Healthy snacks to keep energy levels up
Snacks are something many of us are probably already having in our daily routine – after all they are a great way to keep our energy levels up between meals, meet our daily nutrient needs and maintain or promote muscle growth. I recommend including a snack if you have more than three to five hours between your meals.
While the concept of snacks seems pretty easy there are a few common habits many of us fall victim to that can lead to decreased energy levels or even unintended or unhealthy weight gain. For example, snacks high in added sugars or fats tend to be lower in key nutrients and higher in calories and unhealthy fats. So how can we avoid these easy pitfalls?
5 Tips for Nutritious Snacks
Plan Ahead. Think ahead about your day and bring snacks with you. It’s easy to fall into the habit of buying prepackaged foods that are low in nutrients and high in sodium and saturated fat
Include Fibre. Fibre is an important nutrient in supporting the gut microbiome and has been shown to be beneficial for cardiovascular health
Pair with Protein. Protein provides satiety, supports the immune system and helps maintain muscle mass
Whole Foods. Choose whole foods when possible, opposed to processed, as whole foods tend to be higher in important nutrients including vitamins and minerals
Snack Mindfully. Avoid mindless snacking such as eating in front of the tv or computer screen. Listen to your body and tap into your hunger cues rather than eating out of boredom or habit.
Some of my favourite snacks that meet many of tips outlines above include:
- Fresh cut veggies with whole grain pita and tzatziki
- Apple or banana with peanut butter
- Yogurt with berries and granola
- Fresh fruit and trail mix
- Low sodium tortilla chips with salsa
- High protein and low in added sugar beverages like brüst protein coffee
Let me know some of your favourite go-to’s below!
Until next time,
Emily Fulton, MHSc RD CSCS
Registered Dietitian & Sports Nutritionist