X

Snack Smart

Although it is not essential to snack between meals, snacking can be helpful when it comes to maintaining good energy levels between meals and warding off hunger so that you can make healthy choices at your next meal. 

Healthy lunch

Sugar Craving

For many people, leaving long breaks between meals can leave them feeling sluggish and craving sugar. Low blood sugar levels can leave you feeling fatigued, cranky, irritable, tired, sluggish and generally reaching for the closest sugary treat. If this sounds like you then you could benefit from adding healthy snacks to your daily diet. 

Snacking contributes to your overall daily nutrition and overall health so it is important to choose wisely most of the time, however, the occasional treat is, of course, ok too. 

Plan and Prepare

The most important thing is to plan and prepare snacks so that you are equipped to beat the 3pm slump. Not being prepared with snacks means you are more likely to reach for the convenience of chocolate, crisps or sweets when energy levels start to dip. 

The key is to avoid foods which are high in fat and sugar, these foods will be broken down rapidly in the body providing you with a quick release of sugar, but long-term your energy will suffer as the body will control these sugar spikes by releasing insulin. In other words, what goes up must come down so you may end up feeling worse off when ultimately your sugar level dips. 

Woman holding a heart shaped object in her hands
woman gardening in greenhouse

Try Healthier Alternatives

To improve your energy levels during a working day, try to replace unhealthy snacks with healthier alternatives packed with protein, healthy carbs, good fats and ideally fruit and veg. Some examples are: 

Natural yoghurt with fruit, seeds and nuts- this is packed with protein, slow release carbs, good fats, fibre, vitamins and minerals. Not only are they nutritious but will be digested slowly meaning you will be fuller for longer. Plus, they’re tasty. 

Vegetable sticks with hummus, snacking on vegetable sticks like celery and carrots is an excellent way to achieve your 5-a-day. You can eat large quantities and still take in very little energy which is great if you are trying to lose weight. Hummus is packed with protein and healthy fats, just consider your portion size as it is rich in calories. 

Wholegrain pitta/crackers with natural nut butter or sunflower butter and fruit. This snack is a great source of slow release carbs for a steady supply of energy, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and fibre. Again, consider the portion of nut butter as it is energy-rich and could lead to weight gain if consumed in large amounts. 

Smoothies

Home-made smoothies- investing in a good blender is highly recommended as they can be so cheap these days. Just throw in some leaves like spinach or kale, some fruit (frozen is great if you like cold smoothies), yoghurt, milk/soya milk/water, nuts (if you have nut allergies flaxseed is a great alternative) and seeds. Blend it all up and you have a nutritious snack packed with goodness and the combinations of ingredients are endless. 

Quick Snacks

Have less time for food preparation during the working day and want to keep it simple? 

Snack smart on: 

  • Fruit 
  • Unsalted nuts 
  • Lightly salted popcorn 
  • Natural yoghurts 
  • Crackers with meat slices/cheese/ tomatoes 

Sum Up

So, to sum it up, if you don’t snack but find that your energy dips between meals, or if you tend to reach for unhealthy snacks between meals, then it might be worth including healthy snacking as a part of your energy boosting plan. 

To get you started in the right direction, whilst keeping things simple and helping you to achieve your 5-a-day, take part in the next energy boosting challenge: 

Energy Challenge- Snack only on fruit in between meals for 5 days 

You should notice an increase in energy levels, fullness and by the end of the 5 days, you should notice fewer cravings for high fat high sugary snacks…so give it a go. 

 

Article courtesy of CSSC.Life 

A table fully covered in colourful, healthy and nutritious fruits, nuts and vegetables