Eating snacks has always been a guilty pleasure for many people. It’s maybe because when we were kids, our parents told us that we were eating unhealthy food – which we probably were. But snacking does not always need to be unhealthy. In fact, there are many snacks in the market which are actually healthy for you. This now begs the question “what makes up a healthy snack”?
Listed below are things you need to look for if you are looking for healthy snacks.
If you see a snack labelled “rich in fiber,” take it because it is definitely good for you.
Even though you cannot digest and absorb fiber, it has many benefits that could help your body function even more efficiently.
For one, it aids your digestion by keeping the digestive lining healthy. Fiber does it by feeding your probiotic bacteria (the good bacteria that live in your tummy) and absorbing excess cholesterol, hormones, fats, and toxins from your body. Because of that, it helps the body avoid accumulating waste material in its colon. Therefore, your body can digest food more quickly and the food passes right through your colon more easily.
Fiber also helps in maintaining your blood sugar level by slowing down the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream. This will help you prevent Type 2 Diabetes.
Not only that, it also helps you control your appetite by making you feel more full and satisfied. This is really helpful especially if you are looking to lose weight.
By eating healthy snacks that are rich in fiber, you decrease the risk of having diseases such as diabetes, colon cancer, and breast cancer.
Snacks that are rich in fiber include fruits and vegetables, whole-grain snacks, beans, nuts, and seeds.
Protein is another thing to look for when you are looking for healthy snacks.
Protein is involved in most of the work in cells and it is also a requirement for structure, function, and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs. Because of its myriad of critical functions, eating snacks that are rich in protein definitely has many benefits.
Protein helps you have greater muscle mass and leaner tissues. Since the body is always goes back and forth between gaining muscle and losing muscle, eating protein will help the development of your muscle by replenishing the pool of building blocks in your body.
Just like fiber, it also helps in controlling your appetite. Eating snacks rich in protein makes you feel more full and satisfied. So by eating more protein, you actually eat less and have less calories to burn without even knowing it.
Snacks that are rich in protein include yogurt, hardboiled egg, peanut butter sandwich, and oatmeal.
“But I thought we were talking about snacks that would make me healthy and lean?” you may be asking yourself.
Because of the negative connotation people have around the idea of fats, ‘healthy fats’ may sound like an oxymoron. But they do exist. In fact, they are one of things you need to look for if you are looking for healthy snacks.
Just like fiber and protein, healthy fats also make you feel fuller and satisfied for a longer time because they tend to stay in your stomach longer. Therefore, eating snacks rich in healthy fats helps you in controlling your hunger.
Not only that, healthy fats also help your metabolism stay in track. They get rid of your excess and unwanted body fats. Aside from that, they are also responsible for transporting several different vitamins and minerals.
It also helps you insulate and protect your body’s most vital organs. They serve as some kind cushion whenever your body undergoes any kind of physical trauma.
Snacks that are rich in healthy fats include nuts, dark chocolate, and other dairy products like cheese.