Alex Parren, qualified personal trainer, nutritionist, marathon runner and endurance cyclist wrote for us about the benefits of snacking. Check out what wisdom she had to impart:
Stereotypically, snacking has a bad reputation and a lot of people still believe that in order to live a healthy lifestyle and lose weight, you need to stop snacking. However, many health professionals argue that snacking – when done correctly – can contribute to a healthy lifestyle. We take a look at why and how you can improve your health with snacking.
Frequent snacking helps avoid extreme hunger
We all know that feeling of a rumbling stomach and wanting to eat everything in sight when you haven’t eaten in a while. If you are feeling extreme hunger, you are more likely to reach for an unhealthy snack that is high in calories as well as sugar and fats. Conversely, if you eat little and often you will avoid that extreme hunger and will be far more likely to make an informed decision and reach for a healthy snack that is rich in nutrients and lower in calories.
Almonds are a great healthy snack option – you can find them in our Strawberry Stomp mix
Snacking stabilises blood sugar levels
One of the ‘secrets’ to leading a healthy lifestyle is keeping your blood sugar stable throughout the day. Eating a healthy, filling, and nutritious breakfast is a great way to set you up for the day, and then snacking on healthy foods such as nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables when you feel your blood sugar dip can keep your metabolism revved up which in turn will stop dips in energy and will keep you feeling alert and positive until it’s time for lunch. With a stable blood sugar level throughout the day, you are less likely to experience mood swings and also less likely to binge on unhealthy foods.
Top up your fruit and veg intake
It’s important to clarify that when we refer to snacking, we mean healthy foods and not foods vacant of nutrients such as sugary doughnuts, cookies, or salty crisps and chips which are the favourite snacks of many people. Instead of snacking on these detrimental foods, you can use your snacks as an opportunity to boost your intake of fruit and vegetables. Many adults do not eat enough fruit and veg, so a mid-morning serving of carrot sticks with hummus or apple slices with peanut butter could easily contribute to a healthier lifestyle if you otherwise struggle to get these foods into your diet.
Choosing fruit & veg as one of your snacks is a great way to hit your 5-a-day target
Snacking can promote healthier eating habits
It is no secret that many people have unhealthy eating habits. Whether that is regularly skipping meals, overeating, or irrationally avoiding certain foods, snacking can help to promote healthier eating habits. By learning to keep your portion sizes smaller and eating more frequently, you will be less likely to skip entire meals or overeat. Preparing healthy snacks can also get your creative juices flowing and will promote more home-cooking rather than always eating out or getting takeaways.