Have you ever wondered why we eat snacks? It seems we’ve made a habit of nibbling between meals to appease hunger until the next meal. But if this is really the case, then why do we choose snacks that are not nutritious or satiating enough to keep us going until the next meal? Take a look at my top five of healthy, nutritious, super-sustaining—and fun—snacks!
First, let’s set the table by explaining the basics of a healthy snack:
🔸 It should contain carbohydrates to provide energy—much like gasoline to a car.
🔸 It should contain protein to minimize muscle breakdown between meals.
🔸 It should contain fibre so as to feel full.
🔸 The ideal snack should include at least two food groups for variety and to get as many nutrients as possible.
Now, here are a couple of smart ingredients to include on your menu:voici quelques choix judicieux à inclure à votre menu :
🧀 CHEESE AND CRACKERS
Light cheeses—those with a fat content less than 18%—are a source of protein, calcium, and vitamin D. Combined with a serving of multigrain crackers that are high in fibre and low in sodium, this quick snack will easily satisfy your hunger until the next meal.
🍎 NUT BUTTERS AND CRACKERS
Have you ever spread almond butter on apple slices or peanut butter on banana slices? Fruits provide carbohydrates, fibre, and a host of vitamins, while natural nut butters contain a fair amount of protein. If you are aiming for weight loss, simply lighten the nut butter by mixing it vigorously with a little milk, and then spread a smaller amount onto the fruit slices.
🥕 RAW VEGGIES AND HUMMUS
The problem with dips is that they are often high in fat and low in protein. My solution: homemade hummus! On top of having control over the flavours and the amount of fat used, you’ll have a say on the amount of added salt and preservatives. Hummus will be your source of protein in addition to providing several grams of fibre, while carbohydrate-rich vegetables, such as carrots, sweet peas, and peppers, will give you more energy.
Smoothies are a great snack for busy people. Be careful, however, not to fall into the trap of using only fruits. Make sure to include a protein source, such as silky tofu, greek yogurt, skyr, or a serving of protein powder (whey or vegetable protein, such as pea or soy protein). You can also use milk or a soy beverage for liquid instead of water or fruit juice. This will add 8 grams of protein per 250 millilitres of added liquid to your smoothie.
🥜 TRAIL MIX
And finally, I love creating my own trail mixes using dry bulk ingredients such as unsalted nuts and roasted legumes for protein (see recipe HERE) and dried fruits for carbohydrates. Other ingredients you can add to your mixes include chocolate chips, seeds of various plants, and freeze-dried fruits. These delicious treats fully satisfy my cravings for sugar as well as salt.
How about you? What’s your favourite snack?
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