Do we really have to give a crap about healthy snacking? It’s just a snack right?
No hun, I wish it were that easy.
You’re snacking much more than you think you are. Just to test this, make a list of all of the foods you ate yesterday, no amounts, just what you ate. It’s probably a bigger list than you thought. I know mine is.
No reason to crucify yourself though. Honestly, its ok. Forgive yourself.
It is only natural for you to want a small bit of food between larger meals, and you don’t have to punish yourself and not eat anything as some people say.
Replacing ready made convenient, and usually unhealthier, snacks for healthier ones may seem unnecessary….. but it totally is.
In this post you’ll understand why healthy snacking is important, and how to determine “healthy” snacking from the endless pool of food at your fingertips.
Why does healthy snacking matter?
There’s not much thought to quantity
When you’re binge watching your favorite TV show on Netflix, do you really measure how much Popcorn or Tortilla Chips you’re eating while it’s on? Probably not.
When snacking there’s a sort of mindless eating that takes over. It’s nothing to crucify yourself over, it’s just a result of multitasking a lot. Totally normal.
But this very reason is why healthy snacking is so important. You want to have good things that you can put in your body with no guilty conscience.
Another reason why they are so important is convenience. If they’re easy to get to and eat, you’re going to eat them more often than not.
Why do people buy so many unhealthy chips and snacks you ask? Because they are conveniently put everywhere. Every grocery store counter, every vending machine, every gas station counter, every department store counter, and the list goes on.
If people are just looking for a little munch, they’re going to grab the first tasty thing they can get their hands on. Not necessarily the best thing.
Healthy snacking is important because snacks are the most convenient thing you reach for when needing in a quick munch. Which I’m sure is more often than you’d like to admit.
It affects all your meals throughout the day
You ever had that time when you ate something early in the day that didn’t agree with your stomach and it messed up all your food for the rest of the day? Same basic principle.
When you eat snacks that are particularly high in poly-saturated fats, salts, and refined sugars, it puts your body in an imbalance. From that imbalance, your body is forced to carry on with as normal and somehow make-up for the imbalance.
Later you start feeling “random” cravings, fatigue, indigestion, and headaches. In order to solve this problem, you eat things that your body believes will adjust the imbalances. The next foods your eat, depending on what they are, may relieve some of the problem, but it doesn’t fix the original imbalance; it only puts a band aid on it.
Don’t get me wrong there are foods that fix the imbalances immediately. But let’s be real. Nine times out ten the food cravings that following unhealthy snacks won’t be able to do so.
Yes…. one bad choice can set you up for further failure in the end.
How do I determine if its “healthy?”
That’s fine but how do you choose your ‘right’ snack?
The facts that rule the verdict on weather a food is healthy or not most often depend on a balance between nutrients vs harmful components. Most often with snacks specifically, they have an above average sugar content, or salt content, in comparison to the nutrition and caloric density the food can provide.
A “healthy” snack is one that:
- consists mainly of whole ingredients
- satisfying but not overly heavy
- no extreme salt
- no extreme refined sugar
- no dangerous additives
- not overly expensive
Check out my earlier post on snacks can you eat at bedtime without guilt here.
What do I gain from healthier snacking?
Snacking on healthier foods throughout the day means your body’s nutritional composition can remain much more balanced. Because of this your body will not seek to overcompensate for those nutrients it is lacking through eating a larger amount of food.
Here are 6 Easy 3 Ingredient snack recipes. This video is from Caitlin Shoemaker.
Keeps blood sugar and energy levels steady
Blood sugar is the key to maintaining energy levels throughout the day. Utilizing healthier snacks systematically to keep blood sugar levels even is not only tasty and satisfying, but it helps you from hitting that wall of tiredness in the middle of the day.
Here are 12 foods to stabilize blood sugar in this blog post from Dr. Jockers here.
Helps give energy boosts for physical activity
When it’s time to work out, you look at your tennis shoes in the corner and it seems as if they induce your already fatigued body even more.
Honestly, this is completely understandable with how full our lives, minds, and schedules are nowadays.
Combat this through consuming a tasty, nutritious snack to give you the power to complete you workout program.
Here are some Easy-to-make Pre-workout snacks in a video by Tasty on YouTube.
The key to healthy snacking is working with your body and lifestyle to make the best choices for you all around; a balanced realistic approach. Yes you could be told what to do, but that doesn’t help you adjust things to your individual lifestyle.
From this post you now know why healthy snacking even matters and how you can systematically snack for your overall health.
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Much love, peace, and happiness. 😊
If you like this post, check out: Satisfying alternatives to fried food cravings. The crunch, the salt, and the sugar.
And, you can check out: Stop Your mayday sugar cravings with these 8 delicious foods
If you have a bedtime craving: What snacks can you eat at night before bed without feeling guilt?