April 18, 2024

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Tips to Healthier Snacking

While some won’t recommend snacking, eating snacks can be beneficial given that it is done intentionally. Case in point: eating snacks in between meals can help ensure you won’t get too hungry before your meal and overeat. Snacking also gives you an opportunity to include foods and nutrients missing from your previous meals.

Those who include at least one to two snacks between meals are also able to consume more nutrients like vitamin C, fiber, and calcium compared to those who don’t eat snacks. If anything, snacking can be a good thing as long as you focus on eating whole and nutritious foods.

When it comes to healthy snacking, keep the following basics in mind:

Focus on nutrients and not calories.

Rather than focusing on a snack’s calorie content, consider nutrient-density instead. For instance, most 100 calories snack packs are not as healthy as they seem. While low in calories, they often lack the important nutrients that support health. Rather than focusing on calories, opt for snacks that are rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, etc.

Create snacks from different food groups.

Ideally, healthy snacks should be a combination of various foods that provide different benefits. Picking snacks that contain carbohydrates and protein can be satisfying and filling. Carbohydrates will provide the energy fuel you need to get through your day while protein will help keep you full.

Bonus Tip: Choose snack options like lean proteins and other options that are high in fiber like seeds, nuts, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

Always opt for whole foods over processed ones.

Creating your own snacks gives you the option to control the ingredients you use. In addition, it can also be good for your wallet. Keep in mind that pre-packaged options tend to be more costly because of their convenience value. 

Use snacks to curb your hunger.

As mentioned earlier, eating snacks in between meals can help you from getting too hungry and overeating. Look for and prepare snacks that are nutritious and easy to prepare. Be mindful that you do not go overboard and consume too much. Otherwise, it would do more damage than good.

Be mindful when snacking.

Avoid eating snacks when you are working on a computer or watching TV. When your mind is somewhere else or when you are busy with something, it can be difficult (if not impossible) to listen to your fullness or hunger cues. It is also ideal that you eat at places designated for eating like kitchen counters and dining room tables.

It is recommended that you listen to your mind and body and not eat out of stress or boredom. Eating when you are not hungry might cause you to eat nutrient-poor foods that are high in sugar, fat, and sodium. If you are hungry and you need to eat some snacks, opt for whole and healthy foods.

Pay attention to portion size.

Snacks are supposed to ward off your hunger and should not be used as a substitute meal. That said, you need to enjoy your snacks in moderation. While you don’t need to measure your food, you need to have a keen awareness of the appropriate portion sizes that’s right for you.

Bonus Tip: When cooking or buying snacks in bulk, consider placing your snacks into smaller containers to ensure you keep portion sizes under control.

Plan your snacks.

When planning your weekly meal, make sure you include healthy snacks in the mix. Planning and preparing your snacks ahead of time can help ensure you won’t reach for unhealthy and convenient options. Trail mix, popcorn, hummus, energy bites, and chocolate covered fruits are some great snacks you can consider.