One of the most common questions I get is, “what is a healthy snack?”
I think smart snacking can sometimes mean the difference between a successful diet and a not so successful diet…
Those tempting 3pm or evening snacks can sometimes be the downfall of an otherwise balanced and nutritious diet plan. My number 1 tip is to consume protein rich snacks to keep your going, without breaking your diet balance!
Every snack, and meal for that matter, should include a serve of protein. Healthy protein consumption is correlated with maintaining a healthy weight, energy levels, muscle health and overall well-being including improved immune function.
There is no point in having a snack of just carbohydrates alone. All this does is increase your blood sugar levels, giving you a short burst of energy, before you’re hungry again in an hours time. So the key is to always include a lean source of protein in every meal along with a healthy balance of whole grains, fresh fruit/vegetables and healthy fats throughout the day. Too much of anything aint’ good…remember that!
What’s so good about protein?
* Protein keeps us fuller for longer, we like that!
* Curbs sugar carvings (next time grab a protein snack instead of the sugary treat, and see how you feel!)
* Helps build muscle mass which increases your metabolism
* Supports healthy insulin function (stabilises blood sugar levels)
How much protein a day?
The average recommendation is 0.8-1g of protein per kg of your body weight (e.g. 60kg woman should consume approx 48-60g of protein a day). This amount does vary depending on your physical activity requirements or fitness goals.
120g lean chicken or red meat = 20g protein
100g fish = 25g
100g canned tuna = 25g
1 cup cottage cheese = 20g
1 egg = 4g
1 small tub natural yoghurt = 13g
25g raw almonds = 10g
Choose the right protein snacks
* 20 raw almonds or 8 raw walnuts
* 1/2 cup Natural Greek Style yoghurt with 1tbs LSA (linseed, sunflower & almond meal)
* Carrot & celery sticks with homemade hummus or cottage cheese
* Homemade protein balls
* 1 small tin of tuna
* 1-2 boiled eggs
Little fact...eating 2 eggs for breakfast has shown to increase weight loss by 65% compared to a purely carbohydrate breakfast like toast. I’ll get onto protein for breakfast in another post…
I regularly make my own hummus to keep in the fridge, along with some vegetables I can easily cut up for a snack like carrots, celery or capsicum. Plus hummus is great to have handy as a healthy dressing on salads or accompaniment.
1 tin Organic Chickpeas, drained & rinsed
1 1/2 tbs Unhulled Tahini
1/2 Lemon, juiced
1/4 cup water
1 tsp cumin ground
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to season
Simply add all ingredients to your food processor or blender and blitz to a consistency of your liking. Have a little taste and adjust seasoning or add extra lemon juice if you like a bit more tang! Simple as that.
We recently purchased a new food processor and it is seriously one of the best things you can buy if you’re trying to prepare healthy meals at home, and in a hurry! I’ll post my favourite homemade protein balls which are super quick in the new Breville shortly….
Let me know how you go with the hummus or if you have any other protein snack requests?