Healthy Snacks to Stay Full and Energized All Day
Healthy snacks. Exactly what does that mean? Most nutritionists and scientists agree that eating smaller quantities multiple times a day is far healthier than eating three large meals. Small, frequent meals provide more energy, get digested better and keep our metabolism more active, meaning we get more energy and less weight from the calories we consume. Snacking is a perfect way to eat in small quantities with greater frequency. Snacking has the following benefits: prevents overeating, keeps blood sugar levels steady and provides nutrients. But the key to proper snacking is healthy snacking.
How to Choose Healthy Snacks
There are endless options when it comes to finding healthy snacks, but your number one consideration should be keeping your snacks nutritious. Why? You want them to pack a punch. They should energize you and tide you over until your next meal. That’s why you should look for nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and nuts and seeds.
What should you be looking for, nutrition-wise? Look for stuff with protein, fiber, and good vitamins and minerals. You can eat some carbohydrates, but because they get used up quickly, they won’t keep you energized long. Protein promotes the growth of lean muscle mass which boosts metabolic rate and increases calorie born. Fiber helps improve digestion and keeps you fuller longer. Aim for snacks that are under 200 calories and have roughly 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber.
Some Examples of Healthy Snacking
Fruits and Veggies – Most types of whole fruit are usually a good snack bet, but to make your snack more satisfying, pair your fruit with some protein. For example, an apple with a glass of skim milk, or berries and almonds. Vegetables, of course, make fantastic snacks. Try carrots and/or celery with a yogurt or peanut butter dip. If you’re craving something rich and creamy, try an avocado with cottage cheese. It’s savory, hearty, and totally satisfying — plus, no dishes! Opt for fiber-rich and heart healthy sweet potatoes in place of heavier starches.
Dairy – Low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheeses can add a delicious component to your snack. Pair yogurt with fruits and nuts for a hearty parfait, or cheese with veggies for a luscious topping. Cheeses like goat cheese and ricotta are rich and creamy but have lots of good stuff in them to fuel you!
Protein – Canned tuna is a great source of lean protein. Only buy tuna in water, and pair it with whole-wheat bread or crackers. Don’t forget about other types of seafood, either! Shellfish like shrimp can be a grab-and-go snack if you keep pre-cooked shrimp on hand. They’re packed with protein and pair deliciously with many other foods!
- Tofu is a great source of protein and fiber that is surprisingly low-calorie. Pair with vegetables and light asian glazes like miso or soy for a tasty, savory bite!
- Eggs are quick, easy, and tasty. Hard-boil a dozen eggs at the beginning of the week and you’ll have an easy snack for the next several days!
- Leftover chicken or other meat from dinner is also a great option. Just downsize the portion and you’ve got the perfect snack.
- Swap beef jerky for the much leaner turkey jerky, which is just as tasty and easy to take on the road.
- Nuts, Seeds and Beans – Choose your nuts carefully. Peanuts and almonds provide good protein, while buttery nuts like cashews are healthy, but only in small quantities. You can grab nuts by the handful, or use them as toppings for smoothies, yogurts, salads, and more. Beans like edamame make a great snack, packed with fiber and protein. Lentils in particular are a great source of iron, which 20% of the population doesn’t get enough of!
- Smoothies – Smoothies are a great snack when you’re craving an icy or sweet treat. Combine protein powder with low-fat yogurt, fruit for taste and honey for sweetness.
- Salads – If you need something more filling, salads are a great snack option. With many ingredients, they’re jam packed with nutrients and other super-foods to help you re-charge.
- Protein Bars – If you’re feeling a craving for something sweet, rather than reaching for a candy bar, opt for a protein bar. The trick to picking a good protein bar is the same as with other foods: aim for 200 calories or less, 10 grams of protein, and close to 5 grams of fiber. Pick your favorite flavor and indulge!
Healthy Snacks – Final Thoughts
As you can see from the above, a little creativity and ingenuity go a long way. Almost anything can be turned into a satisfying snack, and with a little practice and preparation, you’ll be a champion snacker in no time! Proper eating, smart snacking and regular exercise will help you achieve your fitness goals and become the ideal you.
RX Fitness Has the Equipment and Accessories You Need
RX Fitness Equipment in Thousand Oaks is here to help you reach your own fitness targets. If you need advice and counsel on nutrition and proper diet, we can refer you to a qualified nutritionist or personal trainer. Just let us know what you need. You want a fitness routine that works exactly the way you need it to, and we have all the equipment and accessories you might require to reach your goals. We always offer top-quality fitness equipment, accessories and best-in-the-business service. Come in and let us help you find exactly who you're looking for.
Contact Tim Adams for a free consultation or stop by the store and take something for a test drive. We’re here to help.