For some, the word “snack” inspires them to reach for things like chips, candy, and popcorn, or worse, whatever is handy. There is a better way to go, you can choose snack foods that are actually healthy to eat.
Purchasing food that is high in protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates, yet appealing to you, or members of your family, is the front line of snack management. Foods like seeds, nuts, carefully selected, pre-packaged protein bars, even sliced roasted chicken, are easy to have ready when a snack attack sneaks up from behind.
Research has shown that eating many little meals during the day enhances metabolism, encourages weight loss, and is especially helpful to diabetics, as they help to balance blood sugar. If well chosen snacks are prepared ahead of time, they will be utilized by the body in a healthy way, as a little meal. In fact, that might be a new, and healthier, way to think about snacks, as a little meal.
If you make time to prepare healthy snacks ahead of time, you will have an instant advantage over the grab as you go method. Knowing there is an instant snack you like, already in the refrigerator, or pantry, is really helpful. This will enable you to establish a healthy snack habit for the long term, and not just as a novelty. Sugar is a large part of the American diet, and it’s the first item to remove from the list of snacks. After a few weeks, the yearning for sweets will diminish, and food will taste better in general, including snacks.
Snacks at night are a more critical choice than than those in the afternoon, as food eaten in the evening can affect sleep. Nuts are an excellent snack anytime, however, nuts with lots of salt, or other seasoning, may not be a good choice at night. Salt creates thirst, and some additives to flavorings may cause tossing and turning. Too much protein at night may take too long to digest, and interfere with sleep as well.
The marketplace has made an effort to help consumers reduce the amount of fat in their diet by baking some of our most favorite snack food, such as potato chips. They will contain less oil, but still be too salty, or spicy.
Preparing small plastic bags with chopped salad ingredients are a great idea to have ready. Add a bit of oil and vinegar, and “poof”, a healthy snack. Small bags of mixed nuts are great to have ready too. Nuts have protein, fiber, magnesium, and other minerals. They are always a healthy snack. Peanut butter very healthy, is easy to digest, and shouldn’t interfere with sleep, even if snacked later in the evening. Spread a little on half an apple, and you have a very healthy snack anytime during the day.
For most, in addition to nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables are the healthiest choices snack. Apples, pears, grapes, and seasonal fruit should be chosen for the fun variety brings. Don’t forget how delicious celery tastes with a peanut butter filling.
When food shopping, it is a great idea to create a separate list for healthy snacks. And then enjoy them!