5 Important Benefits of Healthy Snacking Between Meals
The word “snack” has negative connotations regarding unhealthy food and weight gain. But healthy snacking is another matter altogether.
A healthy snack can offer many health benefits and can even help with weight loss. The trick is to structure your snack much like you would a meal—include portions of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. If you choose your snack thoughtfully and eat it halfway between meals, you will find that you have much more energy during the day. You won’t even have to put in too much effort to avoid that bag of chips and can of soda.
Here are five important health benefits of snacking done right:
1. Extra Nutrients
Eating healthy snacks during the day is a very effective way to include essential nutrients in your diet. A handful of nuts gives you healthy fats. Low-fat dairy increases your calcium intake. Low-fat cheese gives you a boost of protein for healthy muscles. Snacking on a simple fruit bowl boosts your vitamin A and C intake and improves your overall health.
By patterning what you eat, you can really gun to have a complete diet for each working day!
2. Keep Cravings at Bay
Eating good, healthy snacks between meals keeps you from becoming so hungry that you opt to binge on junk food. If you get used to reaching out for granola, you won’t settle for a quick sugary treat that will only keep you full for less than an hour. While there’s nothing wrong with indulging in empty calories occasionally, it’s best to rid yourself of the habit entirely!
3. Prevent Overeating
The best way to control food intake during regular meals is to eat small, healthy snacks in between. If you feel hungry two hours after lunch, that’s perfectly normal. The best choice is to pick a healthy snack that will feel filling, such as whole grains or protein.
The human body feels hunger every 3 to 5 hours. If you let so many hours pass without eating anything, you are much more likely to overindulge at your next meal. Overeating—especially during dinner—can lead to heartburn and other digestion problems.
4. Amp Up Your Metabolism
Another additional health benefit of eating every few hours is that it can improve your metabolism. That may seem paradoxical, but if you’re eating nutritious meals every few hours, your body is regularly processing food.
5. Keep Energy Levels High
You’ve likely experienced this many times: you opt for soda and chips for your mid-day snack. You feel that sugar high for an hour or so—and then you feel sleepy and lethargic quickly after. This is why complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and even protein are better choices to provide that energy boost between meals.
Blueberries, avocado, and dark chocolate can help you boost your focus and fuel your brain in the afternoon. Making healthy choices will help you stay alert for all the tasks you need to accomplish.
Here are some healthy snacks to help you feel full and energized at all times of the day:
Yogurt and berries
Mindful snacking involves thoughtfully chosen food items packed with your daily nutritional needs. Avoid anything that’s highly processed or contains added sugar—not only is it unhealthy, but you won’t even feel energized after eating them! By getting that healthy balance and snack timing right, you’ll find you have much more energy to get you through the day.
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