Do you snack in between meals? It’s not unusual to need a small snack between your three larger meals to keep you sustained throughout the day. This helps your blood sugar stay balanced, which also helps with mood and energy. But take a stroll down the snack aisle at your local grocery store, and you’ll find a lot of packaged foods that aren’t beneficial to your health. How do you choose snacks that sustain you between meals?
There’s an equation you can use to make sure you are snacking in a way benefits you the most. After all, you’re less likely to overeat or crash during the day when your body has a steady stream of nutrients to fuel it. Here are some essential snacking tips to help keep you sustained throughout the day.
Healthy fats help you feel satiated and sustained throughout the day.
They help balance blood sugar levels, keep inflammation low, and help you feel better overall. Among the best healthy fats for snacks are nuts. Not only are they loaded with healthy fats, but they’re also packed with fiber, protein, and minerals.
Even a pure nut butter would work, smeared on slices of apples, celery, or added to your favorite smoothie. If peanuts don’t agree with you, there are a variety of nut butters – cashew, almond, and my favorite, sunbutter (made from sunflower seeds). If you just don’t like nuts or nut butters, try avocados for your healthy fat. Mash up an avocado with lime juice and salt and pepper, then dip in your favorite veggies and enjoy.
Being mindful of your fiber intake is important for health. You need to consume fiber with all your meals, and including it during snack time can help you feel satisfied between meals and regulate your digestion. Those packaged snacks that are so prevalent in the stores are seriously lacking fiber.
What’s the big deal about fiber? It helps to keep you regular, and the fiber you eat that your body can’t digest actually feeds the bacteria in your microbiome. That bacteria produces vitamins and substances that nourish your digestive system.
Reach for raw fruit, vegetables or seeds which provide lots of fiber. Add a little hummus, and you’ll feel full enough to keep going until dinner.
When you combine protein with the healthy fat and fiber, you have a snack that will leave you feeling satisfied. Nut butters and hummus provide protein. You could also try mixing your favorite protein powder with fruits, spinach, and nut butter in a smoothie. If you want a really smoothe texture, add 1/4 avocado and blend. You’ll have a quick and delicious snack, and you’ll feel satisfied until your next meal.
Shifting the way you think about snacking can create significant results. If your typical snacks aren’t keeping you satiated, take a look at what you are eating and make some adjustments. After all, continuing to eat what doesn’t satisfy you past the flavor, doesn’t make much sense. By incorporating healthy fats + fiber + protein into that snack, you are more likely to choose snacks that sustain you. There’s the equation that I promised.
Use that equation to choose your foods – breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack – and you will fuel your body for better function plus reduce the empty calories that cause blood sugar fluctuation and weight gain.