In today’s world people often find healthy eating difficult, in particular healthy snacking. This may be because you’re too busy to prepare food in advance, so end up having no choice but to pick an unhealthy snack in a rush from the supermarket. Or perhaps you are so confused by what a healthy snack actually is because the news is full of such conflicting information, that you find it impossible to choose the right thing.
So what kind of snacks should you be looking for? Firstly, it is not all about calories. Many people get caught up on how many calories a food contains and often end up consuming empty calories as a result of this. Although it is not healthy to be under or over weight it is important to look at the nutrient content of a product as this will tell you how the food will make you feel and benefit your health.
Healthy snacks should contain protein. Protein is great as we digest protein slowly and this leaves us feeling fuller and keeps our energy levels up for longer. Protein rich energy snacks help to avoid the concentration dip you may feel in the afternoon. This is because the protein in the snack helps to keep your blood sugar levels balanced, where as if you were to eat a high sugar low protein snack you would feel your energy levels shooting up and down constantly. Therefore protein rich snacks are perfect to keep your concentration levels up at the office, or to give you an extra push with your sports workout.
Snacks that contain more carbohydrate than protein can make it difficult to keep your energy levels balanced throughout the day. Carbohydrates, in particular refined sugars send a rush of energy through you which may start you off feeling great but in the end will leave you feeling tired.
An important nutrient is Fibre. Fibre is vital for the health of your digestive system and like protein fibre can keep you feeling fuller for longer and is a great nutrient to have in a snack.
So when you’re choosing which snacks to buy make sure you check the nutritional information on the back. If it contains lots of confusing ingredients that you can hardly pronounce, it’s best avoided. Remember, the closer to its natural state a product is, the more likely it will include beneficial nutrients to you. Finally, when you eat a snack, think about how it makes you feel and whether you think it is improving your energy levels or leaving you tired with low concentration.