Healthy Snacking: A Good Habit to Develop

September 30, 2020

 Healthy Snacking

Do you skip on taking snacks because you feel guilty of consuming more than three meals a day? 

Snacking has developed a bad reputation and most people frowned down on those having a mid-morning or mid-afternoon meal. There is really nothing wrong with consuming food in between the main meals. It's a matter of what kind of snacks you eat.

Reasons why you should snack

  • helps prevent overating
  • helps reduce overall calorie intake for the day
  • lets you work in more healthy food like fruits and vegetables
  • helps maintain physical and mental energy

A healthy snack should have a balance of protein and healthy carbohydrates. It should be loaded with enough calories to last you until your next meal. More importantly, it should taste good.

Most of us eat the usual tasty fast food items such as pizza, burger, fries, and soda because we have a notion that healthy snacks are boring and bland. We also snack for the wrong reasons. We either eat to find emotional comfort or out of a habit and not because of hunger. Susan Bowerman, Senior Director, Worldwide Nutrition and Education and Training at Herbal-ife Nutrition, calls these unhealthy practices and food choices the “Dark Side of Snacking.”

Healthy Snacking

Bowerman is a registered dietitian, a board-certified specialist in Sports Dietetics and Obesity and Weight Management, and a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 

“Choosing healthy snacks nowadays can be challenging. Food is everywhere and readily available, portion sizes are large, and some items sound healthy but are not. Many people also consume too many liquid calories in the form of sugary beverages,” Bowerman said. 

During the Herbalife Nutrition Philippines’ first Virtual Tea Party I attended last September 29, she shared with us recipes perfect for healthy snacking.

“Snack on foods that are rich in protein to help control your hunger and include good carbohydrates which contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients,” Bowerman advised. 

Foods that are rich in protein include milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, low-fat cheese, lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, cooked lentils or beans, and nuts or nut butter. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, meanwhile are rich in carbohydrates. 

Examples of healthy snacks that are rich in protein and carbohydrates, according to Bowerman, include vanilla yogurt topped with fruit, hard-boiled egg with sliced tomato, roasted soy nuts with a piece of fruit, whole grain bread with nut butter, and a cup of vegetable soup with low-fat cheese. 

“Be more mindful about your food choices, especially the foods you snack on. There are many alternatives to your chips and sugared drinks that are healthier for you and also taste great,” she concluded.