The 4 Characteristics of a Good Healthy Snack

If you are trying to maintain a balanced diet but tend to snack between meals, a healthy snack could do you a world of good! How should you choose it? For both children and adults, having a snack can be beneficial for your health, and there’s no reason it can’t be delicious while still being healthy!

Eliminate the habit of unnecessary snacking
It’s not the snacks themselves, but rather non-nutritious foods like chips, cookies, soft drinks, and sweets consumed between meals that sabotage your efforts to stay in shape. However, a survey by Statistics Canada on the eating habits of Canadians reveals that this kind of snacking accounts for 41% of the calories consumed outside of meals. It’s a bad habit to break, not by depriving yourself of snacks but by improving their nutritional quality.

The benefits of a well-thought-out snack
Allowing yourself a light meal when you’re hungry does not hinder a weight loss regimen, as long as it is healthy and nutritious. Nutritionists recommend healthy snacking because it:

  • Maintains a good energy level throughout the day, preventing weakness: you stay dynamic and focused at work.
  • Prevents unnecessary snacking until the next meal.
  • Regulates appetite during meals: when you’re too hungry, you tend to eat more than necessary.
  • Fills nutritional gaps when you have little appetite, eat on the go, or lack variety in your diet.
  • Restores energy after physical exertion.
  • Contributes to the proper functioning of the body.

 

Rules not to forget

The portion size depends on each individual. A sedentary person does not have the same needs as an athlete and may accumulate excess calories. Nevertheless, the following rules should always be followed:

  • A snack does not replace a real meal. It should not be so substantial that you have no appetite for the next meal.
  • A snack should only be consumed when you feel hungry, not every time you’re stressed, bored, or just out of desire.
  • Do not exceed two snacks per day, unless you engage in intense physical activity.

How to determine if a snack is healthy?

A healthy snack should meet the following 4 criteria:

1/ Rich in fiber and protein

The body digests them more slowly than sugar, allowing you to stay satisfied longer. They are found in whole-grain bread, nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, etc.), meat, and dried fruits.

2/ Combine at least two out of four food groups

A healthy snack should include at least one food from two different food groups, namely fruits and vegetables, milk and alternatives, meat and alternatives, and grain products. It’s up to you to combine and vary them according to your preferences. For example, muesli combines cereals, fruits, and dairy products; a smoothie allows you to combine vegetables/fruits and yogurt, while a slice of rye bread with tuna combines whole grains and protein (meat).

3/ Contain between 100 and 150 calories

Do not exceed 150 calories per snack! Your body doesn’t need more calories to function properly. This is equivalent to two soft-boiled eggs, three squares of dark chocolate, three scoops of sorbet (a concentrated fruit and water option much healthier than ice cream), an apple, or 250 ml of low-fat soy/yogurt/cheese beverage, etc.

4/ Low in salt, sugar, and fat

Always prefer nutritional quality and avoid foods that are too sweet or too salty. However, a snack can still contain natural sugar and “good” fats, such as those found in avocados, for example (to be consumed in reasonable quantities).

Now, make sure your snacks are effective, and your cravings are no longer an excuse to let yourself go. Forget about your cravings for fatty or sweet treats and prioritize healthy and sustainable habits!

 

Where to Find Good Healthy Snacks?
Your weight loss motivation professionals offer you the opportunity to discover delicious protein-rich and healthy snacks in the shop. You’ll find our most popular products, such as our protein bars, marvelous protein oats, and our chocolate cookies!

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JF Larocque
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