Are healthy snacks good for you?
Pros and cons of snacks?
Healthy snacks are definitely a good way of boosting our energy levels when we feel tired. It’s an easy way to suppress hunger, if we do not have time to eat a proper meal. Nevertheless people are misguided by mass media and commercials, that manipulate research results, leading to confusion on what should be considered a healthy snack.
“The dose makes the poison” is a well-known phrase, which gives us the answer, whether snacks are good or bad for us. Everything in moderation is key, especially when you eat fruits or nuts without limits, as this can be dangerous as well as beneficial.
Do you sometimes think about energy intake of snacks? Everyone knows, that nuts and seeds are very good for our health. However, most people forget, a handful of nuts contains over 200 calories and usually we eat more than that. Some protein bars considered as a healthy not “fattening” snack are around 500 calories and most of the energy comes from carbohydrates and fats. This means the calorie intake is equivalent to a big plate of any good source of carbohydrates, like rice or pasta, with lean meat and a veggie salad. So leaving aside the health benefits of these products, maybe the problem of a weight loss plateau are actually these high in calories snacks?
Best healthy snacks
Vegetables and fruits are considered the best and healthiest snack choice in a diet. The newest dietary guidelines promote not five, but ten portions of fruits and vegetables per day (equivalent of 800 grams). They are very nutritious, full of antioxidants, vitamins and they are low in calories. We still need to be aware of the energy (mainly sugar) and fibre they contain, because limitless eating could result in a few unplanned visits in toilet! Always try to eat a big variety of fruits and vegetables. Different colours mean different beneficial aspects. Bear in mind, the best way to eat them is unprocessed. For example, eating an apple pie is not the same as eating an apple! Try not to peel or heat fruits where you can, as they lose the fibre and the beneficial aspects that they contain.
Snacks might be heathy if we eat them in moderation and if we fit them into our daily calorie intake. Fresh, unprocessed food is always a better choice than bars. Remember that nuts and seeds under the influence of light, oxygen and temperature undergo oxidation, that’s why you should always choose something with the smallest human involvement.
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