Making healthy snack choices
Want a snack? Go for it!! We have evolved to forage, to pick some fruit off the tree, dig up some roots from the ground, collect nuts and whatever else we could find that was edible. Do you know what we haven't evolved to do? Eat meat daily sometimes in every meal, eat trans fats, artificial colours, flavours and additives, drink milk daily, eat refined and processed foods in every meal, the list goes on. You would be hard pressed finding commercial snacks that aren't saturated in calories, with negligible nutrient density and full of chemicals that have absolutely no benefit to the body what so ever and potentially do harm. So what are our options? Stick to the garden and get creative. Plants have a vast spectrum of taste, texture and smells that once appreciated can be a thrilling experience. There are so many varieties and mixes to be made. I can understand why the meat and 3 veg, vegetables get boring but dining has evolved, all you need is a little bit of imagination and inspiration. You don't need to be a chef (trust me on this one) to make exciting recipes that are vegetable based from home.
5 Tips To Snacking Right
1. Fresh is best
Avoid refined, processed foods, foods containing artificial colours and preservatives and trans fats, foods that lack nutritional value and have more numbers than letters in the ingredients list. These foods do not satisfy, do not nourish, and just add weight that is hard to move.
2. Put your sugars and your proteins together
This doesn't mean wrap your lollies in pastrami we're talking about naturally occurring sugars in foods particularly fruit. Foods that are quickly digested and high in sugar will spike your blood sugar levels and leave you hungry again in half an hour. Adding protein e.g. fruit and nuts, slows the digestion and the release of sugar and keeps you satisfied longer
3. Eat fiber
As above have fiber with your meal. Fiber occupies your digestive system and makes you feel full, providing bulk for your stool. Eating foods such as peas, broccoli, sweet corn and carrots, moves takes longer to be absorbed across the intestinal wall, again reduces the blood sugar spike impact and controls cholesterol. It also manages your feeling of satiety for longer.
4. Dish out a small portion size
Remember if you're snacking you're not eating to feel full you're eating to occupy your stomach. Put a small amount of nutritional food in to keep you're stomach occupied for an hour or so until your next main meal.
5. Know your calories
Just because it is a small portion size doesn't mean it will be a small calorie intake. Eat for nutrient density not calorie density. Eating a calorie dense non nutritious snack could leave you feeling hungrier than before the snack. Be aware of the calorie content and try to keep it under 100 calories.