WHAT IS A HEALTHY SNACK?
What are the best snacks to eat? Many people crave snacks. This is a habit most of the western world is used to. In America people snack far too much. There is often a mid morning snack, an afternoon snack, an evening/pre bedtime snack….and that is besides dessert after meals! People associate snacks with sugar or sweet foods.
But the best snacks to have (in moderation) are snacks that are a bit salty (like pistachios) or some raw walnuts with one or two dates, or some home made plain yogurt with berries or even with cucumber and scallions and a bit of sea salt. There are many snack options that are not cakes or cookies. Cakes, cookies and sweeter treats should be just that: a treat eaten on occasion, not every day or a few times a day.
Protein can be a good snack as well: chumous with crackers or vegetables, eggs with vegetables, half a red pepper stuffed with tuna, celery with almond butter etc. This will help the blood sugar to remain stable and not go up or down quickly.
In many Mediterranean regions of the world, snacking is very rare and if there are snacks, it usually consists of fruits, nuts and some vegetables. I would say to eat dried fruits in moderation as they are high in sugar and they also can sometimes cause gas.
Many countries have healthy drinks as an in between meal snack such as a drink made with carbonated water, yogurt and mint, or a drink made with blended berries, or a drink like sherbet but without sugar and using fruits instead. This is good too because it adds hydration which is very important. Often we think we are hungry and we really are thirsty!
Let’s practice developing healthier snacking habits. That does not mean you can never indulge in cake or cookies (especially when made with maple syrup instead of sugar or other healthy ingredients) but even healthy cakes are not that beneficial. We need to learn to snack in a more balanced manner.
But in truth, if we eat balanced meals with adequate nutrition, we probably will need to snack far less.