“Snacks” have always been looked down upon by those trying to watch their weight. Still, they are an important part of our diet; as they provide energy for those in-between times and prevent us from over-eating at meals. Choosing a healthy snack though is a challenge…
Snacking is a very important aspect of our daily diet and for those trying to watch their weight, choosing healthy snacks can be quite a task. There are lots of options to choose from the counter but not all available snacks can be considered healthy or wholesome. Which snacks can be labelled as healthy?
If you are choosing a processed or a prepackaged food as a snack it is a good idea to read the label properly before its consumption. Here are a few tips which can help you in selecting a healthy snack.
- Read the label for its nutritional information. If calories from fat are more than half of the total calories, it is not a healthy choice
- Avoid snacks that list sugar as one the first few ingredients
- The portion size should provide less than 100 calories
- Pick foods that are low in fat and sugar and high in fiber
- The natural sweetness in foods and drinks is better than added sugar
- Aim for whole-grain snacks
- Fruit beverages are better compared to carbonated ones; still, they are high on calories
Planning to make your own snack
- Fruits and vegetables are good choices for healthy snacks. They are full of vitamins and low in calories and fat which certainly means that an apple is better than a bag of chips. Make your cocktail of fruit and veggie salad with lemon juice, olive oil or vinegar as dressing. Fruity snacks are a great option if you are craving for a sweet snack.
- Roasted mixed seeds like sunflower, pumpkin, flax with chana are a good source of protein, fiber, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids
- Sprouted pulses with crunchy vegetables
Some more tips to avoid unhealthy snacks:
- If you work, then bring your own snacks to work rather than eating outside
- Put snacks in portions rather than carrying the whole packet
- The best way to keep from eating unhealthy snacks is to not have these foods in your house. If you need to keep them anyway then store them where they are hard to see or reach
- Keep healthy snacks / fruity snacks/veggie salads at your eye level so that when hunger strikes they are the first ones to be grabbed
Follow these simple techniques and you are surely going to make a great difference in the way you look and feel without despising the word SNACKS.
How to decide that calories from fat are more than half of the total calories? Is there any calculation as Fat will be in Grams ?
1g of protein and carbohydrate provides 4 kcal each and 1g of fat provides 9 kcal. Nowadays food labels mention calories from various sources. Still if not mentioned you can multiply fat in grams (mentioned on the label) by 9 to get the calories provided by fat.