Healthy snack ideas to take care of you on a daily basis
Let a lot of time pass between the main meals, feel hungry, open the fridge or cupboard and select something to fill, even if it is not highly recommended. It is possible that you have that custom and that you already know that it is not highly recommended, for several reasons. First, because you are not choosing the healthiest, but you are not planning the meals correctly either. And that is essential to take care of yourself.
It is not about living on a diet, but about making a weekly meal plan to make a conscious purchase and not have the need to improvise. And it's not just a matter of lunch and dinner, you have to include healthy snacks that help you complete the five daily intakes without resorting to junk food.
What is considered a healthy snack
A snack is one small portion of food that is usually taken with an accompanying drink and between meals, usually in the middle of the morning and during the afternoon. Its intake helps maintain the correct blood glucose levels and provides the necessary energy and nutrients during the day. So, help to feel satiety and improve physical and intellectual performance, while making digestions easier.
Therefore, eat a snack at the right times help not to get to lunch or dinner anxiously, which would cause rapid intakes and in quantities that are few recommended in a healthy and balanced diet. And is that anxiety calls for foods high in fats and sugars.
A healthy snack is the one that combines appropriate foods, that do not have a lot of fats and sugars, and that is accompanied with water or some natural drink, such as a natural fruit juice. This description automatically discards industrial pastries or baubles, as well as sodas and sugary drinks.
Combining whole grains, skim milk, vegetables, nuts or some low-calorie cold cutsThey are the best healthy snack option. Chocolate is also allowed, in formats such as defatted pure cocoa powder or tablet with a minimum of 70%. With a couple of ounces, it should be enough to quench and eliminate the craving for candy.
The idea is that you make a list of healthy snacks combining these foods according to your tastes, and plan the menu correctly to place them correctly throughout the day. This will also help you prepare them in advance to take, but it is advisable to take it easy and without distractions so that they fulfill their function of satiating well.
Types of healthy snacks
Starting from the foods that could compose a perfect healthy snack, the possible combinations give rise to different types, of which we will talk about you below.
Low in calories
The ideal is that the snack has between 100 and 200 kcal, then up to about 150 calories can be considered low in calories. An appetizer that is below that fork may not be enough to prevent us from arriving anxiously at the next main meal, but above that amount it is neither necessary nor recommended.
Salted / Sweet
You usually have a preference for sweet or savory. It is usual that you fancy something sweet in the afternoon, the hours after the meal, which has to do with habits and preferences. If you like sweet things and are used to having dessert after lunch, you may experience that feeling.
The ideal is compensate for the intake of sweet and savory snacks during the day or during the week, within the healthy, because each food has its nutrients and must be balanced. Thus, if a sweet fruit such as melon provides beta carotene, vitamin A, C, potassium, magnesium or calcium, the nuts provide vitamin E or monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids that are also very necessary.
As the Paschal Sanz Institute counts, mid-morning and the snack must represent, each, 15% of the total daily energy contribution from your menu. The nutritional requirements are increased in the infantile stage, since they are in full development and, generally, between the hours of school and the extracurricular the days are long.
The carbohydrates, therefore, they are fundamental as a source of energy and for the maintenance of a correct cerebral function, reason why cereals or bread are usually protagonists. As far as possible, it is better to incorporate the integrals.
That's why the ones work so well snacks, whether cooked or cured ham, tenderloin, cheese or others, in combinations that can be unlimited. It is also convenient to introduce nuts and fruit.
Snacks for athletes acquire a special relevance for recovery after training sessions and competitions. Snacks play a fundamental role at the physiological level, because promote muscle recovery, recover from fatigue and full of resources to meet the next burden.
The Repairing Snack should include, first of all, foods rich in carbohydrates of medium and high / rapid assimilation that unlike those of slow assimilation - suitable for before the effort because they give us long-lasting energy - allow us to quickly refill the deposit of muscle gas
Namely: fruit, bread, juices, cookies, cereals, rice, potatoes ... and also sweet foods like jam, Nutella, raisins, dried apricots... and we can even give ourselves the pleasure of eating some donut, some custard or an ice cream ... especially if a background or long-term training has been done.
Secondly, it must include foods with high biological quality protein (cow or soy milk, cheese, turkey, ham, yogurt, eggs ...) in order to stop the destruction of muscle mass, repair damage and form new muscle fibers .
It is best to take the Repairing Snack for 15-20 minutes after the end of the session and better not let more than half an hour pass.
Examples of Repairing Snacks (for athletes):
- A banana with a chocolate milkshake (brick) or soy milk
- Homemade banana, milk or yogurt smoothie, cookies and honey
- Fruit-drunk yogurt with a handful of raisins
- Bread with cheese and jam with milk or a pineapple juice
- French omelette sandwich or skewer potato omelette with a pineapple juice
- A rice pudding
- Some custard with cereals
- A jelly with dried apricots
- Grapes with cheese
- A commercial shake of protein (whey) and carbohydrates
The need to ingest carbohydrates of rapid assimilation will be greater when the training has been of long duration and / or very demanding. And the snack can be more or less copious depending on the effort made and depending on the characteristics of the person.
Where to buy them?
The main obstacle we face when choosing a healthy snack is the lack of time. This prevents it from being properly planned and prepared mid-morning or the ideal snack, or even that we can stop to eat it calmly and without distractions so that they really take it out.
The supermarket can become an ally, but it is essential to choose well. It is important that you do not wait for the snack to go, that is, do not go hungry to not buy with anxiety. You would opt for something that does not suit you by quantity or by excess of fats and sugars.
Mercadona or Lidl They are good options to buy, because of the proximity, variety and value for money. They are equally good, however, others like Carrefour, Alcampo, Dia or Supermercados El Corte Inglés. Choose the one you choose, to the advice we have already given you you can add those of the nutritionist Nicole Figari, collected in Smart Snack:
- Few and good ingredients. Labeling is something you should always keep in mind, and not just for snacks. There are products made with an enormous amount of additives that make them ultraprocessed, because only then can they achieve a pleasant texture, flavor and aroma, even if it has a high nutritional cost.
- Choose what has five to seven ingredients and that are real, such as nuts or cereals, and avoid refined flours. They are empty calories.
- No added sugars. We don't want to be a spoiler, but this concept also includes artificial sweeteners, such as sucralose or stevia, and other formats such as fructose, corn syrup or maltrodextrin. The sweet touch should be given by fruits, such as raisins, plums or dates.
- The right amount. Figari speaks of between 80 and 140 calories, depending on each context. If you go to the supermarket to buy a snack that you are going to eat at the moment, try to choose a format that comes ready for consumption and in its fair amount, to avoid overeating.
What a healthy snack to buy
Considering the above: what healthy snacks to buy in the supermarket? We leave you some ideas:
- Green Soybean Pods (Edamame). They are green soybean pods that you can find, for example, in Mercadona. If you like the Asian food, you will be familiar with this product, coming from a legume plant from which milk or sauce is usually extracted, among other things. Simply boil them and add a little salt.
- Nuts pack. You can find these at any supermarket or kiosk. Almonds and peanuts are some of the most popular, but anarcados, nuts or sunflower seeds (also pumpkin seeds) are also very popular. Yes, nothing fried or battered in honey, like the kikos.
- Cut fruit. Also in any supermarket you can find vegetables, fruits and vegetables. You can catch apple, bananas and some seasonal piece (like cherries between April and August) you just have to peel. Or take a plastic cup from the cold stands with carrot sticks or other vegetables and fruits already cut.
- Pickles. Pickles have many properties, and we already recommend them in our article with tips to flatten the abdomen. For example, in Mercadona they sell pickled corn cobs They can be a healthy option, without going over. Eat the right amount and avoid excess salt.
- Fresh skimmed smoothie cheese. You can find it from the Hacendado brand in several formats, both half a kilo and smaller ones. Ideally, mix it with seeds or fruits to have a more tasty and nutritious snack. Also in Mercadona you can find sesame seeds.
- 0% yogurt. Any 0% yogurt is a good option for mid-morning or snack, but Lidl sells the Bio Organic Quark 0% with yogurt and cheese of its own brand Milbona, which includes many good products. You can add some honey, fruit or nuts.
- Hummus. The Mercadona and Lidl is quite acceptable in terms of production, and is good in flavor. In addition to the traditional one, you have other formats such as avocado hummus, and for a complete snack you can eat it with the carrot sticks already recommended.
How to make healthy snacks
Undoubtedly, the ideal option is to make homemade snacks from natural raw material for several reasons. The first is that you make sure there is nothing ultraprocessed or with many additives, but it is tasty and quality food with many nutrients. When preparing them, you are dedicating time to your food, to plan and prepare, and that generates a nutritional learning that is worth a lot.
There is another important issue, that of less environmental impact. Going to the supermarket and buying a glass of carrot sticks will be very good as a healthy option, but to talk about a single snack we talk about a considerable amount of plastic waste. Who is aware knows how important it is to start by reducing.
Your homemade healthy snacks they don't have to be very elaborate, hard to do or take too long. Taking into account everything we have told you, we leave you these proposals:
- Toast with avocado, fresh cheese and nutmeg.
- Toast with apple, mozzarella and nuts.
- Minibocadillo with ham, tomato and extra virgin olive oil.
- 0% natural yogurt with fruit and flax seeds.
- Carrot sticks with yogurt sauce and pipes.
- Homemade banana mousse and milk with nuts.
- Homemade energy bar with oat flakes, nuts, red fruits and pure defatted cocoa.
- Toast with hummus.
What do you fancy? You see that, to start taking care of yourself, you only need to have ideas and will. Cheer up!