We all love the yummy taste of potato chips, crackers, corn puffs, chocolate bars, popcorn and so many other buds bursting delights so we eat them anyway without bothering to think of the health repercussions of these snacks. With some healthy snacks, you could still lose weight even if you eat in the morning or late at night.
Eating food in between your regular meal is what is known as snacking which we all love to do. Nothing wrong with it unless you are snacking on just anything and “just anything” can be unhealthy and may have a negative effect on you. You need to make sure that eating less time throughout the day, will lower your insulin hormone.
Insulin is the hormone that makes you store fat and stop your weight loss process. This is why so many medical professionals keep saying that you should eat 1 to 3 times a day. Even if you eat a big meal, this could work to help you lose fat more quickly.
We should watch the kind of snack we take because of the effect it has on the body and health generally. A lot of harmless snacking has caused obesity, diabetes, tooth decay, and other health repercussions.
Nobody said you shouldn’t snack. The only time snacking becomes a bad idea is when you don’t watch your intake. There are always facts about calories in and calories out. But to a recent study, all calories are not the same. Let’s take by example vegetable oils. Vegetable oils make inflammation in the body and it’s harder to process for your body. Reducing inflammation in your stomach and guts could help your weight loss goal.
Snacking is, in fact, good for you when you take the healthy ones. There are a lot of benefits you would derive from snacking if you snack right.
What does bad snacking do to you?
- Your weight; You love eating chips, chocolate bars, yummy cupcakes, glazed doughnuts… (the list goes on) but you want a slim waist and less fat in your body. To make it worse, you don’t exercise, you love the feel of the soft cushion chair in the corner of your room so you sit there all day munching away and scrolling through your phone. Bad idea, bro! Studies have shown that bad snacking causes weight gain in the long run. The most common cause of obesity has been concluded as bad snacking. Eating too much processed and high-fat foods causes obesity. The cause of obesity as stated by the world health organization is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended.
- Your teeth; Most of the snacks we take are sticky so they don’t come off the teeth easily as we chew. And most of these snacks contain simple sugar that plaque bacteria feed on. Those particles left on the teeth allow the plaque bacteria to fest and produce enamel-damaging substances. Unhealthy snacking can do a lot of damage to your teeth.
- Your blood sugar; feasting on high-carb snacks will only increase your chances of becoming diabetic. Studies have shown that healthy snacking can improve your blood sugar level more than eating high-carb snacks.
- Your heart; Over time, a high amount of salt, sugar, saturated fat, and refined carbs increases the risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Eating unhealthy snacks will cause an intake of too much sodium. Sodium is a high part of salt and too much intake will lead to heart failure, heart attacks, or heart disease. It is a proven fact that too much salt in the system makes the heart pump faster thereby increasing the risk of heart disease.
- Insulin levels; Keeping a low level of insulin will be beneficial for your health and your weight. Many studies have shown that insulin will create inflammation and medical conditions like diabetes.
Types of snacks you should avoid
- Snacks high in sodium and simple sugar
- Sugary drinks
- White bread
- Sweetened breakfast cereal
- Fried food
- Pastries, cookies, and cakes with high preservatives
- French fries and potato chips
- Gluten-free snacks
- Low-fat yogurt
- Candy bars
- Ice cream
- High-calorie coffee drinks
- High carb snacks
If you must snack, then it’s time to start snacking right. Bad snacking may have an adverse effect on general health but there are snacks that will help boost your health and increase your chance of healthy living. This is why one meal a day diet is so popular nowadays for weight loss.
Benefits of healthy snacking
- Healthy snacking boosts your energy level; In the long run, the consumption of healthy snacks positively impacts the energy level of the consumer.
- Healthy snacking is weight-friendly; when your snack is right, your weight is okay too. Healthy snacking helps to fight unnecessary weight gain.
- Nutritional value; Nutritional benefits are derived from a healthy combination of snacks. Healthy snacks give nourishment to the body in the long run
- Healthcare cost reduction; healthy snack keeps you nourished and healthy so there will be a reduced need to go to the hospital for treatment because you will not fall sick easily.
- Supplements; if your normal meal isn’t giving you the right amount of nutrients your body needs, your snack can bridge the gap and ensure you get the rest.
Stabilize blood sugar levels; healthy snacking can help stabilize the sugar level in the blood as the combination contains less harmful compounds like high sodium, a simple sugar, and others.
Here are some healthy snacks that will benefit you physically and health-wise;
Simple healthy snacks you should try
- Apple– Ever heard of this saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Who says you can’t snack on fruits? Apple fruits are high in fiber and have vitamin C, they have only a hint of sodium and are without fats or cholesterol. You can easily get apples around you instead of processed chips that will do you more damage than good. If you ever feel the need to chew something in between your normal meals, try apples!
- Avocado chips- Avocado has plenty of fiber, potassium to lower blood pressure, and healthy monounsaturated fats that cause an increase in our good cholesterol. Get recipes on the internet to start your own collection of healthy delights.
- Honey-garlic cauliflower- cauliflower is a vegetable rich in vitamin C and has a nutty taste. Spicing it up with garlic and sweetening it with honey gives it an irresistible taste that makes you want to go for a second bowl.
- Bell pepper; Ball pepper can be eaten either raw or cooked. They contain low calories and are excellent for a healthy diet.
- Baked potato chips; potatoes are low in calories and a good source of vitamin C, pantothenic acids, vitamin B6, niacin, manganese, and phosphorus too.
- Banana split; Banana is the main ingredient in the split. It contains vitamin C, potassium, and about 110 calories too.
- Toast and eggs; To have a healthy diet, it is advisable to use boiled eggs on toast because of the value found in the boiled eggs. It has high cholesterol and contributes to one’s daily energy.
- Chocolate milk; chocolate milk contains milk, cocoa, and sugar.
- Chocolate-covered pops; Try a healthy combo of light chocolate and fruits like bananas and oranges and you will be glad you did! They are not only nutritious, but they are also delicious and filling.
- Roasted chickpeas; Chickpeas are high in protein and can be used as a replacement for meat in vegan diets. They can help speed up digestion and also reduce the risk of diseases.
If you have already gained weight due to unhealthy consumption of food, don’t fret! Here’s a list of healthy snacks that can help you reduce your weight;
Healthy snacks that will help reduce weight
- Tomato and cucumber sauce: Tomatoes contain olive oil. Olive oil helps to eliminate fatty acids. Cucumber, on the other hand, has elements that repel cancer and also aid weight loss.
- Natural peanut butter and toast; Although peanut butter is high in fat, researchers have proven that consuming it can help to lose pounds from body fat.
- Apple slices and natural peanut butter; Apple is a fruit that is high in fiber and low in calories. It aids digestion and also keeps the tummy full.
- Pineapple, lime juice, and sea salt: This smoothie is a rich combo that speeds up weight loss.
- Grapefruit and honey smoothie; blend grapefruit and sweeten it with honey to produce a rapid weight reduction smoothie. Take after meals regularly to speed up the process.
- Coconut chips without sugar; Make your own coconut chips today instead of purchasing processed sugary ones. Coconut has low carbs and does magic in the weight loss process.
- Seaweed; with little calories contained in it, seaweed when eaten fills up the stomach and may help reduce unnecessary food consumption. It also has a negative effect on obesity and aids weight loss.
- Oatmeal; like seaweed, oatmeal also keeps you full and delays hunger. Another thing oatmeal does is aid digestion and as a result these calories in the body reduce thereby causing weight loss.
- Wild blueberry smoothie; Naturally low in fat and high in fiber, blueberries are loaded with antioxidants that help in weight reduction.
- Mango and chili powder; This combo may look off but when you add spice to mango, it gives a different taste from the normal mango taste. Spices have been discovered to be weight loss-friendly.
- Air-popped popcorn; Eating popcorn can help in weight reduction as it contains fewer calories, is low in calories, and is high in fiber.
- Celery steaks and nut butter; celery is low in carbohydrates and calories. It is a good source of fiber. Nut butter is also good for weight reduction even though it is high in fat.
- Low-fat cheese; Low-fat cheese means low-fat carb too. Try it instead of eating the processed one.
- Nuts; Nuts have been tagged for aiding weight reduction. They are high in fat but they are known to reduce heart risks. Try nuts for your go-between snacks.
- Greek yogurt and berries; A yummy combo! Greek yogurt is rich in protein and helps reduce weight. Berries contain antioxidants too for weight reduction. If you want to go for speedy weight loss and pleasure, go for this combo.
- Edamame; This snack of boiled unripe soybeans contains an antioxidant called kaempferol which helps in weight reduction and also helps to decrease sugar levels in the blood.
- Hummus and Vegetables
- Dark chocolate; Dark chocolate has flavanols that may help reduce blood pressure and reduce heart disease risk if the chocolate contains at least 70% cocoa
- Celery steaks with cream cheese; of them are low-carb foods that will benefit your health and also cut weight.
- Boiled eggs; Although excess intake of boiled eggs can be dangerous, the benefit of moderate intake is weight reduction. Boiled eggs contain plenty of protein, they are filling and weight loss-friendly.
Steps to take to ensure your snacks are healthy
- Try the high and low combo; you can combine for example nuts butter and toast. When nut butter is high in fat, toast is low in fat. This might help you watch what you snack on.
- Plan what to eat daily so as to prevent indecisiveness and the chance to opt for unhealthy snacks.
- Avoid taking too much salt. Any snack that is high in salt automatically screams unhealthy as too much salt causes the heart to overwork.
- If your snack is a packaged one, check the label to view the contents of it so as to avoid health-threatening ones.
- Don’t just combine snacks, find out about the nutritional value of each to know the proportion to use.
- Go for baking in place of fried. Baked foods retain their nutritional value after the process than fried ones.
- Snack more on citrus fruits.
- Whenever you try to snack, keep in mind that you are making up for the lack in your diet. When you do that you are conscious of what you eat and would rather snack healthy than eat junk since junk may not provide the values you are after.
- When you are out of ideas about what to snack on, go for grains. Grains will help add to your energy level any day.
- You know junk when you see them. Avoid junk at all costs!
Make a Conscious Effort to Find Out About the Snack You Eat
- Ask your doctor for help when in doubt. Don’t just assume you can eat that!
- Don’t get distracted while snacking, you may end up eating too much.
- If you are on a particular snack diet; weight loss or supplementary, go for checkups and measure weight in order to be sure you are snacking right.
To seal it all, whatever you do, keep junk far away. If you don’t intend to consume it, why buy it at all? Fill your freezer with healthy delights!