We automatically assume that snacks are unhealthy and spoil our subsequent meals- but this is not the case! We need snacks to provide an energy boost throughout the day until our next main meal, especially if we are active and busy. Ultimately, a good and nutritious snack is what sustains you in that long gap from breakfast to lunch or lunch to dinner.
Why do we perceive snacks to be unhealthy?
In truth, a lot of the time, snacks can be deemed “unhealthy”. This is because many of the snacks we see on store shelves are loaded with sugar or not sourced from natural ingredients. Sometimes, we can become too dependent on snacks also. Generally, two nutritious snacks a day in between meals should be enough to satisfy a craving for something sweet, and also to help sustain you through the day.
What to look for in a healthy snack?
The first thing to do when you are looking at introducing some healthy snacks into your diet is to be clear on what your needs are from them. Is it to satisfy a craving for something sweet, is it to help you power through your gym or fitness routine, or is it to just keep you going between meals? Perhaps, it is all these reasons!
If you are a particularly active person, follow a special diet (such as keto, or gluten-free), or have any allergies- snacks made from natural ingredients will serve you better. They serve us all better. A healthy snack should not send your blood sugar levels through the roof.
Here are some general things to look for in a healthy and nutritious snack!
Check the ingredients- first and foremost. Is it made from natural ingredients?
Look at the calories. A snack should provide no more than around 100-200 calories to be deemed a “snack”. Check the levels of fat and sugar also. Some low-calorie snacks can be excessively high in sweeteners.
Is it suitable for your needs? Will it satisfy your sweet tooth without rocketing your blood sugar levels? Particularly if you are a diabetic.
If you are on a special diet, does it meet the needs of that special diet?
And last but not least… does it taste good? You should enjoy your snacks just as you enjoy your main meals!