Healthy eating is top of mind this time of year, and while sometimes we steer clear of snacking for fear it will spark unhealthy habits, the right snack can actually keep your eating habits on track. Azmina Govindji, Consultant Nutritionist to KIND Snacks, reveals her five golden tips for healthy snacking:
- Plan ahead. Filling up on nutritious snacks that are high in protein and fibre can help you feel fuller for longer in-between meals and control hunger. Having one or two planned, wise snacks can help you stop over-indulging, or giving in to temptation while passing the bakery.
- Choose nutritious snacks. Nutrient-dense snacks are foods that give you more nutrients per calorie compared to others. A bowl of whole grain cereal, for example, gives you about 250 calories and it brings along fibre, vitamins and minerals, as well as calcium and protein from the milk. An average chocolate bar has the equivalent of 250 calories but doesn’t carry nutritional goodness. Choose snacks that offer you healthier ingredients such as fresh or dried fruit, nuts or yogurt.
- Protein vs. carbs and fatty foods. Research suggests high protein foods fill you up more than carbs or fatty foods. Snacks that give you protein include nuts and nut bars, edamame beans, hummus, Greek yogurt and popcorn.
- That said, healthy fats are OK. Do you steer away from foods that contain fat? Think again. Many foods bring you healthy fats. Fats are abundant in Mediterranean style dining (think avocadoes, olive oil, nuts and fish) and research suggests that this diet could be one of the healthiest in the world.
- Convenience is key. We aren’t all perfect at planning every meal ahead of time. A snack that will tick all the boxes ideally needs to be portable and convenient, a source of protein and fibre, low in sugar and calories – and of course, tasty.
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