Do we need to snack? Are the snacks needed for weight loss or to improve your health? What can I have for snack?
A snack is a smart and efficient way to reduce your hunger and control your portion throughout the day. When we space our mealtime to far, we can overeat. A snack should be used in between breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A snack should be a small and balanced meal that satisfies you and reenergize you. It may help to stabilize your blood sugar, decrease insulin spikes, and provide fuel and nutrients to keep your energy level on check.
The dark side of having snacks is when choosing dessert-like food options. A bag of chips, sugar-loaded bars, or candy will just add calories to your day without satisfying your hunger.
How to smart snacking:
1. Plan your snack ahead of time: fixing snacks in advance, like washing and cutting vegetables and fruits.
2. A snack for an active person should be no more than 200 calories.
3. Snack only when you are hungry.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dieticians provides the following convenient and ready to eat Snacks at home:
1. Make your own trail mix by combining whole grain cereals, nuts or seeds and dried fruit. (Hint: portion into ¼ cup servings)
2. Blend your own smoothie by adding 1 cup of fat-free milk and frozen fruit to a blender.
3. Mix 3 cups air-popped popcorn with grated cheese or dried spices.
4. Bake vegetable chips, like kale or beets.
5. Roast chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) and season with spices.
6. Make a dip using low-fat cottage cheese or Greek yogurt for raw vegetables.
7. Slice a medium apple and eat with 1 tablespoon of peanut, almond, or sunflower seed butter.
To help you in your wellness journey try spreading your meals over the day, eating a meal or snack every 2-3 hours. Balance your meals/snacks: choosing a lean protein/complex carbohydrate, and some fatty acid (good fat). Example: boiled egg/spinach/almonds.