Snacking doesn’t have to be bad for you. In fact, smart snacking has plenty of proven of benefits for us all. Healthy snacks are like slow-burning fuel for our bodies that help keep us going all day. Having several snacks a day can also help banish that post-meal sleepiness that comes from consuming too many calories in one sitting.
However, we have got to make sure that we ‘snack smart’ and don’t get led astray by labels, grumbling stomach pains and our sweet tooth!
Here are a few of our tips to help you choose the right snacks:
Grains are good
Choose a whole grain snack to help boost your energy. You could try a high fibre buckwheat cereal, quinoa cakes or some popped corn.
Nuts that are unsalted are a great, healthy and smart snack. Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, roasted pumpkin seeds, cashews, hazelnuts, and other nuts and seeds contain many beneficial nutrients and are great at making our tummy feel full for longer.
Make it snack time
Take time out to snack. Don’t do it mindlessly while you are watching tv or doing other jobs. Just like with our other main meals of the day. Make snack time a part of your day and be present so you know how much you are eating. Stop when you are satisfied.
Snacks on the run
If you are heading out of the house for a while. Be prepared and take snacks with you to have while you are out. That way, you avoid temptation to pop into the shops and get something that isn’t healthy. Not only smart snacking, this is great for saving money too!!
Snacks in sight
Put healthy snacks within eyesight. Research has found you're more likely to pick a healthy snack if it's convenient and within reach. Try putting fruit in a bowl on the kitchen bench, so you can grab an apple or orange next time you're hungry.
Going long stretches between meals without snacking can cause blood sugar to drop. This causes our cravings to kicks in and usually means we will overindulge later at a larger meal time. "The biggest cause of overeating is undereating," says Katherine Tallmadge, R.D., a nutritionist in Washington, D.C.
Plan your snacks
Try to have your three meals for the day as well as all your daily snacks planned out. Stick to the calorie count that is right for you and try not to give in to temptation to add anything extra to your daily meal and snack plan.
Don't go thirsty
Sometimes when we are dehydrated or thirsty, our stomachs tell us its hunger. Keep up the fluids and make sure you are drinking enough water (not sugary juices or soft drinks) throughout the day.Stay away from Trans Fats
Research shows that products with trans fat like junk foods, packaged biscuits and chips are the ones that can put you at risk for heart disease.