Photo Credit: by sheri chen, flickr.com
Snacking is a fun and tasty pastime--but it doesn’t have to hinder your health goals. Instead, you should always reach for snacks that promise to boost your energy and productivity levels and give you what you need to tackle your everyday life. Don’t drag yourself down with cookies, cakes, or sugary snacks; snacking should improve your health and benefit your life.
Read on to learn all you need to know about healthy snacking in 2020.
Why snack? Is snacking healthy?
Some people avoid snacking because it sounds like an unhealthy habit. However, snacking right all depends on what you’re putting into your body. Snacking can actually be a very helpful and healthy habit.
Diabetics know the importance of keeping their blood sugar up so they can feel their best all day long. When your blood sugar crashes, it can be hard to do anything, much less focus or be productive.
Livestrong reports that the best healthy snacks for low blood sugar--which is often responsible for that midafternoon slump you feel--include DIY recipes like whole grain popcorn, roasted carrot hummus, granola bars, banana-almond butter “sandwiches,” chia seed pudding with fresh berries, and a make-your-own trail mix.
The article states, “Feeling cranky, distracted or headache-y? Foggy or groggy? If it's been hours since you've eaten lunch, it's likely that your blood sugar is low and it's time for a snack, says Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN. ‘Our energy levels take a natural dip around 3 to 4 p.m., and if we need a little boost and we don't provide our bodies with it, cravings can kick into overdrive.’”
Instead of functioning at half-capacity, grab a healthy snack and boost your brain power. Luckily, the healthy snack options are more plentiful than ever.
Snacking in 2020 is healthier than ever
Gone are the days when people turned to vending machine potato chips and candy bars when they needed a snack. Good riddance! Snacking shouldn’t distract you from your goals, ruin your diet, or harm your life. Snacking should nourish your body and keep you energized and clear-headed.
In an article titled Global Healthy Snacks Market is Booming Across the Globe, Four Point Play reports, “Increasing awareness regarding health and wellness benefits offered by the products to consumers is likely to be a key trend driving the market. Demand for healthy snacks is gaining traction and is expected to remain strong throughout the forecast horizon.”
These days, consumers reach for healthy protein and nut bars, “chips” and other crunchy items made out of healthier ingredients, or pre-portioned servings of fruit, cheese, cold cuts, and vegetables. Dried fruit is also a popular snacking go-to. There are many healthy options found in the snack aisles of today. However, thinking ahead and planning healthy snacks to grab and go while you’re not at home is another popular way to make sure you’re snacking on healthy, satisfying foods.
Instead of thinking of snacking as a guilty pleasure, think of it as a way to get added servings of protein, fruit, or veggies added into your day--a way to pack in more greens and other foods that will keep your “engine” running in optimal condition. In fact, snacking may be good for weight loss because you’re keeping yourself satiated throughout the day with smaller, healthier portions. Then you don’t gorge on large meals.
Healthline states, “If you choose healthy, whole-food options with a lot of protein and nutrients, snacks can be integral to weight loss. Some can even help keep you full throughout the day and limit your cravings for unhealthy foods.”
And if you do reach for chips, at least make sure they’re made of more wholesome ingredients and are baked instead of fried. Or, make homemade sweet potato chips in an air fryer or oven at home. Kale chips are another favorite.
Don’t want to make your snacks at home? Costco snacks have a category of their own, and you can buy in bulk at a great price. Plus, from fruit and veggie pouches to Coconut Clusters and Aussie Bites, there are lots of kid-friendly options available. Do a snack roundup to get rid of junk food in your home and replace your favorite treats with healthier options.
Remember: eating right doesn’t just benefit your physical health and aid in weight loss and prevention of obesity. What you eat may even be tied to your sex life.
Your snack roundup: healthy snacks to make at home and take on the go
Looking for snack ideas? We’ve got you covered. Preparing your snacks at home before you find yourself hungry while out and about can be key to snacking the right way.
Snack ideas that you can make and pack at home to take on the go:
* Sliced apples and peanut butter
* Celery with raisins and peanut butter
* Pretzel sticks and peanut butter
* Sliced fruit or mixed berries
* Carrots and ranch, plus celery or bell peppers
* Bell peppers - you can eat them like an apple, especially the mini peppers!
* Veggie straws and chips
* Guacamole with veggie chips or bell pepper strips
* Plain unflavored popcorn, lightly salted
* Nut mixes
* Make your own trail mix: nuts, dried fruit, and semisweet chocolate chips for an added treat
* Hard boiled eggs
* Cherry tomatoes with mozzarella slices
* Cheese stick and cold cuts
* Turkey and cheese roll-ups
* Single serving of unsweetened natural yogurt - mix in some berries for sweetness!
* Chickpeas, lightly roasted and seasoned
* Thin bagels or bagel crisps with cream cheese
* Cottage cheese
* Portable fruits: think bananas, apples, strawberries, pears, grapes, grapefruit, oranges, and * Homemade fruit and bran muffins made with healthy ingredients and no sugar - banana, peanut butter, pumpkin, and sweet potato muffins are all healthy and delicious options
* No-bake energy balls rolled with oats, honey, and your favorite add-ins
* Cucumber, carrots, and bell pepper with hummus
If you ever find yourself unequipped with snacks and craving for something to crunch or munch on, not to worry. Many stores carry healthy options these days.
Even major chains like Starbucks present a wide variety of healthy snack options at the counter--you don’t have to end up with a sugary pastry. Starbucks carries nuts, dried fruit, fruit bars, nut bars, and even pre-packaged containers with a mix of fruit, nuts, meat, and more. It’s up to you to snack healthy, even when you’re on the go. (P.S. Did you know coffee could be part of the obesity cure?)
The subscription snack box trend
If you haven’t already been targeted by ads for subscription snack boxes and services, it likely won’t be long. Snack boxes seem to be ubiquitous these days. All you have to do is sign up for a monthly delivery of whatever kind of snacks you like--or be willing to try something new. Then a box of snacks will arrive at your door to keep you powered up all month long, until your next delivery.
Glamour recently published an article on “11 Best Snack Subscription Boxes to Gift or Get.” The article states, “Snack cravings seem to hit only when your pantry (or desk drawer) is empty. But it is 2020, which means snack subscription boxes are a thing. Much like monthly clothing rentals, beauty boxes, and book subscription services, there's a delivery service out there for every kind of snacker.”
The options are endless, too: whether you want vegan, gluten-free, or Japanese-inspired snacks, there’s something out there for you. Some of the top snack boxes Glamour listed were Love With Food, Mouth Vegan Snack Box, and Patagonia Provisions.
Graze Box is another great option. Graze Box packs delicious, nutritious, wholesome snacks each month into properly portioned boxes that you can eat at home or take with you anywhere. They make all the snacks in-house. Plus, the Graze bakery and factory are 100% carbon-neutral, and their bakery is zero waste to landfill. They’re also working toward reducing plastic in all of their packaging.
Want a steady supply of healthy snacks without having to think about it? Then a snack box subscription may be perfect for you. Otherwise, prepare your snack selections at home and equip yourself with a grab-and-go, easy-to-eat healthy snack every time you go out.
It’s a good idea to carry a few snacks in your purse and keep a supply of healthy snacks in your car, desk drawer, and anywhere else you often find yourself hungry and looking for food.
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