Snacking the Healthy Way
Keeping the Hunger at Bay
We as humans are wired to listen to our bodies when it comes to eating. It is not only something that we do for enjoyment, it is also something that we need to do to survive. If we don’t stay in tune to what our bodies require, however, we are prone to consuming things that are truly harmful to our wellbeing. We simply obey our hunger pangs and reach for the nearest convenient food - which can lead to health issues such as obesity, diabetes and even depression. If you would like to improve your health and avoid the perils of unhealthy snacking, consider the following snack suggestions for keeping things in check.
Lean, Mean Protein
Following diets that are high in protein is a popular way to lose weight and keep it off. But it is also essential to muscle function and maintaining hunger levels. Getting the right amount of daily protein is simple if you know what to look for and how to prepare. When shopping for snacks, add a good quality deli meat such as low sodium turkey breast, roast beef or chicken. They can be rolled up with a single slice of cheese for a good on-the-go bite. If you prefer to keep it meatless, nuts such as almonds, cashews and walnuts can be portable if needed or added to salads for a delightful crunch. Nut butters such as almond and cashew are also an excellent accompaniment to many other foods. You can spread them on celery and whole grain crackers, or if you are feeling particularly spontaneous, eat them alone by the spoonful!
Merry With Berries
Low in sugar but high in flavor and fiber, there are many delicious varieties of berries that will satisfy your sweet snack cravings. The most popular options are strawberries, blueberries and raspberries because they offer the most flavor with the most versatility. Toss some on top of your cereal or oatmeal, or put a handful in a resealable container and take them with you to the gym or to nibble on during your commute. Healthy eating advocates such as Dr. Steven Gundry might also suggest that unsweetened berries are mixed with plain low fat or nonfat yogurt, which can be a good snack, breakfast or even a dessert. In fact, adding berries instead of sugary toppings to your foods will help you to kick that difficult processed sugar habit because they are naturally sweet, thereby fooling your taste buds just enough to allow a sugar detox of sorts. Before you know it, you won’t even miss those candy bars and you will feel lighter and more energized.
The Great Greens
You have probably been told to eat your greens since childhood, and for very good reasons. Leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and cabbage contain impressive amounts of essential vitamins and minerals such as A, C, and potassium. If you enjoy a good salad, you can buy pre-washed spinach and kale so that it will be easy to throw together something healthy and satisfying. If you aren’t a salad fan, you can mix your greens with fruits like bananas and berries for a quick smoothie. Even better, you can sneak in a tablespoon or so of peanut or cashew butter for an extra satisfying boost. Potato chip devotees also delight in the availability of crunchy goodies like kale chips, which are often lightly salted or seasoned.
Regardless of the reasons for wanting to improve your snacking habits, you may be pleasantly surprised by how easy it can be once you begin to change your habits. By substituting a poor choice for a healthy one, you can change your taste bud’s preferences along with your overall health. Giving your body what it needs becomes tasty and fun when you incorporate health into your everyday life, and you may even find a new hobby such as cooking or gardening as a result - bonus points for the extra physical activity!