18 Aug Healthy Snacking And How To Be Creative With It
This is all about healthy snacking.
Have you ever felt bloated after eating what the saleswoman said is a healthy chocolate bar?
Have you ever wondered when to snack and what to snack on? Well, stick around because we will be sharing some important tips on how to snack healthily with you. But first, what are snacks?
Snacks are generally meals taken in between main meals to feel full. Most often than not, they are discouraged as some only add excessive fat and provide very little or no nourishment.
However, be it when working overtime, when stressed, or just in need of comfort food, we tend to resort to the option of snacking, no matter how unhealthy. Sound silly, right? But we are all guilty.
So what then do we do? Are we to pick between no snacking or more calories? The answer is NO. You pick healthy snacking. There are very healthy substitutes for our favourite time of the day- snack time. Getting
creative with our snacks is the credible alternative for a fun life. Simply replacing an ice cream bowl with yoghurt or a hamburger with a bowl of homemade granola can create all the difference we need. To grade a snack as healthy it has to check three main points. It has to be:
● Portion controlled
Can we find all these qualities in one snack at a time? The answer is Yes! Let’s look at a few healthy suggestions and their health benefits.
This may not sound like much, but it is a lot. According to research, popcorn is one of the leading sources of dietary fibre. It is also rich in polyphenols, which are antioxidants that have
been associated with better blood circulation and digestive health. In summary, you could say popcorn consists of high fibre content, low-calorie count, and low energy density. These
qualities make it the perfect snack. But be careful; the popcorn found at theatres is not so healthy as they are either too salty, too sugary, or too buttered. Stuffing oneself with this could
result in health complications you want to avoid.
Protein bars are popular snacks designed as a convenient source of nutrition. The nutrient composition of bars can differ significantly, as they come in different brands and flavours.
The average protein bar contains 5-10 grams of fat, 25-35 grams of carbs, and 5-10 grams of fibre. In addition to protein and carbs, protein bars are equally a good source of nutrients such as calcium, potassium, iron, and B vitamins, all of which are micronutrients. While many protein bars have dates, dried fruits, and nuts as the main ingredient, others also contain copious amounts of unhealthy sugars and sweeteners. Protein bars therefore healthy snacks.
The source of protein for protein bars also varies. Examples of such sources include yoghurt powder, whey, milk, soy, casein, etc. They are particularly beneficial as they are:
● A convenient source of nutrients
● A suitable meal replacement
● Suitable for muscle gain
● Suitable for weight loss
● Equally ideal for weight gain
Hard Boiled Eggs
How do you like your eggs? Boiled or scrambled? Eggs naturally contain a lot of nutrients, but the quantity you get depends on the method of preparation. Yes, how you cook your food
will determine the kind of nutrients you will be taking into your body. The difference between hard-boiled eggs and soft-boiled eggs depends entirely on the duration they spend cooking. They equally have the following benefits:
● They are tasty, filling, and good for your health no matter your age.
● They are an excellent source of lean protein.
● The protein in hard-boiled eggs has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help maintain your eye health which aids in the prevention of macular degeneration.
Who knew that hard boiled eggs can pass the test for healthy snacking?
Chocolate is a remarkable food that tastes awesome while providing significant health benefits. They typically contain sugar, but the amounts are usually small, and the darker the chocolate, the less sugar it will contain.
Quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content is quite nutritious as it contains a decent amount of soluble fibre and minerals. It is equally a powerful source of antioxidants. Flavonoids in chocolate help to improve blood flow and lower blood pressure. Bioactive compounds in dark chocolate can protect against sun damage, improve blood flow to the skin, and increase skin density and hydration. However, it is remarkable to note that a lot of chocolate in the market is not nutritious. So ensure you choose quality. Remember, the darker the shade, the better for your health.
Granola is a breakfast and snack food consisting of rolled oats, nuts, honey, or other sweeteners such as brown sugar. Dried fruit such as raisins and dates and confections such as chocolate, are sometimes added. It can be served with yoghurt, honey, fresh fruit, or milk.
When you think of granola, you automatically think of health as it is known to be an excellent energy booster. It is high in fibre, protein, and micronutrients such as magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, selenium, B vitamins, and vitamin E.
And what else;
● It helps prevent anemia
● Increases antioxidant levels.
● Improves digestion.
● Prevents migraine.
● Improves blood circulation
● Increases cognitive activity amongst other benefits.
It is filling, nutritious, and healthy for breakfast and snacking between meals. So why not? Go ahead and pick up granola from your nearest food mart. Be careful, however, to make a healthy choice.
Other healthy snack options to consider include:
● Greek yoghurt
● Cottage cheese
● Dried fruit
Snacks can be healthy and beneficial to health. All we need to do is get creative. Think healthy!
Writer: Daramfon Etim
Reviewer & Editor: Chinyere Nwosu