No, “healthy snacking” is not an oxymoron. Depending upon what you eat, healthy snacking can be very good for you. As we partner this week with SnackNation, a subscription service that delivers a variety of healthy snacks and drinks to your office, we take a look at the benefits of snacking.
Here are the top five ways healthy snacking can make your day:
- Metabolism. If too much time elapses between meals, your metabolism can start to slow down. By eating smaller, more frequent meals (ie. snacks) you give your metabolism frequent boosts.
- Calories. Smart snacking can help you reduce your overall caloric intake. If you are restricting your calories, breaking your meals up into small, manageable sections, can help stave off cravings and the headaches that can result from restricting calories. Many weight loss plans, such as those endorsed by the Mayo Clinic advocate healthy, low-calories snacks to manage hunger and cravings.*
- Hanger. Hanger or Hangry is the condition of being angry because you are hungry. Sometimes called “food swings,” hanger results when the blood sugar is low. When the blood sugar is low, serotonin receptors become suppressed. Mood swings, anger, and frustration can result.
- Energy. When you experience that mid-afternoon energy crash, it’s time for a pick-me-up. Hydrate, get up from your desk and move around, grab a healthy snack.
- Portion control. A healthy, protein-rich afternoon snack, can curb your appetite at dinner time. You wont be so hungry that you binge-eat right through dinner, and you’ll have a better chance to eat mindfully and stick to smaller portions.
What constitutes a healthy snack?
Opt for a protein/ carb combo when you can. It will fill you up and stave off hunger until your next meal. Avoid high-calorie and processes foods. Fruit is always a good option. Or check out Snack Nation’s 121 Delicious Healthy Snacks for Every Type of Snacker for some great healthy snack ideas.
When should you snack?
Make sure you are snacking to satisfy hunger, rather than out of habit or to meet an emotional need. Do not multitask as you snack; pay attention to what and how you eat at snack time. This is called mindful eating. Mindful snacking will make your snack more enjoyable and more filling. If you are trying to lose weight, consider holding out a little longer before you enjoy a snack.
Snack with friends.
Food is best enjoyed as a shared experience. So if you do choose to snack, don’t snack alone, snack with friends.