Healthy snacking improves overall health, curbs cravings, fights weight gain, regulates mood, boosts brain power and gives you the energy you need to keep going all day.
Resisting the urge to grab a burger, chocolate bar, or bag of crisps when you are hit with a hunger desire for a snack can make a huge difference to your health — regardless of your age.
Remember: You are what you eat. Nutrition is the key to a healthy lifestyle and a healthy life. A healthy diet goes a long way toward lowering the risk for heart disease and improving your overall health.
Healthy Snacking and Weight Control
Avoiding extreme hunger increases the likelihood that you’ll pick the healthy snack rather than raiding the doughnut box in the break room or overeating at meals.
Here at HealthySnacking.co.uk we recommend that everyone consumes small meals every three to five hours and that you resist the urge to overeat.
The easy part is the frequent meals; the hard part is keeping them small. This is because we have become used to eating large meals.
We recommend that you eat more during your more active times of the day.
If you can match your intake with your output, you will have more success with your weight-control targets.
Another key is to keep healthy snacks on hand.
The best way to avoid eating food that you shouldn’t is to not keep any around and available. Do not buy it !
For the same reason you should go food shopping when you are hungry – you can end up buying a lot of food do not need.
Curb Your Cravings
Your blood sugar dips three to five hours after you eat. Eating small, frequent snacks keeps your metabolism revved up and helps normalize blood sugar.
Hunger can throw your body into famine mode, which slows metabolism and makes it easier to pack on the pounds.
Foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, and legumes are satisfying and are packed with the nutrients, fibre, and protein that your body needs. They also guard against sugar highs and lows, so you are less likely to succumb to your sweet tooth – or whatever your dietary Achilles’ heel may be.
Healthy Snacking and Energy, Mood, and Brain Boosters
We advise that you think about food as fuel.
Such nutrient-poor, sugary snacks such as sweets and chocolate bars are like a fuel that runs hot and then burns out.
They give you a quick boost of energy that is followed by a sudden crash that leaves you feeling hungry, irritable, sleepy, and unable to concentrate.
Healthy snacks are like a slow-burning fuel that helps keep you going all day.
This is related to the glycaemic index of foods which is discussed elsewhere on this site.
Having several snacks a day helps banish that postmeal sleepiness that comes from consuming too many calories at one sitting.
If you include protein in your snack, you’ll derive an extra mental boost – protein-laden food like fish, meat, eggs, cheese, chickpeas, nuts, and tofu contain an amino acid that increases the production of neurotransmitters that regulate concentration and alertness.
Many of us naturally reach for carbohydrates when we’re feeling down because they help lift our mood by boosting the brain chemical serotonin.
While processed foods like plain bagels and cookies give a quick high, it is followed by a sharp low.
Good-for-you fruit sugars, honey, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, and many vegetables lift mood and battle fatigue without the roller-coaster effect.
Omega-3 fatty acids are another good nutrient to include in snacks, for your heart as well as your head.
Tuna, walnuts, and many other foods contain omega-3s, which help fight high blood pressure and heart disease, as well as depression and anxiety. The effects of omega-3s are also being studied as they relate to a number of other health conditions, including joint diseases, schizophrenia, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
So remember choose healthy snacks like nuts and chickpeas.