These Are Some of Healthiest Snacks
When it comes to snacking, many of us picture twinkies, frosty milk shakes or piping hot French fries with lots of mayonnaise. In other words, snacking is often considered as unhealthy by lots of people. But it doesn’t have to be that way: enjoying a healthy snack in between main meals will not only provide you with a fresh dose of energy but will also make you less likely to overeat at the next meal.
Ways to snack healthy
Keep healthy snacks in your office cabinet, drawer or briefcase: this will prevent you from heading to the vending machine for chocolate bars and other high fat, high sugar foods when your stomach is rumbling at 3pm. And keep a bottle of water with you: this will help you drink regularly. Plus, you won’t be tempted to indulge in sodas or fruit juices loaded with sugar.
Be snack-wise and watch that portion size
Ideally, your snack should contain no more than 100 to 200 kcal. And try to combine some protein, a little bit of healthy fats and fiber for slow and steady release of energy.
Pastries, cakes, fried foods, ice cream, cookies and chocolate are treats; not snacks.
If you really cannot resist, indulge with moderation. For instance, instead of eating two chocolate chip cookies, have only one and some fresh fruits. Or take a small golf ball size scoop of ice cream in a small bowl and top it with frozen fruits or some chopped almonds.
Examples of healthy snacks
1. Almonds: Packed with protein and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), studies show that nuts such as almonds may help reduce cravings and may ward off diabetes and heart disease. Be careful though: nuts are so deliciously crunchy that they’re easy to overeat. So, keep your serving size to about 12 kernels — that would be about 180kcal.
2. Apple and peanut butter: This one will give you a boost of antioxidants, protein, soluble fiber — the type that makes you full faster — and MUFAs for less than 100kcal! If your next meal is in more than 3 hours, add a slice of whole meal bread to make your snack last longer.
3. Avocado and chicken salad: Have half an avocado with one ounce of lean chicken or turkey. The fiber and healthy fats in the avocado combined with protein from the chicken will give you a fresh supply of energy.
4. Boiled egg: A hard-boiled egg can be a perfect snack as it provides about 6g of protein and a nice dose of MUFAs for less than 70kcal.
5. Healthy smoothie: In a blender, add ½ cup of blueberries, 1 peach, 2 cups of fresh baby spinach, ¼ avocado, 1 celery stalk and ½ to 1 cup of water — blend until smooth and enjoy.
6. Hummus dip and veggie sticks: Made from chickpeas, hummus is a terrific source of protein, fiber, calcium, magnesium and potassium. And having it with veggies will top-up your intake of antioxidants.
7. Sweet potato and tuna: Bake a few small sweet potatoes and keep in the fridge. Have one with some tuna salad (tuna mixed with chopped lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes; drizzled with some olive oil) anytime your next meal is at least 3 hours away.