in the morning or afternoon will be better for you, both in terms of weight loss and overall health.
However, it is not always an option. Work patterns and busy days can disrupt our schedules from time to time, so if you find yourself having to snack in the evening, don’t sweat too much. As Akuffo says, “While it’s good to give your body a rest at night, if your body doesn’t have enough calories or you’re a shift worker, your snacking habits need to be changed. “
14 healthy snack ideas
- One sliced apple and one tablespoon peanut butter: Apples are an excellent source of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium, while peanut butter is packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
- String cheese with whole grain crackers: String cheese contains calcium, while whole grain crackers provide fiber to keep you full for longer.
- Crunchy veggies like peppers, carrots, and celery, topped with a light dressing of fat-free Greek yogurt, parsley, mint, and lime juice: Add some pine nuts for an extra protein boost.
- Trail mix with chopped dates or fresh fruit: Make for a satisfying snack high in protein and heart-healthy fats.
- Protein bars: Protein bars can help curb appetite. Choose one that’s packed with natural, unprocessed protein sources, such as nuts and yogurt.
- Popcorn (2 cups): Popcorn contains a lot of fiber, helping you to feel full for a long time without calories. Be sure to choose whole popcorn and not the flavored brand.
- A cup of plain, low-fat Greek yogurt and ½ cup of fruit, such as blueberries, strawberries or apricots: Greek yogurt is an excellent source of calcium and protein, while fruit can provide Provides you with a daily dose of vitamins and fiber.
- Half a cup of edamame beans: These are high-protein beans that are rich in vitamins and minerals like iron, magnesium, folate, and vitamin K.
- Two tablespoons of cottage cheese and six cherry tomatoes over rice or oatcakes: This low-calorie cheese is packed with protein and nutrients, and is often used in weight loss plans. Cherry tomatoes are packed with antioxidants and oats or rice cakes provide fiber.
- One sliced banana on a slice of whole-wheat toast: Bananas are a good source of fiber and antioxidants, while whole-wheat bread contains iron, folate, potassium, and magnesium.
- Sliced red pepper and 3 tablespoons low-fat hummus: Chili peppers are high in antioxidants and low-fat hummus is rich in calcium, iron, and magnesium.
- A quarter of sliced avocado on whole grain crackers: Avocados are packed with healthy fats and nutrients, such as vitamin K and folate. Crunchy bread has added fiber, which keeps you fuller for longer.
- Hard-boiled eggs: Eggs are a great source of protein, healthy fats, and vitamins, plus they’re low in calories.
- A handful of mixed nuts, such as walnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, and pistachios: Eating nuts in moderation can help you lose weight, and they’re a rich source of fiber, protein, and protein. healthy fats.
https://www.livescience.com/36480-healthy-snacks-feeling-full.html 4 Healthy Snacks to Keep You Feeling Full