Snacking keeps the metabolism running, hunger in check and also helps you lose weight. For people who are looking to lose weight, or gain muscle, snacks can provide added nutrition. Research suggests that regular snacking helps keep you full, satisfy hunger and prevent binge eating. Moreover, it improves satiety and there is increased fullness hormone in the body GLP-1, with a decrease in the hunger regulating hormone ghrelin. In fact, for people who snack an average of 425 fewer calories are consumed per day.
What makes a healthy snack?
Not all snacks are healthy; to get the maximum benefit from your snacks, ensure that they remain under 200 calories and have at least 10 grams of protein. Protein in snacks provides satiety and also helps to build lean muscle mass.
The frequency of snacks depends on personal activity level. For a more active person two to three snacks a day should be sufficient, while a single snack works for someone with a more sedentary lifestyle. To understand the precise kind of snack that works for you, it is best to contact a professional such as the top nutritionist in Karachi.
To gain the maximum benefit from your snack make sure to avoid high-sugar or processed foods that cause a sugar spike. Instead opt for natural nutrient rich snacks like fruits or nuts.
However, snacking does not mean that you should spend all the day in the kitchen. Here are some healthy snacks that take less time to make, but are full of nutrients:
- Apple slices with almond butter
This healthy snack is a cumulative of 290 kcal with 30 grams Carbohydrates, 7 grams protein and 18 grams fat. It is suitable for everyone including those on gluten-free, paleo and vegan diet (those with nut allergy should be careful).
This simple snack is a healthy mix of carbs and proteins, along with healthy fats, magnesium and vitamin E. Apples are a rich source of dietary fibers and antioxidants, while almond butter provides healthy fatty acids.
This simple snack combines one medium apple, dipped in 2 tablespoons of almond butter. You can eat it between meals, before workout and even give it to children. It is a great way to incorporate fruit in your diet or even your children’s.
- Whole grain pita chips
Another great and wholesome snacks that’s packed with energy and dietary fiber is whole grain pita chips. They can satisfy your craving for salty snacks without resorting to unhealthy, calorie crammed processed crisps.
Each yield serves six (serving size is that of one pita) and is composed of roughly 100 calories. There is 2 grams of protein in these light snacks and only 12 grams carbohydrates. For flavor they are topped with about 156 mg salt and pepper is added to taste. The recipe calls for two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per six pita bread rounds, with 2 teaspoons of salt and pepper.
To make this delicious snack, divide each pita bread into 8 triangles and place on baking sheet. Add a teaspoon of olive oil on the pitas and sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste. Bake this on a parchment lined or baking sheet lined baking tray for 10 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit (preheat the oven for ten minutes before-hand).
You can serve it warm with some hummus or cooled down. It can also be stored away in an air-tight container for future use.
- Chocolate banana ice cream
Another delicious snack for your sweet cravings is a chocolate banana ice cream with only 120 kcal and 30 grams of carbs. This recipe is suitable for people on a gluten-free, paleo, low fat and vegan diet.
To make this ice cream, freeze a medium-sized, peeled banana overnight and add use in the morning. Add the peeled banana to a blender and add 2 tablespoons of unsweetened almond milk and a tablespoon of raw cocoa powder. Blend this mixture until a creamy texture is formed.
Serve this delicious ice cream, with only one gram of fat, right away and enjoy as a healthy snack.
- Baked apple chips
Another recipe for baked chips is that of apple chips. This sweet treat is a perfectly healthy snack for adults and children, but takes longer than 5 minutes. The recipe calls for 3 large cored apples, a teaspoon of cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of sugar.
Cut paper thin slices of the apples and place on parchment paper. Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar onto the sliced apples and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Flip the apples after they are done baking and top with cinnamon and sugar syrup on the other side. Bake for another 40-50 minutes and the snack is ready. Eat these yummy treats while they are fresh, but they can also be stored away for 3 days in an air-tight container.
- Carrot and celery sticks
This healthy snack is composed only of 36 kcal with merely 9 grams of carbs. This recipe calls for a single serving and is suitable for people on low-fat, paleo, vegan and gluten-free diet. It can be prepared beforehand and refrigerated for future use.
Cut the carrot and celery into sticks and divide into portions. Even on a calorie-restricted diet, two servings of this snack can be taken in a day. Not only is this snack very filling, but also very nutritious and full of antioxidants. If you have a large number of dietary restrictions then it may be best to contact a medical professional such as the best nutritionist in Islamabad to help you find out if these snacks work for you.