Between work, housework, taking care of the kids, and other responsibilities, it can be difficult to find the time to prepare healthy foods. While it might seem easier to grab some fries or a chocolate bar when you’re hungry and on the run, doing so can be detrimental to your well-being in the long run. Popular snacks, such as candy bars, potato chips, and candy, may be tasty but they’re terrible for you. The consumption of these unhealthy snacks contributes to obesity and other health problems.
If you want to stay healthy, it’s essential to know what makes a healthy snack. Healthy snacks will satisfy you and provide you with the energy and nutrients your body needs. On the other hand, unhealthy snacks are often high in fat, calories, and simple carbohydrates (sugars). Eating unhealthy snacks may give you a temporary boost of energy, but they’ll make you feel sluggish in the long run. If you want to maintain your energy levels throughout the day, eat a healthy snack, such as whole-grain crackers or cereals, or protein-rich snacks like low-fat dairy products or peanut butter.
There are many products out there that claim to be all natural and pure on their labels, but don’t always believe what you see. For example, an “all natural” juice may contain lots of sugar, an ingredient which is technically natural. Juices that are high in sugar contain few nutrients and are high in calories. You also have to be careful when purchasing low-fat products since they often contain higher amounts of sugar than full-fat products. Reading the nutrition information on the label is the only reliable way to determine how healthy a product really is.
Another factor to consider when shopping for snacks is serving size. A small package of chips might seem healthy enough when you read its nutrition label, until you realize that the small package actually contains several servings. Check the serving size of every snack food you buy to determine how much fat, sugar, etc. you’ll actually consume if you eat the entire package.
You can increase the amount of vitamins and minerals in your diet by combining foods from the categories listed above. For example, rather than eating a cup of low-fat yogurt alone, you can add chopped fruit to it in order to make it an even healthier snack.
To make healthy snacks a regular part of your routine, prepare them in advance. For example, you can always store chopped fruit in your fridge and take fruit pouches, nuts, and other healthy snacks with you whenever you go out. That way, you won’t ever be tempted to eat junk food!