Eating snacks between meals need not be a sinful habit. A mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack is sometimes very helpful to tide you over until your next meal. It all depends on what you choose to snack on. If you eat healthy snacks, you are actually doing good rather than harmful things to your body.
Sometimes, it is actually better to snack when you are hungry rather than to resist eating and putting up with those insatiable hunger pangs – because you will eventually end up overeating and making bad meal choices.
Here are some examples of healthy snacks that you can consider, when the hunger pangs hit next time in between meals.
Mixed nuts are a great snack that will keep you feeling full. They are also good for your heart because of the large amount of healthy, unsaturated fats. Mixed nuts are better than a single type of nut because different nuts contain different vitamins and minerals, and when combined together, you are getting a good balance of everything. Some common nuts that you can include in your mix together include peanuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts and macadamias.
But when picking nuts, be careful to choose the raw, or the unsalted baked variety – and not the salted, fried versions because the frying process essentially reduces the health value of the nut and increases the amount of unhealthy saturated oil present in them. As well, too much salt can cause hypertension and high blood pressure.
Peanut butter sandwich or toast
Sometimes when the hunger pangs strike, munching on a peanut butter sandwich or toast is beneficial, because the peanut butter contains healthy, unsaturated fats that will keep you feeling full until your next meal.
On the other hand, the bread will provide carbs and energy to keep your body going. If you choose wholemeal or multigrain bread, this makes the snack even more beneficial, because the whole wheat or grains are slower to digest, so your stomach will be satisfied for a longer period of time.
Depending on the type you choose, granola bars can be a very healthy snack when the mid-afternoon hunger pangs hit. But be careful when you are choosing a bar, because some types can be very high in refined sugar and empty carbs. So try to avoid these. You want to find one that contains a high amount of proteins, roughly six to seven grams of protein in each bar too.
Preferably, you should also get the versions that have fruits or nuts inside – not chocolate, honey or sugary yoghurt, because these simply reduce the nutritional value of the bar and make it more like a sweet bar rather than a healthy granola one. If the bar contains some whole grains, that is great too because whole grains fill you up and will keep you satisfied.
Greek yoghurt and fruits
A small serving of fruits, maybe together with Greek yoghurt, can also be a very satisfying and healthy snack.
This is because Greek yoghurt contains plenty of proteins and is low in sugar. As a result, this makes it very wholesome and will keep you feeling full. You should preferably go for the plain one rather than the fruit-based versions because these may often contain artificial sugars.
Add your own fruits to enhance the flavour of the yoghurt – this will make your snack so much healthier. Types of fruits that you could perhaps have include bananas, apples, strawberries or cherries or even a mixture of these. Each fruit gives you specific types of vitamins and nutrients, which are beneficial for you.
Alternatively, you may choose to eat fruits without the yoghurt. This is also very healthy, because of their vitamin content.