Most people eat three square meals per day. Some like to snack between those meals. Snacking had a bad image before because most people would go for junk foods for their snacks. Nutritionists and health experts acknowledge that snacking can be beneficial, provided you reach for the right foods. Protein Bars are great to have as snacks when you are feeling the munchies but cannot sit down and have a full meal.
Many people eat around 2000 calories per day. It may be hard for foodies worldwide to believe that others struggle to get enough calories within a day. For a light eater or someone with a small stomach capacity, dividing those 2000 calories among three meals can be a challenge. Those who love their leafy green vegetables may relate. Although these plant foods are rich in micronutrients, they barely have any calories. They may have you feeling full, but you may not have enough energy later on in your day. This issue is where snacking can help fill in those energy gaps throughout the day.
Having a healthy snack can also keep you from thinking you are starving yourself. When it is time for your next full meal, you are less likely to overeat.
What to Avoid
Junk foods, like chips, doughnuts, and cookies, are a big “NO.” These foods offer you little to no nutrients. They may not even satiate you well, yet they are full of calories. Thus, you are likely to exceed your caloric needs and gain fat. Thankfully, there are also plenty of options which are not only healthy but also tasty.
What to Reach For
Whole foods like fruits, seeds, and nuts are a big “YES.” These foods can satiate you enough for your next full meal. They also have vitamins, nutrients, and fiber to nourish your body and your gut bacteria. Fruits are rich in healthy carbohydrates and phytonutrients, while nuts pack protein and healthy fats.
Minimally processed foods made with wholesome ingredients are also good. Protein bars are good if you want some guilt-free indulgence. Protein bars are a mix of carbohydrates, fats, and fibre with a good amount of protein. This combination is perfect for those with an active lifestyle. Some are made with whole ingredients with no added sugar and artificial flavors or colors. Be careful, though, since not all protein bars are equal. There are still some companies out there who would like to take advantage of the surge of interest in health and fitness. They may brand their products as healthy protein bars. However, if you look at the nutritional information, you can see that their “healthy” snacks contain little protein, but are loaded with sugars and fats.
How to Snack
As healthy as fruits, nuts, and protein bars are, remember that these are snacks, not whole meals. Eat enough to satisfy your munchies and not make you full. You can control your portions by bringing with you small serving sizes. Just have a couple of whole apples or bananas. Put nuts in small containers that can fit in your pocket or bag and bring only a couple of protein bars, not a whole set.
Many people live busy lives. There are always places to go and people to see. Along the way, you may feel your energy levels drop. Refuel yourself by having a healthy snack on the go so you can continue slaying your day.