The traditional idea of a “snack” is a between-meal, quick bite that satisfies an urge. But in today’s world, snacking has become much more important. Many people avoid snacks because they are afraid that snacks contribute to weight gain. However, a healthy snack can offer health benefits. Consumers are living more on-the-go and snacking more frequently, and because of that they’re relying on the snack category as a source of nutrition more than before Snacks can even be included in a weight loss plan. The trick is to choose a snack with about 100 calories and a mix of carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats. Aim to eat your snack about halfway between meals to keep energy levels consistent.
People are beginning to really focus on what they are putting into their bodies and looking for snacks that provide more than just calories and curb cravings. Eating a healthy snack allows you to add to your intake of essential nutrients. Fruits and vegetables add vitamins A and C, both of which are important for immunity, wound healing and teeth and gums.
They also offer fiber and fill your stomach for very few calories. Add low-fat cheese, yogurt or hummus to increase protein intake, which is necessary for healthy muscles, skin, cells and hair. Whole grain crackers add complex carbohydrates and additional fiber.
Low-fat dairy foods increase calcium intake, a nutrient that is needed for healthy bones. A handful of nuts at snack time adds healthy fats to your diet, which protect your heart and brain.
A healthy snack made up of complex carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats increases your energy levels for a longer period of time than sugary snacks do. This is because sugar will cause your blood sugar to spike and then crash, leaving you hungry and lethargic. Complex carbohydrates are a stable source of energy, and including them in a healthy snack helps you power through your tasks between meals. A good choice would be yogurt with a small amount of granola or trail mix.
If you are looking for a balance or a middle-of-the-road option, be willing to compromise. But do not completely give up what makes eating feel good!