Snacking is an important part of any health journey. In fact, getting snacking right can be a key factor in sustaining a healthy eating pattern. It’s a great idea to choose snacks wisely as snacking can have many health benefits. Some of those include:
Provides a sustainable energy boost
Improves cognitive function
Improves mood and focus
Achieve your health goals by ensuring you meet the required servings of carbs, protein, dairy, fruits and vegetables.
However, many foods that seem to be of great nutritional value or a good snacking choice, may not be! For example, not all potato snacks are the same. A small fries from McDonald’s is not the same as eating some oven roasted potato wedges as they are loaded with unwanted unhealthy fats and added salt.
So, we have some tips to help you make the right choices!
5 tips for smarter snacking:
Ask yourself, “ Am I actually hungry?”: Ask yourself, "Am I actually hungry?": Eating between meals can be due to boredom, thirst or even habit for some people and it’s important to ensure that you are actually hungry. Two things you can do are 1) check if it has been a few hours since last eating, and 2) drink a glass of water and then ask yourself, “am I still hungry?”
Take it with you: We’ve all been there. Just left home on your way to a friends or appointment and hunger strikes. These are the times we swing into the drive-thru or find a vending machine. Instead, think ahead and carry some healthy snacks with you in your pocket or close by.
Fight hunger with fibre: Whole-grain, fruit or veggie snacks can provide a sustainable energy boost and source of fibre. Try some dried fruit mix, nuts or whole-grain, low salt chips.
Nutrient rich, not calorie rich: Snacks aren’t meant to be higher calorie meals. Too many high energy (kJ) snacks can lead to weight gain and high blood sugar levels. Incorporating nutrient rich snacks in between meals will provide your body with essential vitamins and minerals.
Variety: Choose snacks from the dairy, vegetables, fruit, grains and proteins food groups.