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Having snacks can be healthy – 8 ideas to switch from junk food to quality

Having snacks can be healthy - 8 ideas to switch from junk food to quality

Having healthy snacks in-between main meals can play an important role in maintaining our comfort while trying to adapt a healthier lifestyle. You cannot imagine yourself watching a movie without snacks? You don’t have to. You only need to switch from junk to quality snacks.

Many hours passed since you’ve had your quick lunch at the office and now you’re heading to the gym while starving? How you eat before and after exercise can affect how well you perform. You also need a healthy snack before your workout, to have enough energy without a full stomach.

Ideally, you should eat a meal containing lots of carbohydrates 3-4 hours before exercising to increase your blood glucose. For the intensity that a workout with electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) provide, having a small snack 1-2 hours before is also a good idea.

It’s no secret that eating well can help you to train better and recover more quickly from an injury.
Here is a list of some creative and simple snacks that will help you survive between the meals and lift your mood. They’re under 200 calories, healthy and satisfying.

Fruits paired with protein

Having snacks can be healthy -  8 ideas to switch from junk food to quality

Having snacks can be healthy – 8 ideas to switch from junk food to quality: Fruits paired with protein (Photo: SciArt Design)

Almost any fruit is going to make a great snack, but pairing it with a bit of protein will make it more satisfying. Unlike carbohydrates, which get used up relatively quickly, protein will help sustain your energy and hunger levels for a couple of hours.

A good example could be one large apple and one cup of skim milk. This duo will give you 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber for just over 200 calories.

Vegetables paired with protein

Having snacks can be healthy -  8 ideas to switch from junk food to quality

Having snacks can be healthy – 8 ideas to switch from junk food to quality: Vegetables paired with protein

Half cup of cottage cheese with pepper and vegetables for dipping is satisfying and light. This cheese product is laced with casein protein, about 28 grams in a cup. Casein is a slow-digesting protein that supplies the growing muscles with vital amino acids.

Hard-boiled egg and asparagus

Having snacks can be healthy -  8 ideas to switch from junk food to quality

Having snacks can be healthy – 8 ideas to switch from junk food to quality: Hard-boiled egg and asparagus

Hard-boiled egg with freshly ground black pepper and asparagus is also a good example of pairing fiber-rich veggies with proteins. Pair 15 asparagus spears (cooked or raw) with one hard-boiled egg for a 126-calorie snack.

Oven-baked zucchini chips

Having snacks can be healthy -  8 ideas to switch from junk food to quality

Having snacks can be healthy – 8 ideas to switch from junk food to quality: Oven-baked zucchini hchips (Photo: macaroniandcheesecake.com)

Instead of fried potato chips try crispy, breaded zucchinis baked in the oven. A dip in milk helps the breadcrumb coating stick, and Parmesan cheese gives the chips a deliciously crispy texture. Consider serving alongside hummus, carrots, or other crudité.

If you don’t have time to struggle with breading the zuchini slices, just add some flavour by topping them with goat cheese and savory dried tomatoes.

Soup-snacks

Having snacks can be healthy -  8 ideas to switch from junk food to quality

Having snacks can be healthy – 8 ideas to switch from junk food to quality: Soup-snacks

Small bowl of pureed tomato soup with a dollop of sour cream or a carrot-ginger soup can serve as refreshing snack during the whole day. Make a big batch of one of this soups and have a cup in your snacktime. It’s packed with fiber and gingery flavor that will keep your stomach satiated for hours! The carrot-ginger soup is packed with antioxidants.

Ingredients for the carrot & ginger soup: carrots, rice wine vinegar, sesame seeds, garlic cloves, grated ginger, sesame oil.

And for our readers in Spain: yes gazpatcho is also a great snack-soup and ahelathy summer drink.

Energy Bar

Everyone knows that energy bars count as healthy snacks. Make sure they are containing at least four grams of protein.

Popcorn and Dark Chocolate

Having snacks can be healthy -  8 ideas to switch from junk food to quality

Having snacks can be healthy – 8 ideas to switch from junk food to quality: Popcorn and Dark Chocolate (Photo: www.simplyscratch.com)

Who said you have to stop having snacks while watching a movie? And you can even add some “exotic” extra to your popcorn: dark chocolate shavings.

Dark chocolate by itself is also a healthy and quality snack. Only make sure that it has at least 60 percent cocoa content. Cocoa has been linked to reduced heart disease risk and even lower body fat numbers in people who nibble on it more often. The polyphenol antioxidants in chocolate may favour the metabolism.

Turkey and Grapes

Two slices of steamed turkey or chicken breast and a handful of grapes. Yummy!

Minty, green ice tea

Having snacks can be healthy -  8 ideas to switch from junk food to quality

Having snacks can be healthy – 8 ideas to switch from junk food to quality: Minty, green ice tea

I know that a calorie-free beverage doesn’t qualify as a real snack, but if you find yourself scouting the kitchen just because you’re bored, rather than hungry, this tasty drink might be the best idea to save you from overeating. Plus, green tea has metabolism-boosting antioxidant compounds.

Snack ideas from: http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20682477,00.html#snacks-versus-weight-loss-0

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