Contrary to what many people think, that snacking is bad for you, most nutrition experts agree that snacking has its benefits, if done correctly, that is. Read on to find out why we should snack and tips on how to snack right.
Why Should We Snack?
To prevent overeating
Between our three main meals, there is usually a moment where we feel a tinge of hunger, but we are not quite ready for our next main meal. Some people ignore this call, and by the time it gets to their main meal, they are ravenously hungry and will most likely overeat. Overeating often leaves you feeling bloated, sluggish and honestly guilty.
Now if you just listen to your body saying, “Hello, could I have a little something to eat?”, and you do satisfy this calling, not only will you be energised, but when it comes to your main meal, you will mostly likely not overeat, leaving you feeling happy and comfortably satisfied.
To stabilise your blood sugar level
The food we eat is converted to glucose, and released into the blood stream, providing us with energy and nutrients. When we go for a long stretch of time without eating, and suddenly eat a carb-heavy meal (filled with starches and sugar), our blood sugar level spikes up, commonly known as a sugar rush.
However, it tends to drop as quickly as it has spiked up. When your blood sugar level drops, cravings kick in. So here is where the roller coaster effect starts. Snacking will help to stabilise our blood sugar level and prevent blood sugar spikes when we eat.
Tips On How To Snack Right
Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates
These cause your blood sugar levels to spike rapidly.
Include protein in your snacks
Often snacks are carbohydrate-dominated which breaks down quickly. Adding protein, be it nuts, nut butters, eggs or meat, helps to slow down the release of energy and keeps us feeling full for longer.
Remember this is a snack and not a main meal. Keep the portion small, approximately 150 to 200 calories per snack.
Eat your calories instead of drinking them
Fresh juices are convenient and good for you as they are full of minerals and vitamins. However, they are also full of sugar even though they are natural sugars (fructose) which will spike up your sugar levels. You are better off eating the fruit – be it just as they are so that you can benefit from the fiber as well.
Drink herbal tea
Pair your snack with herbal teas. Sipping on a cuppa tea can help manage your hunger pangs. Herbal teas are healthy hydrations packed with antioxidants and disease-fighting properties. Drink to your health!
Timing is everything
Start your day with a nutritious breakfast and space out your meals. Whip up this easy and nutritious brekkies - try breakfast jars, smoothie bowls, pumpkin pancakes or if you’ve got more time, try these ethnic cuisine breakfasts – Arabian Shakshuka, Korean Kimchi Omelette or vegetarian egg muffins.
Snack 1 should be scheduled for around 10.30 or 11.00am. Lunch between 12 to 2pm. Snack 2 should be scheduled for around 4.00 or 4.30pm and dinner no later than 8.00pm. This way, you give your body enough time to digest the meals and boost your energy levels in between. We’ve put together 5 natural and healthy snacks you can enjoy on-the-go.
Healthy Snack Packs
So we’ve given you the reasons why you should snack and tips on how to snack correctly, and to top it all off we have created Healthy Snack Packs for you!
These packs have been carefully put together by PurelyB’s nutrition and fitness experts to ensure that you are on the right path to healthy snacking. In this pack, you will find a variety of healthy snacks from trail mixes, nut butter, granola, energy bars to superfoods like chia seeds, as well as some lovely herbal teas that will fuel you up for the day. Read our next article to find out what's in our Healthy Snack Packs and how to enjoy them!