Snacking: A Key To Good Health
Bouts of hunger between meals are something we all have experienced. Some fight the urge to eat while some just give in and indulge themselves. What if we were to tell you that eating between meals is perfectly fine, in fact it is must in your diet for fitness.
Yes, it is true. Small light meals or snacks in between our regular three meals regime of breakfast, lunch and dinner, is a healthy practice and offers great advantages as listed below.
- Improves overall health: The three large meals we eat do not fulfill our nutritional requirements. Therefore adding snacks in between these meals can fill in the nutritional gap.
- Helps in weight loss: This may come as a bit surprising, however small frequent meals discourages overeating by promoting a feeling of satiety (fullness), in turn reducing the total amount of calories consumed. In addition, it keeps our metabolism active, burns calories and promotes weight loss.
- Maintains blood sugar levels: Snacking is important for diabetics as it helps maintain a constant blood sugar level throughout the day. Light healthy snacks twice or thrice a day prevent drastic changes in blood sugar levels.
- Improves overall mood: Having large meals high in calories in one sitting makes us sleepy and lazy. A healthy snack before meals reduces the caloric intake of the next meal and ensures a constant supply of energy throughout the day.
- Curbs craving: Extended periods of starvation increases the cravings for sweets and foods that are high in calories and nutritionally empty. These foods can have a negative impact on our health, therefore pre-planned healthy snacks in between meals can curb such unwanted cravings.
- Improves mental function: Healthy nutritious snacks boosts mental function and concentration.
Snacking has its advantages to offer but only if it is done the healthy way. While snacking comes across as a delight, the real challenge lies in keeping it healthy and not over-indulging. Being able to choose the right snacks is the only trick that one needs in their diet for fitness.
- Keep it light: Snacks you choose should be low in fat, preferably fat free. For example don’t opt for heavy salad dressing like mayonnaise or too much of salt and chaat masala as flavorings.
- Go low on calories: The whole concept of snacking is based on it being light and in small proportion. Snacking brings cakes, cookies, chips and fries to our mind which makes the whole concept of snacking unhealthy. Choose wisely.
- Balance it well: Mix foods from different food groups to complete your nutritional requirements. For example try cereal and milk with nuts and fruits.
- Set a time: Assign a fixed time for your snacks at proper intervals of at least 2-3 hours. Follow a strict routine and most importantly stick to it.
To ease out the matters, check out the following options of healthy snacking you can incorporate in your healthy diet for fitness.
- A whole wheat pasta salad with vegetables and fruits, flavor it with herbs and tang it up with lemon.
- A bowl full of chicken soup with oats or boiled whole grain noodles can be a light snack for your evenings.
- Yoghurt is good for your stomach health so simply mix fruits of your choice and savor it chilled.
- Steam up some rawa idlis stuffed with veggies.
- A simple mix of veggies and a few fruits can be a lovely choice on lazy day. Don’t forget to liven it up with some lemons to refresh you.
- Out of supplies? A glass of milk with a handful of nuts can work perfectly well.
- Pump up your protein intake with a boiled chicken salad or pulse and lentil salad that can includes the likes of whole moong, sprouts, rajmah, chana etc.
Snacking is undeniably healthy therefore use it to your advantage in your balanced diet for fitness by snacking smartly.