When you were snacking, your goal should be to eat smarter if you want to have a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, many people snack without thinking about the consequences of their eating habits. This blog post will help you learn how to eat smarter by discussing smart healthy snacks for adults and teens.
Snack Only When You Are Hungry
If you snack out of boredom or habit, try replacing it with a healthier alternative that will keep you satisfied until your next meal. For example, if your usual afternoon snack is an energy bar, replace it with yogurt and fruit to satisfy the craving without sacrificing nutrition.
Be Aware of Calorie Content
By paying attention to ingredients listed on food product labels, you can make smart choices about what foods go into your body and how much of them should enter! You may also want to check out helpful resources like Calorie King’s Snack Food & Nutritional Calculator which provides detailed information on snack food nutrition facts.
Snack Only When You Have a Balanced Meal
If your next meal is going to be pizza, don’t eat an entire bag of chips as a snack beforehand or else you will wind up eating too many calories and sabotaging yourself without even realizing it! When eating between meals, try including fruits and vegetables because they are high in fiber which helps to keep you satisfied until the next meal time comes around. Another smart healthy snack idea that doesn’t include fruit and veggies: low fat popcorn with spices like salt and pepper added for flavor instead of buttery flavored toppings.
Substitute Dessert Snacks (if Possible)
Substitute dessert snacks with grapes and strawberries are packed with antioxidants that will help to fight off those pesky free radicals which can lead to cancer, heart disease and other health problems down the road.
Avoid Foods or Drinks High in Sugar
Candy bars, soda, and energy drinks are snack choices typically provide a quick boost without lasting satisfaction, so we wind up eating again soon after instead of waiting for our next mealtime…and the vicious cycle continues!
Avoid Overindulging at Any Time
You could end up feeling sick if you eat too much before your stomach has had a chance to digest it all properly. Remember: moderation is key when it comes to snack! Overindulgence can leave you with an upset stomach which can ruin your entire day!
There are many snack choices that will keep you smart, healthy and satisfied. Instead of reaching for the potato chips or candy bar when hunger strikes throughout the course of a busy afternoon, try one of these smart snack ideas instead to tide yourself over until dinner time rolls around…or better yet, combine some smart suggestions together so you have something delicious to munch on all afternoon long!
- Apples & Peanut Butter Dip (tastes like apple pie!)
- celery sticks stuffed with cream cheese (make them mini-sized)
- roll ups made from turkey slices rolled up into tortilla wraps filled with hummus and veggies (they’re like sushi!)
- snack size bags of popcorn with spices added instead of buttery flavored toppings (find them in the snack aisle)
- grapes & strawberries dipped in dark chocolate for a sweet treat that won’t set you back calorie-wise!
A good snack should keep your stomach from growling without leaving you too full until mealtime comes around again (which could lead you into a binge!) Snacks that leave us feeling satisfied usually have a balance of protein, healthy fats, and fiber.
Eating on low energy-density foods (foods that have fewer calories for the amount you eat) is another way to eat smarter as well as choosing snacks with a higher satiety index. A good snack also has optimal nutrients we need throughout our day:
A snack can be both smart and satisfying if it provides us with some type of physical activity benefit, such as fruit or veggies that are high in water content which makes us feel fuller faster and carrots that give our eyesight a boost! There’s also evidence that shows eating chocolate may improve mood! So, there you go…now make your next snack count!!
Additional tips for smart healthy snacking
- Avoid high-calorie snack foods that have little to no nutritional value
- Always keep a snack with you, such as raw veggies and hummus or a piece of fruit
- Resisting the urge to snack is okay occasionally but don’t deny yourself too often or you’ll find your cravings will go haywire!
- Be careful about how much sugar is added into what you’re eating on…make sure it’s not more than 15 grams per serving.
- Try low calorie snacks if weight loss is one of your goals.
- Make smart swaps by replacing unhealthy food for healthier options. For example: Cheetos can be swapped out air popped popcorn.
- Be mindful of your time and how you feel when eating. If you notice that you’re not feeling good after a snack, try to avoid it in the future!
- Keep smart snacks on hand such as veggies with hummus or Nature’s Garden Dried fruit
- Watch portion sizes by measuring them beforehand or using small plates/bowls at home so they don’t look like a lot of food! When we use large dishes, our brain tells us there is more food than what really exists which leads to overeating.
- Plan for meals – if healthy options aren’t available then opt for something less nutritious but still satisfying (a handful of crackers rather than having nothing at all!)
- Snack on healthy fats to feel fuller longer: snack on Nature’sGarden nuts, avocados and nut butters
- If you’re an emotional eater, try keeping a journal of your feelings before snack time. This will help you understand the emotions that lead to eating as well as discover other ways to cope with those negative emotions!