Let’s face it, we all want to eat healthily and be healthy, but our snack choices could be sabotaging our plans. But eating healthy snack foods doesn’t have to be too hard!
Keep reading to find out more about the benefits of eating healthy, tips on healthy snacking and some of the best healthy snacks!
1. How Important Is It To Eat Healthily?
Your food choices may be affecting you much more than you think. Good nutrition is important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
With proper exercise and not smoking or drinking alcohol, a healthy, well-balanced diet can have many benefits for your health and overall well-being.
Simple and small food decisions can make impacts on how your body is going to function in the future.
2. Benefits Of Eating Healthy Snacks
Here are some of the benefits that will tell you the importance of healthy eating.
- Weight Management
Healthy eating has as much to do with food quality as with its quantity. Consuming enough calories relative to how much you burn each day aids you in maintaining a healthy and consistent weight.
For example, by eating balanced meals, like exploring more healthy breakfast ideas, you avoid being too hungry later, which can be the reason why you tend to get some fast food or sugary snacks before lunch.
Consuming at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day also lessen fat storage as these are high in nutrients yet low in calories.
- Improved Mood
Physical health can also affect your mental health. Eating healthy along with proper exercise stimulates endorphin production. Endorphins are chemicals in the brain that make you feel more relaxed and happier.
Aside from feeling and looking good, this also boosts your ability to handle stress and improves cognitive function. You may also feel less tired and drained at the end of the day. Improved moods can also do wonders in your social relationships.
- Combats And Prevents Diseases
When you consume more calories than you can burn, the extra energy is converted to fat tissues. Fat tissue accumulation increases your risk of developing health problems like hypertension, heart disease, respiratory disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes.
Planning your caloric intake will help you track how much you’re consuming, and prevent this from happening. It will keep your blood pressure, sugar levels, and cholesterol levels at bay.
Many health issues nowadays are caused by a lack or too much of certain nutrients. Consuming food from different sources will ensure your body gets the nutrient it needs to avoid health problems.
Eating right will also improve your metabolism, lowering your risk of metabolic syndrome and all the conditions that result from it like diabetes, obesity, constipation, arthritis, depression, and certain types of cancer.
- Boosts Energy Levels
Too much unhealthy and junk food can make you hyper for a while then lethargic and groggy later. Eating a balanced diet fuels your body in the right way that you feel energized longer.
Incorporate lean meat, whole grains, low-fat dairy, vegetables and fruits in your diet to gain more energy. Along with exercise, this can help you fall asleep faster and sleep better, which leads to consistent energy throughout the day.
- Longer Life
If you eat healthily and avoid developing chronic diseases, you also increase your chances of living longer. This is why most people with access to fresh, organic food such as in the mountains are stronger and live to be older than those in the city.
3. Tips For Snacking Healthier
Like most of us, you may not be used to eating healthy snacks, but here are a few tips you can follow to get yourself started on the right track.
- Drink water instead of sugary, carbonated or high-calorie drinks. Ditch soda and alcohol as much as possible. Switch from full-cream milk to low-fat or fat-free.
- Get lean meat cuts, whole grains instead of refined, and steer clear of unnecessary fats.
- Increase your intake of dietary fiber.
- Replace chips and sweets with fresh fruits and vegetables like apples, cucumbers, and carrots.
- Eat several small balanced meals distributed throughout the day.
- Never skip meals. This will intensify sugar cravings due to lowered blood sugar levels.
- Do not ignore your body’s hunger signals. When you feel hungry, grab a small snack like a banana. This will prevent you from overeating later because of uncontrolled appetite.
- Drinking water will not satisfy your hunger.
- Snack on something that will keep you full, longer. These include nuts, fruits, nut butter, vegetables, pea pods, Greek yogurt, or cheese.
- Eat enough to satisfy yourself, but not to the point of being too uncomfortably full.
- Practice proper portioning. No matter what you eat, controlling your caloric intake is key.
- Avoid processed snacks. Opt for balanced, whole foods instead.
- Use smaller dishes. That way, you have to really think if you want more before reaching for seconds.
- Hide away unhealthy snacks and make the healthy ones more accessible. You probably already know which snacks are good and bad for you, and oftentimes it’s just a matter of convenience. So, take the time to push unhealthy snacks to the back of shelves or the refrigerator, while moving the healthier ones above or in front of them.
- Avoid eating distractedly to avoid over-consuming calories, even if you are snacking on something healthy.
- Set meal plans and goals. This helps you track what you’re eating and helps you decide what you want to eat for the next few days. It can also save you money, energy, stress, and time.
- Keep track of everything in a food journal. Yes, it’s a little too extra, but hey, it can be super fun too. This will give you a record of the calories and food consumption. You can also note healthy recipes that you actually enjoy.
4. Easy Healthy Snack Recipes
To help you get started, here are some healthy snack ideas that are not only healthy but also easy to prepare.
- Crackers With Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread And Banana
Divide 2 crisp bread crackers and smear 1 tablespoon of choco-hazelnut spread. Add a sliced small banana on top. You can also use peanut butter. This is considered to be one of the best healthy snack ideas because it gives you proteins and fibers and antioxidants from the banana.
- Banana, Kale, And Almond Milk Smoothie
Blend a medium banana, 1 cup of almond milk, and a cup of chopped kale in a blender. This smoothie will give you energy and is packed with nutrients.
- Whole-Grain Bread With Almond Butter And Peaches
On a slice of toasted whole-grain bread, spread 2 tablespoons of almond butter and top with half sliced peach.
- Fruits And Nuts
Raw, unsalted and unsweetened nuts like almonds and walnuts provide healthy oils and protein while fresh or dried fruits provide vitamins and fiber.
- Frozen Yogurt With Blueberries And Cardamom
Top ½ cup of fresh blueberries on half a cup of frozen yogurt with a small pinch of cardamom. The yogurt provides calcium and probiotics while blueberries and cardamom supply antioxidants and vitamins.
- Single-Serve Cheese
A serving of cottage cheese, string cheese, or mini Babybel cheese are easy to prepare and pack. They also help in weight loss by satisfying fat cravings without the calories. They also give you protein and calcium
Aside from the ones mentioned here, you can find many simple, easy, yet healthy snacks online or in recipe books. The key here is getting small portions of the things that you like, and incorporating these easy healthy snacks into your diet. If you do this, then eating healthy won’t be as bad as you think.
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