What are some healthy snacking options that you can have? Should you even be snacking at all?
There are so many conflicting theories and opinions on snacking out there. Some say you can't have snacks at all; others say you should snack all the time. Some say that you should snack on a fruit; then others say you shouldn't eat fruit.
It’s all so unclear and confusing.It’s no wonder why many people struggle to understand what a good and healthy snack would be for them!
Now, no one diet fits everyone and I believe that every diet should be individualized for each person. But there are some healthy snacking options that you choose from when you’re in a jam.
The truth is, snacks can be very therapeutic for preventing low blood sugar. We see this all the time in our practice. Low blood sugar can make you sluggish and irritable, causing a whole cascade of cortisol and other hormones that are released when under stress. That’s why it’s nice to have some healthy snacks on hand that you can grab whenever you’re feeling low on energy or irritable between your main meals.
Healthy snacks do not contain any processed foods or refined carbohydrates. A good snack should not have vegetable oils, refined white sugar, refined white flour, and other processed stuff like that. These will just add toxicity to your system which you’re trying to avoid.
You should also avoid refined carbohydrates such as chips, processed crackers, cookies, and candy. These are easily broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream which causes a sudden spike and then drop in your blood sugar. That blood sugar roller coaster is exactly what we want to avoid.
You want to have healthy snacks with good fat and good protein. That way, the natural sugars and carbohydrates in your snack will be broken down and absorbed slowly which allows your blood sugar to be maintained in a nice even balance. This means you will feel full for longer and manage your hormones without snacking continuously.
So here is my list of the top five healthy snacks:
HUMMUS AND CRACKERS:
This protein-rich blend of chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, and lemon is a great source of good protein and fiber. Then you can find some good whole-grain crackers to eat with that or you can go super healthy with carrots or celery.
A lot of hummus is made with vegetable oils, sunflower oil, safflower oil, and sometimes canola oil, which are terrible. A great one that I like is Oasis. Oasis Hummus is just made with chickpeas, water, tahini, lemon juice, roasted garlic, and sea salt, and is widely available in grocery stores. So make sure you read the ingredients and get one with no refined vegetable oils.
This is a fantastic snack. You want to go for raw almond butter which has not been subjected to heat. Heat destroys the delicate Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids found in nuts and seeds so try to avoid roasted almond butter. Trader Joe's has a great and affordable raw almond butter option.
You can have this with an apple, or again, with celery.
Dark chocolate has great saturated fatty acids, like stearic acid, which makes it a perfectly healthy snack. Stearic acid supports insulin regulation, and overall fat burning and metabolic efficiency.
Now, a lot of dark chocolate contains lots of sugar, dairy, palm oils, and soy lecithin, which are terrible for you. So you want to avoid those and go for dark chocolate that’s 70% or more cacao and no refined additives and sugar.
A great option is Hu Dark Chocolate because it has no soy, no lecithin, no palm oil, and it's made with coconut sugar which has lots of good minerals. Coconut sugar is brown, indicative of its high mineral content.
Avocado is a great source of good fats and proteins. And it’s so easy to bring along with you as a snack. Just grab one, cut it in half, put a little sea salt and black pepper, and you're good to go.
These are one of my favorite snacks. Sardines are so nutrient-dense they could be an entire meal in and of themselves. That’s because they contain the entire fish — the spine, the bones, the fins — the whole fish, just like our ancestors ate. All of those parts have plenty of minerals and nutrients. They have good fatty acids like omega 3s and high amounts of calcium and other minerals.
This is a fantastic, nutrient-dense snack option. You can just throw it in your purse or your bag and you're good to go.
Whenever you’re feeling low on energy and in need of a quick snack, these are great options that you can pick from. They are full of nutrients and they won’t spike your blood sugar levels. Some of them even make for a healthy light lunch instead of a snack, so keep them at hand.