Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Healthy On-the-Go Snacks

One of the reasons North Americans eat so poorly is all the on-the-go eating we do.  In other cultures, there tends to be less of this, with more of an emphasis on sit-down, family meals.  The problem with on-the-go eating is that it tends to encourage consumption of convenience foods and interferes with mindful eating, often resulting in the ingestion of too many calories and too little nutrition.

Unfortunately, because of our lifestyles, sometimes eating on-the-go cannot be avoided.  But it doesn't have to be health risk if you do it right.

First, let me suggest what not to do. Do not go down the snack food aisle! Yes, you heard me: avoid snack foods!  This would include anything processed anyways, so things like cookies, granola bars/snack bars, chips, crackers, pretzels, etc.  It doesn't matter if they are organic, gluten-free, low-fat, etc.  They are generally void of nutritional value and just empty calories.  In addition, they are generally high-carb, low protein, which gives you a temporary energy boost, followed by a drop in blood sugar, which then causes a dip in energy and leaves you hungry again fairly soon.  Most people need no more than 2 snacks a day, if they are eating 3 square meals.  So even though snacking is definitely part of a good nutrition plan, this does not mean you can graze all day long.  A 'snack' should generally, be 200 calories or less, depending on your personal energy needs.

The ideal snacks are those from whole foods, that contain protein and fibre.  Fresh fruit and veggies are the best, of course, especially paired with some protein.   But there are other good options too.

Here are some of my favorite portable snacks:

  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Hummus or bean dip + raw veggies
  • Seaweed snacks
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Air-popped popcorn
  • Cheese
  • Boiled edamame
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Kale chips
  • Nitrite-free jerky

  • Unsweetened dried fruits
  • Freeze-dried fruits
  • Home-made muffins or protein bars
  • Greek yogurt or cottage cheese with berries
  • Rice cakes with nut butter
  • Fruit compotes/poached fruit with yogurt
  • Fruit-based protein smoothies
Essentially, the simpler the better.  Avoid buying stuff in a box or bag with 1,000 ingredients.  Balance out carbs with protein, fibre and some healthy fats to keep your blood sugar stable, your appetite under control and your energy going all day.

This post was inspired by where you can buy lots of healthy snacks in bulk and have them delivered to your door!

Disclosure: asked me to write a post about healthy snacking but I received no compensation for this post and all opinions on this blog are my own.

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