Day 17: Choosing healthy snacks for a busy day

Choosing healthy snacks is important. If you let yourself get too hungry between meals, you’ll overeat. Chips are out but these snacks are definitely in!

1. Nuts

Nuts are by far the best snack. They are easy to carry and have tons of health benefits. They provide healthy fat that your body needs to function properly. Don’t eat too many though because they also pack a lot of calories in each serving.

The best nuts are:

  • Almonds – They are thought to regulate blood sugar levels and helps reduce cravings.
  • Pecans – They offer 20 essential minerals and vitamins.
  • Walnut, peanuts and pistachios – They have properties that lower cholesterol.

TIP: Buy all natural or raw nuts. Keep away from smoked, honey roasted, dry roasted, or any type of nut that has been processed. They lose their effectiveness and are more of a junk food at that point.

choosing healthy snacks, nuts
Photo: theilr on Flickr

2. Vegetables & Fruits

Fruits and vegetables are an important part of our diet, but that’s not news to you. We’ve talked about it a few times already throughout this challenge. What we haven’t addressed, however, is which fruits and veggies are the best for snacking. Here are a few good options.

  • Sugar snap peas – They provide fiber to keep you full longer and it offers multiple vitamins including vitamin C, K, and B. Sugar Snap peas also help convert food to energy.
  • Carrots – They cleanse the body of toxins and help lower your cholesterol.
  • Apples – They offer a non-digestible compound found in the peel. Once it gets into the gut it becomes food for the good bacteria and balances out all bacteria in the stomach. Granny Smith apples are the best and Red Delicious are a close second. Note, the apples you consume need to be fresh or you’ll bake this benefit right out of them.
choosing healthy snacks, apple
Photo: MaxiusB on Flickr

3. Protein Bars

An easy snack to pack is the protein bar. Not only does it give you much needed energy when you’ve forgotten breakfast, but it can provide nutrition your body needs. Protein bars can have up to 400 (or more) calories, so some of these bars are meant as a meal replacement and not a snack.

Why are protein bars a good option?

  • The amino acids in protein will help you repair and grow muscles – this is helpful when you start an exercise routine.
  • They provide the minerals and vitamins your body needs in large amounts.
  • They helps maintain your body by making enzymes and hormones.

Beware, however. Not all protein bars are created equal. In fact some are loaded with so much sugar they offer the same nutritional value as a candy bar. Check labels to get the best protein bar or make your own.

choosing healthy snacks, protein bar, energy bar
Photo: theglobalpanorama on Flickr

Keeping healthy snack options handy will help with your hunger pains in the middle of the day. Throw one of these healthy options in your purse in the morning to help you throughout the day when you are hungry. Come prepared and you are less likely to eat junk food.

Today figure out what you want to include as part of your snacks and add them to your next week’s shopping list!