Healthy snacks; what are? What are their benefits and basic rules, allowed and forbidden foods as snacks, recipes for “quick” meals for travel and work? A healthy snack is an opportunity to relieve hunger by devouring healthy and nutritious food. At the same time, a good image and well-being are preserved. Doctors recommend snacks with almost any diet, as they help energize the body with minimal calories.
The benefits of healthy snacks
Nutritionists convince all those who are desperate to lose weight – snacks are good and contribute to maintaining the optimal weight. Such a “quick snack” is also indispensable when traveling, hiking, working, and studying. However, the primary condition is to follow the regime and eat only healthy and nutritious food. Frequent food consumption allows the body to maintain a high-quality and fast metabolism. It helps the digestive tract work correctly and absorb nutrients correctly and at the right time. Eating at least 5-6 times a day gives your body the necessary energy. It allows you not to overeat the main meals and control your appetite.
The benefits of eating healthy snacks include:
- Frequent and broken meals do not allow the feeling of hunger to play … Many who have been on a diet “break” from the control system, where the continuous surface of an empty stomach prevents them from concentrating on other things. Eating frequent meals helps reduce hunger and the stress it causes. In addition, it is psychologically easier to stick to a diet if you know that after an hour and a half, you can have a light snack and not painfully wait for lunch or dinner.
- Moderate appetite … Snacks do not allow you to get starving, so you cannot have enough meals, including the main ones. Even if you eat once a day, for this intake, you will eat many more calories than your body needs, which means they will “go” too fat cells.
- Good digestion … A few years ago, the principles of separate feeding became popular. They are based on the fact that different products do not combine due to their chemical properties. The body can poorly absorb them. For example, fruits are poorly connected with other products – they provoke decay and fermentation in the digestive tract. It hurts your well-being. Eating fruit separately from other foods can have a positive impact on health.
- Deep sleep … Weight loss knows very well how difficult it can be to fall asleep on an empty stomach. However, if you go to sleep immediately after a heavy meal, sleep will not bring pleasure and rest. Because eating the right snacks ensures healthy sleep. Eating proportionately, you don’t overeat at dinner and can allow yourself to eat bland food right before bed.
What is the most beneficial thing to snack on?
It would help if you had snacks according to specific rules. Frequent meals have advantages and the other side of the coin. You should reduce the number of consumed portions. If you’re trying to lose weight, creating a calorie deficit is essential. And if you maintain your weight, keep your calories at an average level. It is necessary to count calories not to exceed the calorie content of food.
To get the most out of your snack, follow these basic rules:
- Snack quality … For a dish to be healthy, you should clearly understand its composition. Be sure to consider not only the calorie content of the snack but also the glycemic index of the foods that make it up. A good snack should not be too caloric; it should be nutritious. It should be based on proteins, fiber, and slow carbohydrates. It will not harm the image and will saturate for a long time. For example, for women with an average weight of 60 kilograms, the number of calories consumed daily should be about two thousand. Dividing this number by 5-6 meals gives you an average calorie per snack.
- Several snacks … On average, a healthy person is awake for about 16 hours. The number of meals at this time should be 2-3 times and 4-5 additional snacks. It would help if you did not eat too often. Otherwise, you can fly and eat more calories than you should. The best distance between meals is no more than three hours. To get used to eating this way, you can set the alarm first.
- Think about the menu in advance … It is essential to know what you will snack on during the day, so you do not get hungry. Valuable nothing in the fridge could be used as a snack. Be sure to buy “healthy” food for the future. You can even make a plan for yourself what and when you eat. It would help if you always stocked up on fresh fruit, bran crisp bread, eggs, cooked chicken and beef, dairy products, nuts, and more.
- Drink plenty of water … Thirst and hunger can often be confused. So regularly carry a water bottle with you or take it with you on the road. If you suddenly feel hungry, try drinking; maybe the feeling will disappear. After 20 minutes, you can have a snack if you want. In any case, drink as much fluid as possible to keep your metabolism running smoothly.
- Breakfast should be 30 minutes after he wakes up … Your blood sugar level will also increase your vitality. The ideal food in the morning is oatmeal. It will help start the metabolic process and the digestive system. To avoid monotony, mix one breakfast with oatmeal, the other – with scrambled eggs and toast. You can use fruits for breakfast. They are nutritious and contain a lot of antioxidants.
- Lunch should be five hours after breakfast … You don’t need to overload your stomach – you can eat a salad and some protein. As a snack, you can eat something nutritious – nuts, yogurt, and cottage cheese.
- Dinner three hours after the last snack … The menu should include foods rich in carbohydrates, fiber, and protein. The last snack before bed can be a fermented milk product or fruit.
What you can have as a snack with proper nutrition
A healthy snack can contain light carbohydrates only if it is no more than one to one and a half hours before the main meal. In this case, hypoglycemia will not occur, and the body will not have time to get hungry, so that you will feel hunger only before the main meal. For such a light snack, all fruits, berries, smoothies, dried fruits (soaked in water), cereals, and nut bars are suitable.
If you have about two hours left before your main meal, then the snack should not be based only on light carbohydrates, as this can cause rapid blood sugar spikes and a drop. In this case, the feeling of hunger will return quickly, and it will still be a long time to eat. It threatens to increase the pressure on the pancreas, which can lead to the development of diabetes in the future. The ideal would be a “paired” snack – protein with light carbohydrates. It will ensure a smooth release of carbohydrates into the bloodstream. Suitable products are all fermented milk products + fruits (berries), high-fat cheese, + vegetables. Suppose the main meal is planned no earlier than three hours later. In that case, it is recommended to snack on products based on complex carbohydrates. These can be more complex combinations. For example, wholegrain bread (yeast-free), vegetables, herbs; hard cheese, chicken breast, egg, lean fish, vegetables; sushi rolls; cottage cheese form; vegetables, a whole meal that does not require long cooking – buckwheat, linseed porridge. However, this category does not include various muesli, as they contain a lot of simple carbohydrates, sugar, and often artificial substances.
This snack may contain dark chocolate. However, it should not be consumed much (more than 25 grams) as an independent dish. If you do not have the opportunity to have a snack, it is recommended to have an herb or green tea with you. It can be packaged, but it is best to buy from the pharmacy chain. This drink will protect the bile duct from congestion and calm “hungry” cramps.
What not when you snack on the proper nutrition while losing weight
Many people are used to sandwiches as a classic snack. However, the traditional combination of “bread + meat” is an unacceptable option for some. These two products are complicated for the stomach to digest when consumed simultaneously. Choices can be wholegrain bread with cottage cheese or vegetables.
Also considered a bad snack:
- Fast food products … There are various hamburgers, sandwiches, sausages, shawarma, and more in this category. However, you can now find a “healthy menu” in many fast food places – sandwiches with herbs, vegetables, and salads.
- Pies … It is especially harmful to snack on baked goods made from yeast dough, as it can cause fermentation in the digestive tract and belongs to the category of light carbohydrates – a lot of calories and a fleeting feeling of satiety.
- Various bars, cookies, corn sticks, snacks, chips … These “dry” foods cause dehydration of the body and cause a malfunction of the biliary system. It leads to fatigue, weakness, lethargy, and decreased performance.
- Fatty foods: fatty meat, caviar, red fish … These foods can be absorbed by the body only in the case of a functioning digestive system. And this is only possible during a full meal.
- Dry soups, instant noodles, and more … These products contain many chemicals. Eating them is strongly encouraged.
- Pure Nuts … They are dry and highly concentrated in nutrients. If you eat them as an independent dish, you can cause stagnation of bile in the bile duct. It is best to use them together with juicy vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and more.
- Coffee … cannot be drunk on an empty stomach. As a snack, it is unsuitable, as it inhibits the activity of the gallbladder, disrupting the digestive process. Drinking it no earlier than half an hour after the main meal is recommended.
Recipes for healthy snacks
Healthy snacks are essential for maintaining optimal blood sugar levels throughout the day. Protein snacks are beneficial. In addition, they must be easily and quickly prepared as well as that they can be easily transported to any location.
The right first snack
Excellent as breakfast, cottage cheese, and fruit porridge. It is low in calories – only 160-180 kilocalories per serving. But there is a lot of protein in it – about 14 grams. Such a reserve will give the vital energy necessary in the morning. In addition, this healthy snack will not cause unwanted fat cells to accumulate. You can take cottage cheese with any fat content, depending on whether you want to lose or gain weight. Add a handful of berries to 100-150 grams of fermented milk products, for example, strawberries or blueberries. They add antioxidants and vitamins to your snack. If you find the mass a little dry, add low-fat kefir. A quick meal like this is beneficial after a workout. Cottage cheese contains the amino acid glutamine. It will promote muscle recovery after exercise.
Just another snack
Another snack should improve and provide energy throughout the day. High-energy cereal and fruit snacks will do an excellent job for this purpose. You can find the ingredients for this simple dish at any supermarket. For a snack, you need half a cup of dried cranberries, chopped almonds, dried pumpkin seeds, a quarter cup of walnuts, and the same amount of raisins. All parts should be mixed thoroughly and divided into several portions – from four to six. This convenient snack can be brought to work during the week as a second lunch.
Healthy snacks options with proper nutrition on the go
Sticking to proper nutrition is essential, even on the road. You can prepare a lot of healthy meals for your trip.
Let’s consider some options:
- Turkey, hummus, and avocado rolls … Turkey are meat from the diet. For registrations, you need a piece of brisket. Avocado also contains healthy vegetable oil. In general, one serving of rolls contains about 100 calories and 8 grams of complete protein. You will need a few slices of cooked turkey meat, the same amount of avocado, and one tablespoon of hummus to cook. Cut the beef into thin pieces. Spread each with hummus and place on top of the avocado. We fold in the form of a roll. The snack is ready.
- Protein-rich smoothie … This drink can be poured into a thermos or a bottle and taken with you on the road. Cooking is easy: mix all the ingredients in a mixer and beat for a minute. To cook, you need the following elements: a glass of unsweetened coconut milk, a glass of baby spinach, one banana, a few tablespoons of almond oil, two teaspoons of vanilla drops, and a quarter glass of whey, ice cream to taste.
- Fried Chickpeas … This is an excellent snack for those who enjoy different snacks. But unlike most similar products, chickpeas are low in fat and high in protein. In addition, spices improve metabolism and are suitable for the heart. To cook, take several cups of chickpeas, a tablespoon of olive oil, one and a half teaspoons of chili, the same amount of caraway seeds, salt to taste, and a little cayenne pepper. We wash and dry the chickpeas. Heat the oven to 200 degrees; mix the ingredients in a large container so that all the chickpeas are covered with spices. We bake on a baking sheet and stir the chickpeas occasionally. The finished product should be golden brown and crispy.
Healthy snacks on the proper diet at work
In addition to the main lunch at work, it will not be superfluous to arrange a snack. Of course, preparing and being as healthy as possible should be easy.
You can try these options:
- Super protein chocolate seeds … This delicacy is easy to prepare and has an original taste. You can cook for future use, refrigerate, and take portions with you to work. Ingredients: 12 dates, 1/4 cup hemp seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, cocoa powder, raw cacao nibs, half a teaspoon of vanilla extract, a pinch of cinnamon, and sea salt to taste. Place stoned dates in a food processor and grind them into a paste. Add hemp seeds, sesame seeds, chia, cocoa, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Mix thoroughly and add the cocoa nibs. The resulting mass should be sticky. We form small balls from it and freeze them in the freezer.
- Banana pancakes … Pancakes are suitable not only for breakfast; you can also take them to work as a snack. They are prepared very simply. It would help if you had a few eggs, one banana, and a handful of flour (preferably with flour). Mix all the ingredients thoroughly and fry the pancakes in a pan greased with vegetable oil.
- Black beans in pita bread … Such a delicious snack can even be used as a full-fledged “work” lunch. For cooking, we need half a glass of canned black beans, half a teaspoon of caraway seeds, a few tablespoons of canned corn, a quarter of an avocado, and a couple of pita bread or whole grain tortillas. Mash the avocado and mix it with the rest of the ingredients. Pour the mixture into a thin layer of pita bread and roll it into a tube.
Healthy snacks are an essential part of a healthy diet. If you want to lose weight or gain muscle mass, make sure you have snacks that are rich in protein and “slow” carbohydrates. They will provide energy, normalize blood sugar levels, and will not be delivered in the form of fat cells.