Do you find yourself snacking throughout the day? Don’t worry – this habit isn’t necessarily an unhealthy one. There are some major health benefits to snacking, but choosing the frequency to snack and the right foods to snack on is key! Read on to learn how to do snacking the right way and some added healthy snack ideas.
Benefits of Snacking
If you know which snacks to choose, there can be some serious benefits associated with it. Some recommend to eat smaller meals throughout the day, and to keep healthier snacks on hand. Choose foods that are packed with nutrients, fiber, and protein such as fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole grains and more.
- Improve overall health: Snacks that include a good source of fiber and protein help you avoid blood sugar highs and lows while supplying you with the nutrients that you need.
- Curb cravings: Eating small, frequent snacks can help keep blood sugar levels stable while keeping your metabolism going.
- Fight weight gain: Healthy snacks can prevent overeating at meals.
- Regulate mood: Did you know carbs can actually boost serotonin? Choose good-for-you carbs, such as fruit, vegetables, and whole grains for an energy and mood lift.
- Boost brain power: Try snacks packed with protein such as fish, meat, cheese, and eggs to help increase the production of neurotransmitters to regulate both concentration and alertness.
- Support mental health: Fight anxiety and depression with omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in tuna, walnuts, and other foods.
Drawbacks of Snacking
While some healthy snacking can be good for you, if you snack too much or munch on the wrong foods, there are some serious drawbacks. These negative effects typically arise when you choose snacks that are processed foods, have little to no nutritional value, and/or are packed with unhealthy sugars. Because these snacks aren’t filling you up, you’re bound to reach for more of them, leading to a full day of snacking.
- Higher amount of calorie consumption per day: Since unhealthy snacks don’t keep you satisfied as long, you’ll be reaching for more of them – thus, resulting in a higher caloric intake.
- Higher rates of inflammation: When you snack all day, your body is nearly in a constant state of inflammation, which can cause a lot of stress to your immune system.
- Weight gain: Eating snacks with higher calories and no nutritional value, and more of them, is going to result in weight gain.
- Risk of tooth decay: Eating throughout the day without brushing your teeth leaves more time for bacteria and plaque to hang out in your teeth. Especially if you’re eating some sugary snacks.
- Increased risk of heart disease: Unhealthy snacks are typically processed foods that are low in nutritional value – not to mention packed with unhealthy sugars. This increased risk is even greater for individuals who are overweight – which can be a result of unhealthy snacking.
Healthy snack ideas
- Apples and peanut butter
- Celery sticks and cream cheese
- Mixed nuts
- Cherry tomatoes with mozzarella cheese
- Dark chocolate and almonds
- Turkey roll-ups
- Cantaloupe slices wrapped in prosciutto
- Healthy beef jerky
- Baby carrots with blue cheese
- Kale chips
- Greek yogurt with mixed berries
- Cottage cheese with flax seeds and cinnamon
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Cucumber slices with hummus
After a long day of healthy snacking, the last thing you’ll want to do is healthy cooking – let us do that part for you. Check out our menu full of chef-prepared, healthy, and nutritious meals that are ready in a snap.