There are many ways to approach healthy snacking. Based on what you know and what you have heard, it may seem as if it is almost impossible to snack in a healthy manner. The word “snack” may already have a negative connotation particularly to those who are trying to lose weight or lower their blood sugar. Rarely is snacking done right – which is worrying for adults who are looking at improving their health.
We agree it is not easy. Having little more than fruit or raw vegetables to choose from is far from the most satisfying way to snack. Most of us are used to having tasty treats during our afternoon or evening. It is hard to get rid of such a pleasurable habit just because our health demands it.
But you know what: it is still possible to enjoy snacking. You may have to skip your favorite snack foods on occasion if you want to lose weight or lower your blood sugar levels. Needless to say, eating pastries daily is not conducive to controlling Type 2 diabetes. With that said, this doesn’t mean you cannot ever eat cakes. But you should save your guilty pleasures for the weekends, as long as you eat sensibly.
As far as healthy snacking goes, you do not have to snack perfectly. Generally speaking, you should be eating wisely 80% of the time, regardless of how you structure your meals. If you can ensure most of your snacks are healthy, you will be in good shape. Fruits and vegetables go without saying. But don’t forget…
- mixed nuts,
- Greek or plain yogurt, and
- whole-grain toast with peanut butter
are just a few reliable options. Anything primarily consisting of protein or healthy fats or is low in processed sugars is a good bet.
Just be careful with what you choose. While Brazil nuts and sunflower seeds are tasty snacks; they are also extremely high in calories so keep a close eye on your portion sizes.
Also, snacking should not be something you do more than once a day if you are to be healthy. It is almost always better to eat less frequently, despite what you have likely heard. You should try to keep your blood sugar levels under control, whether you have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes or not. Ideally, you will eat two regular-sized meals or three small meals per day, and have one snack in between.
If you are disciplined, it is possible to snack in a healthy manner. You can still enjoy your guilty pleasures but never forget the importance of self-control.