We all know when that time hits...snack time!
Snacking has become somewhat of a habit for many of us, but is it healthy?
As a nutritionist I like to recommend having regular full balanced meals instead of snacking throughout the day. This will help to increase satiety, stabilize blood sugar levels, improve energy levels, and decrease cravings.
Most people are actually snacking even when they are not hungry due to appetizing foods that are around and to combat low energy. What's more, these snacks are typically low in fiber and nutrients but high in sugar, salt, and fat.
When this type of snacking turns into a regular habit it can lead to not only weight gain but more serious health issues such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
When we are snacking all day and skipping meals this can actually worsen our energy levels, mood, and cognitive function, as well as contribute to blood sugar imbalances.
The human body is designed to go for long periods without food and if you are eating enough of the right foods you shouldn't need to snack. This can change however with activity and stress levels as well as age. If you are fairly active or need something to pull you through to the next meal, a snack will be a good idea. Snacking can also be helpful to reduce showing up "hangry" at meals and overeating as a result.
So do you have to give up snacks? No way! I like my snacks too..
The point here is we shouldn't be replacing meals with snacks or grazing all day long. However, that doesn't mean you can't enjoy snacks!
Of course the type of snack does matter, so what kinds of healthy snacks can you add to your day? I recommend choosing high fiber, high protein or high fat snacks to avoid the crash and burn..
Quick & healthy snacks
Berry Chia pudding
A simple yet satisfying snack full of healthy fats and protein to keep your blood sugar and energy stable. Berries are full of antioxidants and chia seeds provide omega 3 fats which both help to reduce inflammation in the body. To save time you can whip these up ahead of time and store in the fridge for when snack time hits!
What you will need:
- Mix together the nut milk, chia seeds and maple syrup until well combined. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes or let it sit in the fridge overnight.
- Once thick, add the mango and shredded coconut on top. Enjoy!
There really is no limit to the bliss ball recipes that are available to us. Bliss balls are great versatile snacks that can cater to any preferences and can also be transported easily anywhere you go!
These are my go to snacks while traveling and when I have a busy day. The best part? You can literally make these in any flavor of your choosing, the world is your oyster!
No Bake Mint Chocolate Energy Balls
Amazingly Good No-Bake Cake Balls
Lemon Coconut Bliss Balls
Pink Lemonade Beauty Bombs
Looking for something salty, not sweet? Try out these Savoury Protein Snack Bites!
Homemade protein bars
Protein bars are everywhere nowadays however most of them are full of refined sugars, inflammatory oils, and artificial ingredients. Instead of opting for processed bars you can make them yourself!
This way you can be in control of your health by choosing your own ingredients, we promise you they can be just as tasty!
Make a batch of these for the week and you can either store them in the fridge or freezer for longer periods.
If you are at a serious loss for time and need a store bought protein bar some of our top choices include Iron Vegan, Good Fats, Vega, and Good To Go.
Protein shakes are a popular snack post workout but you can also include them at any time of the day for a quick boost. If you want to keep it super simple all you need is a protein powder (I always recommend looking for one with lots of nutrients and preferably greens) with some water or milk of your choosing.
If you are feeling a little more hungry you can also add some fruits or veggies to the mix to make it into a smoothie.
Fruit with nut butter
Another classic when you're pinched for time!
Any fruit will do however, the most popular options include apples, banana, pears, and plantain.
Chop up some fruit slices and pair it with your choice of nut butter such as peanut or almond. Pairing fruit with a fat source such as nut butter helps to stabilize your blood sugar in order keep you going until your next meal.
The healthy version! Such an easy snack to whip up on a Sunday and have ready for you during the rest of the week.
Egg muffins are a great balanced snacks that combine protein and healthy fats to keep your energy going. You can also add some extra fiber by adding vegetables.
This recipe includes spinach and sweet potato but you could really add any veggies of your choosing!
Recipe by That Clean Life (makes 4 servings)
6 cups spinach
1 medium sweet potato (peeled and chopped into cubes)
1.5 tsp avocado oi
1/4 cup of water
1/2 tsp of Himalayan salt or sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease the muffin pans with the avocado oil, or you can use coconut oil instead.
Steam sweet potato for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender and let cool. Steam the spinach at the same time until wilted. Once cooled, divide the spinach and sweet potatoes into the muffin tins evenly.
In a bowl, whisk the eggs, water, salt, and pepper until smooth. Pour the whisked eggs into the muffin cups, covering the spinach and sweet potato.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until eggs are cooked through and no longer liquid on top. Remove from oven, let cool, and enjoy!
About the Author
Laurence Annez is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner and Health Coach, specializing in PCOS and women's hormones. She also holds a degree in Creative Writing and has extensive experience writing on health and wellness topics. Laurence's mission is to inspire and motivate individuals to take control of their own health and reach their ultimate health goals.